Official Statement -

This Boy Needs To Rock

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Official Statement -

Postby Andrew » Wed Apr 11, 2007 10:55 am

What follows is a statement from Night Ranger in response to a message from former guitarist Jeff Watson posted on a Night Ranger Message Board yesterday:

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of Jeff Watson's comments regarding his departure from Night Ranger. There are four sides to this story our three are the same; only Jeff's is different.
While we don't want to get into details at this point in time, we are all truly sorry that our significant and continuing differences with Jeff could not be worked out. Still, we wish Jeff nothing but success in all of his future endeavors and are grateful for his positive contributions in the past."
- Jack Blades (bass/vocals), Brad Gillis (guitars/vocals), Kelly Keagy (drums/vocals).
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Postby jrnyman28 » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:42 am

Well that sure is bland and so very PC......
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My one experience meeting the band

Postby sachmo3 » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:14 am

A few years back, I was lucky enough to be on the same flight as Night Ranger (minus Kelly). They were returning from a concert in Conway, Arkansas. I got the nerve to walk back and ask for autographs. Jack and Brad were incredibly nice and seemed genuinely greatful for the recognition. Once I mentioned to Jack that I thought Higher Place (song co-written with Neal Schon for Journey's Arrival) was one of the better rock songs written that year, he lit up and mentioned his appreciation for the comment. Jack and Brad then started asking me questions about what I do, etc. Regardless of whether they really cared, the fact that they showed interest in 'another fan getting an autograph' left me a rather nice and long-lasting impression of these brilliant musicians.

I then went up a few rows to get an autograph from Jeff. In his defense, he seemed exhausted - and he did sign for me - but without the niceties and courtesies I received from the rest of the band. I obviously had disturbed his peace.

Take it for what it's worth. Regardless, it's a shame from a fan's standpoint that Jeff has left. These guys owned the market on the dueling guitar sound.
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Postby tapsmiled » Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:48 am

I too had a very nice exchange with Kelly and Brad after a MOJO era show in South Florida. I had had pretty much the worst day of my life....which of course had to fall on the same day that they were playing. I almost cancelled my plans of attending, but at the last minute decided that they were exactly what I needed. So, tears in my eyes, I watched the whole show and afterwards went behind the venue and met Kelly, Brad, and Gary. They were very accomodating and friendly. They were the medicine I needed at the time. Stories such as yours and mine are what make this whole fiasco that much worse and confusing...
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Re: My one experience meeting the band

Postby Deuce » Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:45 am

sachmo3 wrote:Once I mentioned to Jack that I thought Higher Place (song co-written with Neal Schon for Journey's Arrival) was one of the better rock songs written that year, he lit up and mentioned his appreciation for the comment.


I never knew that Jack co-wrote that one! Great song.
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Re: My one experience meeting the band

Postby RockInDetroit » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:20 am

sachmo3 wrote:A few years back, I was lucky enough to be on the same flight as Night Ranger (minus Kelly). They were returning from a concert in Conway, Arkansas. I got the nerve to walk back and ask for autographs. Jack and Brad were incredibly nice and seemed genuinely greatful for the recognition. Once I mentioned to Jack that I thought Higher Place (song co-written with Neal Schon for Journey's Arrival) was one of the better rock songs written that year, he lit up and mentioned his appreciation for the comment. Jack and Brad then started asking me questions about what I do, etc. Regardless of whether they really cared, the fact that they showed interest in 'another fan getting an autograph' left me a rather nice and long-lasting impression of these brilliant musicians.

I then went up a few rows to get an autograph from Jeff. In his defense, he seemed exhausted - and he did sign for me - but without the niceties and courtesies I received from the rest of the band. I obviously had disturbed his peace.

Take it for what it's worth. Regardless, it's a shame from a fan's standpoint that Jeff has left. These guys owned the market on the dueling guitar sound.


Just one experience. Honestly, I don't like what has happened with Night Ranger. It really sucks, but that is just one experience. The guys in Night Ranger....ALL OF THEM have been nice to me. I have met all the guys (original lineup). Sometimes they were great beyond the call of great.

Let me use Kelly as an example. The first time I met Kelly was on the Man In Motion Tour. Keep in mind that Night Ranger broke up shortly after this time. Kelly did not seem happy, he was alone and I happened to catch him walking into the concert venue just as Night Ranger was going on stage. Things were probably not honky doory in the band at the time…..they were just all sick every thing and the problems they had with the record company…..may not of been getting along internally either for all I know. Kelly was walking into a venue which was small in comparison to what Night Ranger had played and they were opening up for Kansas…if you ask me it should’ve been the other way around. I was SO excited because Night Ranger was my favorite band….I had never met any of the members and met very few rockstars at the time. Kelly was good too me, but seemed really down and in a rush….they were going on stage in a couple minutes. Years later I had met Kelly again during the Mojo tour. Kelly was so gracious to the fans. He went out of his way to be friendly. It was freezing cold out side that day…he did not care he stood out there with the fans as long as they wanted to stay. He chatted and took pictures with every one. He even had his 12 year old son with him at the time.

