Southern California that is… Yes.it’s true, the legend’s wife during a recent conversation needed to get permission from “The King” regarding a phone interview I was requesting; “let me check when the King wakes up” was her exact words; so there you have it. I just gave you proof and feel free to let the tabloids know this is not a joke as I have just given you the goods via integral journalism. You won’t find Fake News on this site !!! The King Is still alive and lives at 1436 West ****** Blvd in Los Angeles, California. He hides his identity, by going by the alias of Carlos Guitarlos!
Quit Googling all you Elvis die-hard fans. There is no such address; just screwing with ya! If you didn’t figure it out, please get help. There are many services out there. Ok, Ok, enough of the banter and joking around, I do have a nice piece about the interview I had with one of the top guitar and rock influences in my life.
Mr Carlos Cavazo has been a professional guitarist all of his life. He was born, not in Mexico City as Wikipedia seems to think. Carlos tells me they have been trying to change that for years, but the truth is he was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but his father was from Mexico.
I asked him about the confusion as to whether he is in or out of Ratt. I had heard he wasn’t in the band, but I was privy to some pics of him and Stephen Pearcy so I had to ask. This is what he had to say.
“well I get along great with Stephen and those guys but, there was a bit of a falling out with Warren (DeMartini) ; Warren said they fired him and they said he quit, but whatever….without him, it just didn’t feel right and without Warren, it doesn’t seem like Ratt to me; so I told them sorry I couldn’t’ do it. I mean I love those guys, they’re my bros and always will be, and if there was a way for us all to get together and play…I’d be there in a heartbeat, that would be great…. but yeah, no, I’m not in Ratt right now, unfortunately.”
I asked Carlos since he lives in LA, who does he think is the next hard rock band to make it big and he was stumped.
“to be honest, I don’t really know of any or who’s out there; I don’t really know of any, aren’t they all boy bands? (laughter)” I then got the first good laugh out of him, when I mentioned I heard there was a rock band called Rough Riot?; that was getting some traction and he laughed pretty good. ” yeah, a new OLD band I guess” (laughter)
Rough Riot is the current project he is working on and features the creme de la creme of hard rock. They have David Alford (Rough Cutt) on drums, Chris Hager (Rough Cutt) on guitar, Sean McNabb (Dokken, Rough Cutt) Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot, Ratt,3 Legged Dog), and Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot) on vocals.
Hmm, I forgot to ask Carlos how the band came up with this unique name; insert cheezy laugh here.
The band has just formed and just hooked up with a management agency so they will be playing some gigs this summer and who knows where that will take them. They are working on some songs and an album is in works.
With Paul Shortino singing and Carlos on guitar, this is a supergroup in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the boys are elite as well, but when it comes to metal, the singer and axemaster are definitely what people notice first. Check them out here (Facebook link)
In keeping with Rough Riot, they won’t be writing ballads but will be writing about and playing 80’s style hard rock about the lifestyle they had back then..” wild women, drinking, hard living….we lived that life in the ’80s, so we might as well write about it” (laughter)
We then talked about a couple of my favourite Quiet Riot songs including Thunderbird, the tribute song to the late Randy Rhoads, who was also in Quiet Riot briefly before skyrocketing 2 stardom with Ozzy. We also touched on one of my other favourites, Don’t Wanna Let You Go, a song that Carlos came up with the title and music for, and Kevin DuBrow wrote the lyrics. Speaking of the late Kevin DuBrow whom I met when QR played the Eastgate here in the Soo, (without Carlos unfortunately), he wrote the lyrics to Thunderbird about RR…….which is a very moving song especially if you are/were a Randy Rhoads fan.
We had a great exchange when I told him, that if any song that was to be performed on Solid Gold (instead of Cum On Feel The Noise) with Dionne Warwick, that (Don’t Wanna Let You Go) should have been it. He laughed and said (laughter)” yeah you remember that ?….we did that twice (laughter) and we did it once with Marilyn McCoo”
In reference to Quiet Riots biggest hit and the catalyst for their stardom, it is no secret in the industry, that Quiet Riot, especially the late Kevin DuBrow did not want to do the song Cum On Feel the Noise). Recently, in another interview, Frankie Banali said the band was going to tank the song when they had to record it so it couldn’t be used. Moving forward, they did the song and it brought them to stardom. Quite ironic, but it must have been heavenly cards.
I couldn’t let this interview go without asking one guitar God about his relationship/interaction with another guitar God… the late Randy Rhoads (RIP).
“well I met him a number of times at parties in the L.A area, and at gigs with the band I was in before QR, a band called Snow… we used to open up for QR and Randy would talk to me a lot at sound checks, and he would come into the dressing room and check out my guitars… He was a really nice guy, normal, no rock star attitude… and I remember one time I almost got a chance to jam with him… it was at a party in Burbank and the members of Snow were there and there was a stage set up and people were sitting in with the band… and Randy and Kevin were there and I was onstage with people jamming and I waved to them to come up, but they were busy chatting with friends and they ended up leaving… I wish Randy would have come up …that would have been awesome.”
Not only did Randy and Carlos play in the same band QR with Kevin DuBrow, but they both also have heavy classical music interests. Before Randy’s death, his plans were to go back to University and study and get his advanced degree in classical guitar and Carlos the King has the same thoughts per se. He tells me he has many classical pieces that he hasn’t released and enjoys classical, flamenco and other styles of guitar which only makes him a better all-around player he told me.
In closing, Carlos loves playing Canada and he was most recently in Canada when he played with Ratt in Toronto a couple of years back. “I love going up there, it’s nice up there, the people are cool..it’s an amazing place to be at …you know, playing up there”
On the same page as geography, Rough Riot has just signed as I said with a management company (IMM) and hopefully, some shows will be booked in our area… fingers crossed. On a similar note, they are going to “try our damndest” to get on next years Monsters of Rock cruise. I told him, I doubt they will not have a problem with the supergroup lineup they have. What can you expect from Rough Riots setlist if you are lucky enough to catch a show? “We do mostly Rough Cutt and Quiet Riot covers and mix in some of our new stuff”
Here is one of my favourite guitar pieces by the King, that shows off his classical influences.
Oh, in case you are interested, this Rockstar enjoys puttering around in the garden and likes his hobbies of slot cars and train sets of which he has a collection. Carlos also likes working on cars and says “I’m pretty good at it” LOL.
**If you are interested in some Carlos Cavazo, Rough Riot and other Rockstar merch check out Bang Your Head Apparel on Facebook.**
Thanks for reading, and Mike LePond (Symphony X) and Adrian Vandenberg interviews will be coming soon.