Allison Robertson On Playing The Hits

April 1, 2010

gp0410_riffs_AR_nrEVEN ROCK STARS OCCASIONALLY TAKE ON DAY JOBS. It’s just that their “day jobs” may be, well, cooler than yours. Take, for example, Allison Robertson. She has enjoyed a thrilling career as lead guitarist of the Donnas (which landed her on the January 2005 cover of GP), but that doesn’t mean she won’t accept nice work between albums and tours. When drummer Samantha Maloney (Hole, Eagles of Death Metal) and bassist Corey Parks (Nashville Pussy) invited her to form an all-female “supercovergroup,” she agreed. With the addition of powerhouse rock vocalist Tuesdae (a DJ and former Playboy model), the Chelsea Girls—LA’s most popular cover band since Metal Skool—were born.

The new darlings of the Sunset Strip, the Girls’ residency at the Roxy has become a revolving door of visiting rock stars, and in less than a year, the band has enjoyed performing with special guests such as Macy Gray, Taylor Dayne, Stephen Pearcy and Warren DeMartini (Ratt), Carlos Cavazo (Ratt, Quiet Riot), Matt Sorum (the Cult, Guns N’ Roses), Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), Billy Duffy (the Cult), and Carmen Electra. “We opened a string of shows for Motorhead, and that first show was intimidating,” says Robertson. “There was a sea of black Motorhead T-shirts staring at us as we plugged in, and hecklers were saying things like, ‘Girls can’t play.’ But once we started, we totally won them over. Playing covers can be quite rewarding. Not only do we make people really happy by delivering their favorite songs in a fresh way, but it really helps me as a player. Getting inside how Eddie Van Halen phrases ‘Unchained,’ or how Neil Giraldo builds that great solo on Pat Benatar’s ‘Heartbreaker’ has really expanded my perspective on guitar playing. And it’s a fun challenge to try and cover everything from metal to funk using a Gibson Explorer Pro, a Les Paul, and a couple of Marshalls. “I have no qualms with playing covers,” she continues. “My dad was in a disco cover band, and they were great. And this kind of work beats clocking in with a boss who won’t let you go on tour.”

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