So the point I am trying to make is they all have moments, Jeff has been an Allstar with me…actually all the guys in person have been. Jeff though is fantastic with fans…try emailing Jeff…he almost always responds. Kelly and Jack never respond. Brad has responded but is very brief. That is ok, I don’t fault Jack, Kelly and Brad....they don’t know who is emailing them and for what purpose. But Jeff, he feels an obligation to respond to the fans..that is why he wrote the statement he did. He knows he probably shouldn’t afterall Jeff mentions the lawyers involved in the case. Jeff I am absolutely positive had been receiving emails for a couple months asking…Jeff whats up are you in Night Ranger. I emailed him probably a month before he responded……he just had enough….and felt it was time to issue a statement. He may get in trouble for it who knows but Jeff didn’t care because he feels an obligation to the fans.

This whole thing saddens me….we now have a fractured version of Night Ranger. Sad thing also is they were better live than they had ever been.
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Postby X factor » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:13 pm

tapsmiled wrote:I too had a very nice exchange with Kelly and Brad after a MOJO era show in South Florida. I had had pretty much the worst day of my life....which of course had to fall on the same day that they were playing. I almost cancelled my plans of attending, but at the last minute decided that they were exactly what I needed. So, tears in my eyes, I watched the whole show and afterwards went behind the venue and met Kelly, Brad, and Gary. They were very accomodating and friendly. They were the medicine I needed at the time. Stories such as yours and mine are what make this whole fiasco that much worse and confusing...


Yeah, I met all the guys at the height of their popularity (7 WISHES tour) after a show in Nashville, and they were, for the most part, really cordial. I stood in line to meet Jack and Jeff for autographs, and when I got there I told Jack that I just wanted to shake his hand,that he needn't sign anything- and he lit up like a Xmas tree and talked to me for 10 minutes. Then we threw a football around the buses with Brad, and we later met FItz out on front of their hotel. He was probably the nicest of all, as he must've talked with us for almost a half an hour, shooting the shit and giving us advice on the business (which I desperately wanted to be a part of at the time).
The only one who really didn't talk to us? Kelly...he seemed a bit more stand-offish. So I guess you never know how these guy'll react. I think the point is that, as a whole, this is a band who have always been fan-friendly and apprecitative to their audience. I hate to see Jeff go, but DAMN- Reb ? Pretty killer replacement...
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Postby Wally_Hatchet » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:35 am

I met Kelly and Brad after a Gary Moon-era show. They both went out of their way to talk with just a fan, and kept initiating more and more conversation. You don't see that much anymore with established rock stars. Then they asked me what my thoughts were on Gary taking over for Jack. I was being polite and said, "Jack who"? They both laughed their asses off. Anyway, they really wanted to know what thier fans thought about the new guy and the three-piece thing...

I guess I could have been completely honest and told them Gary was decent, but admittedly I missed the keys and 2nd guitar. Still, good show.
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Postby Faceman » Tue Apr 17, 2007 10:37 am

I had a really cool exchange with Jeff when the band was touring for the Neverland album. The show was at Toad's Place in New Haven, CT and after the show I managed to get back stage with the band. They were hanging out and all were very approachable - Fitz asked if he could put his hat on before we had a photo taken.

Being that I am a guitarist, I approached Jeff and asked him about his practice routine, as his chops were smoking and only seemed to get better. Jeff then started to detail some of his exercises but he found it hard to describe without a guitar in his hand. To my absolute amazement, he said "let's go grab my guitar so that I can show you."

I thought we were going to grab a guitar from the stage, so I was totally surprised when we left the venue and walked onto the Night Ranger tour bus. We went to the back of the bus and Jeff grabbed his gold top Les Paul and started going through his practice routine. After a few minutes he jumped and grabbed us a few Amstel's from the front of the bus, at which time Brad got on the bus and came to where we were sitting to be sure that nobody was messing with his Stratocaster, which was in its case right in front of me.

By the time Jeff and I were finished the rest of the band had boarded the bus. We hung out for a while and drank a few more beers, after which I said goodbye and headed home. It was a great thrill to hang with Jeff and play a few licks on his Les Paul. He couldn't have been more pleasant.

I don't know what to think about Jeff's departure from the band. There are always two sides to every story and rather than take a side, I'll just remember that one night.

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Postby JohnH » Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:05 pm

This was probably the first rock band I ever met, except for Great White. They were always totally cool to me and my friends and we were just wide eyed, rock star worshipping teenagers in 1983. The experience has always stayed with me, so of course I am really bummed out at the news. I know there is two sides to every story, being in bands myself, so I'm not blaming anybody.

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