Tim Wheeler and the band Ash February 12 2018, 12 Comments
BEST FRIENDS episode #1
first time i heard about Ash was in 1996 when i went to see Weezer on their Pinkerton tour. Holy shit whadda show that wuz… took place at one of my favorite Dallas venues - the fabled, Deep Ellum Live.
Deep Ellum Live was the “big” venue in Deep Ellum. capacity of about 1,000 which means it was pretty much reserved for the big national touring acts or the elite few breakouts like the Toadies and Tripping Daisy… i was 15 and couldn’t drive so my dad, Big-H (also an avid =W= fan) took me to the show. we showed up early, got in line, as soon as doors opened, i rushed the stage. DUH…. it's what you dooooo. now, i’ll do a Best Friends on Weezer at some point and elaborate on their performance, but this week is all about the opening act....
i'm up against the barricade, slightly stage-left, out walk three lads from northern Ireland. singer had long, beautiful, dark hair, holding a slightly more beautiful Gretsch Silver Jet guitar!! if you don’t know the Silver Jet, it’s a must check-out… single cutaway, ridiculous finish and similar to the Gretsch that ACDC’s Malcolm Young (RIP!) utilized… anywhoooo, these three dudes walk out and unleash one of the coolest blends of weird-chord-proggressioned sparkle-rock that I’d ever heard.
a year later, my band Radish was signed to Mercury Records and thrust into the music biz and into the fast-paced life I’ve been accustomed to for the past 20+ years. Radish found ourselves at the Kerrang Awards, 1997, London England, where a million things happened that i wont get into now, but it was there that i briefly met Tim, Mark and Rick… ASH!
fast-forward five years… Radish is broken up, i’m now a solo artist living with Lizzy in NYC. my debut, Sha Sha is released and we’re touring the world. next stop: Reading Festival 2002. Ash is on the bill. i run into Tim in the artist area, we hug, swap numbers, and that’s really where our friendship takes off.
at some point that same year, Mark started directing a horror movie called Slashed. One night in NYC, he asked if I'd do a cameo for the movie.
“Well, HELL FUCKIN’ YEAH!!!” I proclaimed (or some such similar response). Done. we shoot a scene in some hotel... something to do with an axe murderer, or an.... Ash murderer. mmmwwaaaHaHaHaHa!
aaaaand the thing never gets released.
BUT alas!!!! footage was edited together recently and released as a music video for their song “Binary”. "Binary" features famous detectives, Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland, of the band Coldplay. Video below. BK cameo is cued up…
before Tim moved to the states, Lizzy and i had him over for his very first all-American Thanksgiving. we stayed up all night writing songs in the basement. (one day we'll share those songs with you o' great Kwellerheadz... promise!!!) over the years, Tim and i have confided in each other on matters of business and on matters of the heart... we've inspired each other to reach further as artists and to never forget why we both became rockers at such young ages -- BECAUSE IT'S FUCKING FUN THAT'S WHY!
in closing, if you don't know Ash, you need to now. they're one of the great happiness makers. loud guitars, great melodies, chord structures that keep you guessing, and the perfect dose of 90's grunge, 90's angst. plussss, if you ever come across 'em in the flesh, you'll find that they're some of the nicest peeps ever and that includes Charrr who once rocked 2nd guitarrr!
If you only buy 1 album by Ash, get this one: 1977!!CHECK OUT: “Goldfinger”, “Oh Yeah”, "Shining Light", and "Girl From Mars"