Saturday, January 20, 2018

Dick Wagner (1944 - 2014)



Known to fans and friends as “The Maestro of Rock,” DICK WAGNER’S songs and lead guitar have been featured on more than 350 renowned albums, garnering more than 35 Platinum and Gold records, BMI songwriter awards and numerous prestigious international awards.

The Detroit area native helped define an era in rock history by playing lead guitar and writing songs for Alice Cooper, KISS, Aerosmith, Lou Reed, The Frost, Peter Gabriel, Meat Loaf, Guns N’ Roses, Ringo Starr, Tina Turner, Air Supply, Hall & Oates, Little Richard, Roy Orbison, Burton Cummings, Jerry Lee Lewis, Lita Ford, Nina Simone, and many more!

Legendary for his groundbreaking collaborations with Alice Cooper, Wagner was Alice’s musical director, co-writer, and lead guitarist on the majority of the icon’s top selling singles and albums, including such songs as Only Women Bleed, You and Me, I Never Cry, and Welcome to My Nightmare.Together, Cooper and Wagner co-wrote the majority of Alice Cooper's top selling singles and albums, including more than 50 songs, featured on over 60 Alice Cooper albums worldwide.

Guitar duo Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter have been celebrated together with TWO positions in the Gibson.com “Top 50 Guitar Solos of all Time,” honored among his esteemed peers including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Eddie Van Halen, and Jeff Beck.


“I first saw Dick Wagner while he was playing with the Frost and quickly filed him under ‘Guitar players I’d like to steal. But Dick isn't JUST a guitar player. He’s a gifted writer, and I wrote most of the Alice Cooper Hits with him."

“Name your all-time favorite rock guitar solos and chances are at least one of them will include the legendary Dick Wagner.”
DAVID FOSTER, Producer (Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Whitney Houston)

“My go-to musician and writer on the majority of my projects in the 70s and 80s and now again in the new millennium.”
BOB EZRIN, Producer (Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, KISS)

Dick Wagner has always been celebrated as a soulful guitar force to reckon with. From his brilliant work with Alice Cooper and beyond, Dick has forever projected an earthly musical spirit that is pure American R&R & R&B
He is one of the best guitarists in the world

“The Invisible Virtuoso: Wagner's unique rock and roll journey is a touchstone in American music history.” 
James Campion, Huffington Post

I could count the number of "Go-to" guitar players in this country on half a hand. Dick Wagner is one of them.” 
JACK DOUGLAS, Producer (Aerosmith, John Lennon)

Gibson.com Top 50 Guitar Solos of All Time #25 “Sweet Jane” (live), Lou Reed (Dick Wagner, Steve Hunter) “What makes a great guitar solo? Is it mind-melting precision or bone-chilling soul? Is it the way it can leave you slack-jawed, wondering, ’How did he do that?’” 

“When your recording session needed some monster guitar solos, you called Wagner and Hunter first. Period. Just ask Kiss. Or better yet, ask Aerosmith.”  
Vintage Guitar Magazine

“Unparalleled ability to chisel memorable riffs, brilliant leads, power chords and even pastoral acoustic textures. Along with the guitar acrobatics, Wagner crunches out hard rock along with power-rock ballads.”
Music Business Monthly

“Heavy, thrilling without threatening to stupefy...The made-in-Detroit guitars of Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner mesh naturally with the unnatural rhythms, and Reed shouts with no sacrifice of wit....This is a live album with a reason for living.” 
ROBERT CHRISTGAU, Christgau's Record Guide

“’Aerosmith’s 'Train Kept A Rollin’ might never have left the station if Wagner’s playing wasn’t so dangerously off the rails. And Kiss’ ‘Great Expectations’ could have been anti-climactic if he didn’t lay down the elegant solo. But more than just hot solos, Wagner brought intricate arrangements and even a hit song or two (Alice Cooper’s ‘Only Women Bleed’ and You and Me, etc.) to the table.
Daniel Siwek, Music Connection Magazine

"Dick Wagner is one of the icons of rock.”
Bob Ludwig, Gateway Mastering, Co-chairman, Producers & Engineers Wing, NARAS (Grammys)

“Riff This Way: Aerosmith’s Top 10 Riff-Heavy Tracks,” Gibson.com Dick Wagner Guitar Solos: RIFF #1: Same Old Song and Dance, Dick Wagner. Also RIFF #4: Train Kept A Rollin’, Dick Wagner

“One of the best guitar players ever. And one of the greatest people ever. Mr. Wagner. You more than rock.”

"Dick is one of the great rocker guitar players to come out of Detroit in the 70's. It's wonderful to work with someone where the music still retains its joy. That's magic.”
Steve Hunter (Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel)

“Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner were as potent a duo as Keith Richards and Mick Taylor, and the four make up the ‘Golden Era’ of both The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed, that period when the recordings were beyond magical….Lou’s 9/1/73 show still rates as numero uno in my book, for presentation, drama, craftsmanship and sheer rock and roll energy.”
JOE VIGLIONE, allmusic.com

Click Here for Dick Wagner Memorial Concert Info