One of the largest concert tours of the summer recently came to Syracuse University to christen the first major live show as the newly named JMA Wireless Dome. WAER’s John Smith caught up with Paul McCartney’s multi-talented lead guitarist, Solo Singer-Songwriter and National Recording Artist Rusty Anderson. It coincides with the anniversary of rich rock and roll history and a childhood dream come true for Anderson who gleams and slightly gushes about the fact the Beatles were responsible for him to start playing guitar at 8 years-old. He even had a Gibson Guitar named after him in 2013 based on the vintage ES-335.
It was 60 years ago this week (June 6th) that the Beatles auditioned for Producer Sir George Martin. After all these years, Paul McCartney is still touring. His Lead Guitarist and Backing Vocalist Rusty Anderson was influenced by the Fab 4 and started playing guitar at 8 years-old. He has been working with Paul for about 21 years and recalls their first introduction.
“… You know within about the first half-an-hour of meeting him (Paul McCartney) in the studio we started playing music. And that’s a great language for people to, you know, to connect. It’s just magical how that works.”
You might say the Got Back Tour is not only a sort of Magical Mystery tour for the fans but, also for Anderson. Anderson calls it “… a Celebration, really!” And why not? After all, Paul’s 80th Birthday is June 18th. John Smith asked Anderson about McCartney’s ageless quality, “That vibe and how he lives his life, does that extend to the entire team?”
“He is kind of an alien. It’s kinda mind blowing in respect that he really doesn’t consider age; it’s just not something he thinks about. He just does what he does. And I think he’s obviously incredibly gifted in a whole lot of levels and dimensions and he sort of just defies it all. And that is very inspirational to me.”
Anderson and his bandmates are set to complete McCartney’s US Got Back Tour with two more dates in the coming days in Baltimore, Maryland and the final stop in East Rutherford, New Jersey on June 16th. They’ll take a week off between Sir Paul’s Birthday, and then a week later, Paul is the headlining act for the Glastonbury Festival 2022. The BBC will carry the more than 2 hour show. You can bet Anderson is absolutely stoked for that.
Rusty Anderson has performed live with countless artists including the other touring former Beatle, Ringo Starr, Little Richard, Stevie Wonder, Rihanna, and Bruce Springsteen. He’s also recorded on Bryan Adams’ recent “Get UP” and “Shine A Light” albums and also with Elton John, Willie Nelson, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Michael Bublé, Neil Diamond, Stevie Nicks and Joe Cocker. Anderson speculates McCartney’s influence on him is likely passed on through a process of “osmosis.” His first new solo song in 5 years “Firefly” was released on June 10th and seems destined for Adult Contemporary radio. The song features his friend Stewart Copeland best known as the drummer of the Police. Anderson reflects on the song with WAER’s John Smith in an exclusive extended interview about what it’s like to work with Paul McCartney.
“It’s kind of exciting just the way the song came together. It’s something kinda different for me. Everything I do is guitar based. It’s either all guitars or a lot of guitars and maybe some keyboards and things like that. This one has acoustic and electric, sometimes it’s just electric. This is both. It’s kinda different because the beat that Stewart Copeland does is sort of like this neo-bossa nova, almost twerky kinda beat… and combined with the different guitar palette, it’s pretty unique, I think. I haven’t really heard really any songs like it. It’s just evolved the way it did.”