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Mark Chatfield Feture

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Mike from GR

Posted 10 March 2007 - 08:38 AM

Mike from GR

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Guitarist with Grove City ties adds bang to Silver Bullet Band
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Aaron Beck

Some people would be thrilled not to work a second job.

For someone such as Mark Chatfield, a call from the boss at his second gig ó playing lead guitar in the Silver Bullet Band ó simply means tossing the keys of his Las Vegas guitar shop to one of the six employees, locking the house and hitting the road.

Chatfield, a 1974 graduate of Grove City High School who played in the popular Midwestern hard-rock band the Godz, has performed with the Bob Seger group since 1983.

In 1982, Silver Bullet Band member and former Grand Funk Railroad drummer Don Brewer invited Chatfield to attend an audition for Seger.

Brewer knew Chatfield from his stint as producer of the 1978 self-titled Godz album. (Chatfield had also joined the post-Grand Funk band Flint.)

At the audition, "I walked in wearing an Ohio State football jersey," said Chatfield, 50. "Bob thought that was pretty funny, him being from Ann Arbor. We hit it off."

Plenty of preparation also helped.

"Most of the guys who auditioned paid a lot more attention to the staple material ó Against the Wind, Old Time Rock & Roll," Chatfield said. "I was the first guy to come in and audition. Iíd taken it upon myself to learn the Distance album, which had just come out.

"When the guys in the band started fooling around with the songs, I knew them and I got the job."

Chatfield, lead guitarist for the latest tour, played rhythm guitar on the 1983 and í96 treks.

The differences between hanging out with the hardrocking and hard-living Godz and traveling with Seger are vast, to say the least.

By bus or motor home, the Godz played four or five consecutive nights during breakneck cross-country jaunts.

The pace, combined with what Chatfield called "having the times of our lives too many nights," caused their demise.

"The Godz went from being an opening band to being kind of a semi-headline band in í77 to í79, depending on who we were out with and where we were."

In 1977, the Godz, with Cheap Trick, opened shows for Kiss during the "Love Gun" tour.

"It was grueling, but we were young. We had lots of energy. Youíre 22, 23 years old and in a touring rock band, and youíre on such an adrenaline ó and everything-else ó high that you donít notice any of the bad stuff going on."

During his initial outing with Seger, Chatfield quickly acclimated to the gentlemanly ways of the Motor City bandleader.

"The first tour I did with him, we flew commercial but we stayed in all four- or fivestar hotels," the guitarist said. "The í96 tour, we had a private plane and all great hotels.

"This tour, itís a private jet."

After all of his shows, Seger "comes right off the stage and right into a car, and ó bam ó heís out of there," Chatfield said.

Then, depending on the location, Seger either flies home or heads for a house he rents and uses as a hub until the tour gets closer to Michigan.

The rest of the musicians stay overnight in a hotel, then fly to the next gig.

"Thatís great, and itís bad," Chatfield said with a laugh. "If I would ever have the occasion to go out with another band and they wanted to put me on a bus again, I donít think I could ever do it. Iím too spoiled."

The Face the Promise tour, he said, ranks as the most enjoyable yet: Seger is playing his usual four-on-the-floor show but a little more loosely.

"I donít want to say heís mellower. Onstage, heís not at all. But his personality is.

"Heís a lot more like one of the guys: Heíll joke. Heíll do little anecdotes onstage ó which heís never done. Heís just having a hell of a lot more fun, and it really shows in his personality and performances.

"Iím grateful that heís called me back."

As for the Godz, Chatfield still joins them when he gets that call, too.

He last performed with the group, which occasionally resurfaces with vocalist Eric Moore at the helm, in 2004 at a festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

"The band is still popular over there," Chatfield said. "We played with the Scorpions, Judas Priest, Alice Cooper. Thereís a song called Under the Table on the first album that gets airplay over there."

For no reason other than a busy schedule, he said, he hasnít talked to Moore since the trip to Amsterdam.

"Iím really looking forward to the show in Columbus. I need to give Eric a call: I have a pair of tickets for him."



Posted 10 March 2007 - 09:22 AM


    Brave Stranger

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Nice article, Mike! Thanks for posting it. I'd not seen much in print about Chatfield and he's such a great guitarist. It's so much fun to watch him playing onstage since he looks like he's having such a blast, as is the rest of the band!

When I read his comment about Seger, "...Heíll do little anecdotes onstage ..." made me think of one show when I know I heard him introduce Craig Frost as Glen Frey (I have a witness! lol). Was guessing that it might have been an inside joke. Either that or, I'm gettin' old.

So looking forward to seeing the band live again next week!! :D


Posted 10 March 2007 - 12:44 PM


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Great article. I was at that tour in 1977 when he opened for Kiss. Richfield Colliseum and we got stranded overnight there because while we were in the show we got 27 inches of snow and alor of folks were kind of stuck. The guys my girlfriend and I went with car would not start grrrr. They let whom ever was stuck at the show sleep in the Cav's locker room for the night. That was back before they got the Gun or the Q as it is now called.


Posted 12 March 2007 - 06:52 AM


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"Iím grateful that heís called me back."

So am I.

I really enjoy watching Mark on stage,
he is remarkable to say the least.
I also enjoyed the HUGE ovation he got
from his home town. Were talking first class.
I have also met him and seems like a well, like a Rock Star.

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