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Waddy Wachtel
American musician, composer and record producer

Waddy Wachtel

Waddy Wachtel
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American musician, composer and record producer
A.K.A. Robert "Waddy" Wachtel
Is Bandmaster Musician Conductor Songwriter Composer Guitarist Record producer
From United States of America
Field Business Music
Gender male
Birth 24 May 1947, New York City, USA
Age 75 years
Star sign Gemini
Rock music
The details (from wikipedia)


Robert "Waddy" Wachtel (born May 24, 1947) is an American musician, composer and record producer, most notable for his guitar work. Wachtel has worked as session musician for other artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards (guitarist of Keith's side-band The X-pensive Winos), The Rolling Stones (lead guitar on Saint Of Me), Jon Bon Jovi, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Warren Zevon, Bryan Ferry, Michael Sweet, Jackson Browne, and Andrew Gold, both in the studio and live.

Early years

Wachtel was born May 24, 1947, in Jackson Heights in the New York City borough of Queens. Waddy is Jewish. At about age 9–10, Wachtel began to learn to play the guitar, taking lessons with teacher Gene Dell (who insisted that he learn to play right-handed despite being naturally left-handed) until about age 14. At that age, he says, he began writing songs.

Wachtel also studied with Rudolph Schramm, who was the head of the NBC staff orchestra and went on to teach music at Carnegie Hall. Schramm tried to get Wachtel to take piano lessons, but Wachtel was intent on playing guitar so Schramm agreed to give him guitar lessons three times a week on rhythm, melody and harmony.

After performing with local bands in the New York area, Wachtel formed his own band, The Orphans, who played in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Eventually the band settled into a regular bar band routine, playing in Newport, Rhode Island, where Wachtel took lessons from Sal Salvador. When the Orphans disbanded, he formed another band, Twice Nicely. At the suggestion of Bud Cowsill (of The Cowsills), he brought Twice Nicely to Los Angeles in 1968 where they recorded a few demos, but after two years, Wachtel decided to work as a session player, recording with The Cowsills and produce their albums.


In 1972, he made an appearance in the film The Poseidon Adventure with the actual band on stage in the dining room when the ship capsizes.

He also played in the Oscar's awarded short film "Session Man" in 1991. Wachtel has composed and played instruments for film scores including Joe Dirt, Up in Smoke, Nice Guys Sleep Alone, The Longest Yard, The Benchwarmers, Grandma's Boy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Strange Wilderness, The House Bunny, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He has also composed, produced, or performed in songs with Warren Zevon, Joe Walsh, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and others.

Session and touring work

In 1972, he was hired by Warren Zevon to play guitar on The Everly Brothers Stories We Could Tell album and join them in a subsequent tour.

By 1973, he played with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks on their first album Buckingham Nicks (credited as 'Waddy', no surname), and on tour. Later, when Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, he played rhythm guitar on their 1975 album Fleetwood Mac on the track "Sugar Daddy".

In 1980, he wrote, recorded and sang lead vocals on an album for producer Peter Asher with members of Linda Ronstadt's band, including musicians Don Grolnick, Dan Dugmore, Stanley Sheldon and Rick Marotta. Both the group and the album were titled Ronin. Released on the Mercury label, the record never charted.

In 1984 he played on Steve Perry's (Journey) solo album Street Talk.

He has appeared on hundreds of albums with many different artists and bands.

Production credits include albums by Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, Jackson Browne, Bryan Ferry, The Church, Sand Rubies, George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Warren Zevon. Wachtel co-wrote several songs with Zevon including "Werewolves of London". He also co-wrote the Warren Zevon song "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" from the album Mr. Bad Example. He performed on and co-produced the first two Zevon albums.

Wachtel also shares co-writing credits with Stevie Nicks on a few tracks such as "Annabel Lee", and "I Don't Care".

Wachtel has been credited on some albums as Bob Wachtel, but some online sources have incorrectly credited him as Richard Wachtel on albums on which he was credited as having played guitar.

