Preview – Rock N Roll Guns for Hire: the Untold Story of the Sideman

Earl Slick
Earl Slick playing with The New York Dolls at Club Academy in Manchester, England on 29 March 2011.

They are plenty of famous names in modern music, but there are also those lesser know people who often hired to perform alongside the big names: the sidemen and sidewomen.

Presented by Earl “Slicky” Slick, a sideman who performed on guitar alongside David Bowie for over 40 years, this programme looks into some of music’s unsung heroes. Among those include “sidies” to John Lennon, Beyonce and Prince, as well as new interviews with among others Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

We learn about how these people constantly help the stars while often never achieving major success themselves, as well as the difficultly of the job in question, which sometimes involves learning whole sets in days.

Rock N Roll Guns for Hire: the Untold Story of the Sideman is on BBC Four at 21.00.

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