When Guns N'Roses finished the Illusion tours, the band went home for a well deserved vacation. SLASH says he is not one to stay around the house smelling the roses, so instead of gardening, he built a home studio nicknamed Snakepit. Matt Sorum, GNR drummer, came over, and he and SLASH started arranging some material SLASH had written. SLASH put on the bass and rhythm guitars, and then former GNR rhythm guitarist, Gilby Clarke came around and put in some new rhythm guitar. For bass, SLASH picked up Mike Inez of Alice in Chains, but finding a singer was difficult. 40 singers were auditioned before SLASH found Eric Dover, formerly of Jellyfish. SLASH and Eric worked well and quickly together with lyrics written the day vocals were recorded. In fact, all the guys worked easily together and experienced none of the heavy scrutiny they are used to when working with their home bands. In time there was an album. The Snakepit band name was borrowed from SLASH's studio. The album title, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere" came from a bartender! SLASH was at an airport leaving for another GNR tour, and he wanted a drink but the signs said that no liquor was served there before 5 pm. SLASH asked for a drink anyway, and the bartender said....the album title! Geffen records agreed to back the album if the group name was changed to SLASH's Snakepit providing the new band with some name recognition. And that's how some rockers started out jamming and created a new band and a great rock album.
SLASH and the guys had the music nearly done when he finally found his singer, Eric Dover. Eric wrote a lot of the lyrics on the album, with Slash and alone. To check out the lyrics for It's Five O'Clock Somewhere, click LYRICS!
Above, the Snakepit recording band.
From left are: Matt Sorum (drums), Mike Inez (bass), Gilby Clarke (rhythm
guitar), SLASH (lead guitar), Eric Dover (lead vocals).
Here's the Snakepit touring band (below) looking relaxed but ready to rip. That old snakecharmer, SLASH, is to the left of drummer Brian Tichy. To SLASH's right are vocalist Eric Dover, guitarist Gilby Clarke and bassist James LoMenzo. Is this a band you would want to miss? No way, and the crowds at the Snakepit shows were large and crazy. After the show, most of the band would come outside to meet the fans informally, answer questions, have photos taken, sign autographs for every last person there even if it meant they pulled out at 3 am. The band traveled by bus, not limo, and the close accommodations made for close friends. While these were not the original band members he had chosen, SLASH soon had constructed a second, strong band.
Starting with Memphis, the US tour took off. These photos were taken by a fan at the New York City show. Canadian gigs branched off the US tour. Just when we thought we had them back for good, they slithered off to Japan for a tour at the end of May 1995. Next came a European tour from early June to mid July followed by a South American ten day tour. The band returned home but got an invitation to play at Monsters of Rock at Donington Park in the UK.
Here are some short clips from SLASH's Snakepit. First the recording band brings you one of SLASH's favorites from the album, "Be The Ball".CLICK ON THE SNAKEPIT BOOT CD, GET IN THE PIT, TO HEAR SOME OF "BE THE BALL":
And you can hear the touring band in a live performance of "Beggars & Hangers-On", also a cut from IT'S FIVE O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE. This was recorded at the New York City show, April 13, 1995. Listen to the crowd singing right along with Eric!CLICK ON THE SNAKEPIT BOOT CD, GOOD TO BE LIVE, TO HEAR PART OF A LIVE PERFORMANCE OF "BEGGARS & HANGERS-ON":