Criminal charges and legal problems

Wachtel and his wife Annie were arrested in 1998 on suspicion of possession of child pornography after illicit images were found on a computer they had in their home, also hard copies and duplicates of child porn were found in the home. The case against Wachtel's wife was dismissed; Wachtel pleaded no contest and was placed on probation for three years.

Musician Brett Tuggle defended Wachtel and his wife, saying "there is no way that Stevie would have him in her band if she thought he was guilty of any wrongdoing."


Wachtel plays a 1960 Gibson Les Paul and 1957 Fender Stratocaster. He said in a 1980 interview that the newest made guitar he owned was a 1964 Fender Stratocaster. Wachtel purchased the Les Paul guitar from Stephen Stills for $350. In September 2014 the Gibson Custom Shop chose the 1960 Les Paul Waddy Wachtel guitar for their new Collector's Choice series.

2000 to present

Wachtel performs regularly with the Waddy Wachtel Band in the Los Angeles area, notably at The Joint from 2000 through 2013. The band at that time included Phil Jones, Rick Rosas, Bernard Fowler and Blondie Chaplin, among others. He continues to gig with his band, with some personnel changes, while retaining Fowler and Chaplin. Many famous artists have performed with the band as special guests.>

Wachtel appeared on the 2010 Grammy Award television show backing Taylor Swift's live presentation. In Swift's duet with Nicks on the song "Rhiannon", Wachtel was featured on lead guitar.


With Andrew Gold

  • Lonely Boy (Asylum Records, 1977)

With Ringo Starr

  • Time Takes Time (Private Music, 1992)

With Keith Richards

  • Talk Is Cheap (Virgin Records, 1988)
  • Main Offender (Virgin Records, 1992)
  • Crosseyed Heart (Republic Records, 2015)

With Phoebe Snow

  • Rock Away (Mirage, 1981)

With Jackson Browne

  • The Pretender (Asylum Records, 1976)
  • Lives in the Balance (Asylum Records, 1986)
  • I'm Alive (Elektra Records, 1993)
  • Looking East (Elektra Records, 1996)

With Melissa Etheridge

  • Melissa Etheridge (Island Records, 1988)
  • Brave and Crazy (Island Records, 1989)
  • Yes I Am (Island Records, 1993)

With Helen Reddy

  • Play Me Out (MCA Records, 1981)

With Ronnie Hawkins

  • The Hawk (United Artists Records, 1979)

With Ivan Neville

  • Saturday Morning Music (UpTop Entertainment, 2002)
  • Scrape (Evangeline Recorded Works, 2004)

With John Prine

  • Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings (Oh Boy Records, 1995)

With Kim Carnes

  • Mistaken Identity (EMI, 1981)
  • Voyeur (EMI, 1982)
  • Café Racers (EMI, 1983)
  • Barking at Airplanes (EMI, 1985)
  • Light House (EMI, 1986)

With James Taylor

  • In the Pocket (Rhino Records, 1976)
  • Flag (Columbia Records, 1980)
  • Dad Loves His Work (Columbia Records, 1981)

With Bonnie Raitt

  • The Glow (Warner Bros. Records, 1979)

With Linda Ronstadt

  • Hasten Down the Wind (Asylum Records, 1976)
  • Simple Dreams (Asylum Records, 1977)
  • Living in the USA (Asylum Records, 1978)
  • Mad Love (Asylum Records, 1980)
  • Get Closer (Asylum Records, 1982)
  • We Ran (Elektra Records, 1998)

With Neil Young

  • Storytone (Reprise Records, 2014)

With Rita Coolidge

  • Heartbreak Radio (A&M Records, 1981)

With Carole King

  • Thoroughbred (A&M Records, 1976)

With Stevie Nicks

  • Bella Donna (Atco Records, 1981)
  • The Wild Heart (Modern Records, 1983)
  • Rock a Little (Modern Records, 1985)
  • The Other Side of the Mirror (Modern Records, 1989)
  • Street Angel (Modern Records, 1994)
  • Trouble in Shangri-La (Reprise Records, 2001)
  • In Your Dreams (Reprise Records, 2011)
  • 24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault (Reprise Records, 2014)

