Doug Aldrich (born February 19, 1964 in Raleigh, North Carolina), is a Los Angeles-based guitar player, since 2002 a member of the bluesy hard rock band Whitesnake. He plays Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Stratocasters through hot-rodded Marshall JMPs and Vintage Modern amps. Doug was first introduced to the guitar at age 11 when his sister introduced him to the playing of Jeff Beck.
Doug is an addicted collector of vintage instruments and amps. Several of his guitars include his heroes name initials scratched into the paint. Doug's personal record collection includes everything from Robert Johnson to Led Zeppelin: "I still love blues and classic rock music the most. I'm not really interested in following whatever is trendy. Im just gonna stick to what I do best, do it to the best of my ability and play from the heart". Doug was also once a highly sought after guitar teacher, at one point he was teaching over 70 students a week.
With Whitesnake, Doug found a great home. Multiple world tours led to Doug and David starting to compose together. "It is the ultimate creative collaboration for me to work with David" The duo has co-written over 30 songs and co-produced several of the bands releases including Whitesnake's award winning records like Forevermore.
Guitarist Doug Aldrich is an ordinary guy with an extraordinary talent. This gifted instrumentalist has spent the better part of his life as a dedicated partner to the sixstring, be it named Jackson, Fender, or Les Paul. A hitmaker overseas and a Top 5 sensation in Japan., LA- based Doug realized his love for music and the guitar at the age of eleven when his older sister, Jennifer introduced him to Jeff Beck. "I gravitated towards my younger sister, Janet's classical guitar an slowly began teaching myself how to play." A year later Doug received his first electric guitar, a Sears copy of the Les Paul guitar fancied by his early idol Jimmy Page. In early adolescents, Doug formed a band called Purple Haze with a few of his neighbors. Although he initially sought out the role of bass player, his band mates pushed him toward guitar – Doug's ultimate fate was fully formed. On the weekends the band would jam and learn the tunes of Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, UFO, Van Halen and Deep Purple. Although he enjoyed playing the tunes of these artists, Doug's largest influences came from Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck. Later Doug learned the styles of newer players like Stevie Ray Vaughan and Gary Moore.
In the early '80's, Philadelphia-bred Doug relocated to Los Angeles and found himself auditioning for the lead guitar slot in KISS. While he admits he was clearly too young and immature for the gig, the experience led to a relationship with Gene Simmons (Kiss) that continues on today. The experience was a turning point for Doug as it helped him realize his talent as a guitarist. Once in LA, Doug and his school-buddy and bass player Jerry Best, formed the band Lion, with Kal Swan as singer, and drummer, Mark Edwards. Lion had much success. The band recorded two albums and had a top 20 video on MTV's Head Bangers Ball. During this period Doug was a highly sought after guitar instructor. He taught over 70 students a week. Doug had several students that were very talented guitar players that went onto play with professional bands. Doug states "There were a few students that could blow me in the weeds." Shortly after Lion split-up, Doug worked with the bands Hurricane and House of Lords. Doug gained high marks for his guitar work on House of Lords "Sahara" record. Especially for his rendition of Blind Faiths "Can't Find My Way Home". Although he is not listed for his work on the album, Doug performed guitar work on nearly 90% of the album.
In The '90's, Doug and Kal Swan's creative energies joined once again to form the band, Bad Moon Rising. The band included such artists as Ian Mayo on bass and Jackie Ramos on drums. The band took off in Asia and Europe, recording for albums and numerous European and Japanese tours. During this period Doug had an opportunity to exhibit his extraordinary guitar talents with the solo albums "Highcentered" and "Electrovision". With an ear toward distancing himself from the clinical perfection of generic guitar wizardry, Doug is using his instrumentals to showcase his key quest as a musician: to test the limits of his instrument, and elicit sounds and tones from the guitar that break standard musical barriers. While some rock guitarist strive for hard, fast notes (and plenty of them) Doug favors a different approach. "I prefer to play less notes and search out new melodies and find sounds that are really out there, sounds you've never heard anyone else do." he says of his blues-based song writing technique. One of Doug's favorite tricks is to combine the output of myriad guitar pedals to tweak tradition and reshape the sonics of the guitar. "I look for the mistakes, I wait for the moment when it isn't quite right." he says. "I like taking different grooves that are a little less straightforward and going after more tribal, syncopated rhythms."
A veritable virtuoso on the six-string, Doug's passion for music, and particularly his chosen instrument, is palpably profound. His variety of over twenty-five guitars, consists of a few collectable vintage Les Pauls, Guild acoustics, and a wide range of Fender Stratocasters - one of Doug's most favorite guitars. Similarly, his cashe of amps, ranging from Marshals to classic Fenders, clearly get a regular workout. Doug describes each guitar based on its unique personality and its role in the production of the sound. For example, he enjoys recording with his '73 Lefty-Stratocaster, because of its great sound. Doug's personal record collection includes albums by Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, and he seeks the inspiration in the music of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Velvet Underground and the Beach Boys. "Musically I still listen to the old music, because I don't want to loose my roots. I'm not one of those guys who is interested in following whatever is trendy. I'd rather stick to what I do best and do it to the best of my ability."
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