With LeAnn Rimes

  • Spitfire (Curb Records, 2013)

With Don Henley

  • I Can't Stand Still (Asylum Records, 1982)
  • The End of the Innocence (Geffen, 1989)

With Randy Newman

  • Little Criminals (Reprise Records, 1977)
  • Born Again (Reprise Records, 1979)
  • Trouble in Paradise (Reprise Records, 1983)

With Jon Bon Jovi

  • Blaze of Glory (Columbia Records, 1990)

With John Mayer

  • Battle Studies (Columbia Records, 2009)

With Beth Hart

  • Fire on the Floor (Provologue Records, 2016)

With Robbie Williams

  • Escapology (EMI, 2002)
  • Intensive Care (Chrysalis Records, 2005)

With Bob Dylan

  • Under the Red Sky (Columbia Records, 1990)

With Jackie DeShannon

  • New Arrangement (Columbia Records, 1975)

With Ronnie Wood

  • 1234 (Columbia Records, 1981)
  • I Feel Like Playing (Eagle Rock Entertainment, 2010)

With Amanda Marshall

  • Tuesday's Child (Epic Records, 1999)

With Neil Diamond

  • The Christmas Album (Columbia Records, 1992)
  • The Christmas Album, Volume II (Columbia Records, 1994)

With Karla Bonoff

  • Karla Bonoff (Columbia Records, 1977)
  • Restless Nights (Columbia Records, 1979)
  • Wild Heart of the Young (Columbia Records, 1982)

With Gilby Clarke

  • Pawnshop Guitars (Virgin Records, 1994)
  • The Hangover (Paradigm Records, 1997)

With Miranda Lambert

  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Columbia Nashville, 2007)

With Kenny Rogers

  • Love Will Turn You Around (Liberty Records, 1982)

With Dolly Parton

  • Rainbow (Columbia Records, 1987)

With Wendy Waldman

  • The Main Refrain (Warner Bros. Records, 1976)

With Warren Zevon

  • Warren Zevon (Asylum Records, 1976)
  • Excitable Boy (Asylum Records, 1978)
  • Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School (Elektra Records, 1980)
  • The Envoy (Asylum Records, 1982)
  • Sentimental Hygiene (Virgin Records, 1987)
  • Transverse City (Virgin Records, 1989)
  • Mr. Bad Example (Giant, 1991)

With Bette Midler

  • No Frills (Atlantic Records, 1983)

With Cher

  • Cher (Geffen, 1987)

With Bryan Ferry

  • The Bride Stripped Bare (EG Records, 1978)

With Sheryl Crow

  • Threads (Big Machine Records, 2019)

With Graham Nash

  • Innocent Eyes (Atlantic Records, 1986)

With Rod Stewart

  • Vagabond Heart (Warner Bros. Records, 1991)

With Maria Muldaur

  • Sweet Harmony (Reprise Records, 1976)

With Rosanne Cash

  • Rhythm & Romance (Columbia Records, 1985)

With Tracy Chapman

  • Matters of the Heart (Elektra Records, 1992)

With Leo Sayer

  • Leo Sayer (Chrysalis Records, 1978)

With Van Stephenson

  • Suspicious Heart (MCA Records, 1986)

Filmography (Partial)

Year Title Director(s) Notes
1978 Up in Smoke Lou Adler with Danny Kortchmar and Lee Oskar (member of Yesca)
2001 Joe Dirt Dennie Gordon N/A
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Sam Weisman with Christophe Beck
2006 Grandma's Boy Nicholaus Goossen N/A
The Benchwarmers Dennis Dugan N/A
'Last Request John DeBellis N/A
2008 Strange Wilderness Fred Wolf N/A
The House Bunny Fred Wolf N/A
2009 Paul Blart: Mall Cop Steve Carr N/A
2011 Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star Tom Brady N/A
Jack and Jill Dennis Dugan with Rupert Gregson-Williams
2013 Jimi: All Is by My Side John Ridley with Danny Bramson
2015 Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser Fred Wolf Digital film
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 14 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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