Robert "Waddy" Wachtel (born May 24, 1947) is an American musician, composer and record producer, most notable for his guitar work. Wachtel has worked as session musician for other artists such as Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Iggy Pop, Warren Zevon, Bryan Ferry, Michael Sweet, Jackson Browne, and Andrew Gold, both in the studio and live.
|Birth name||Robert Wachtel|
May 24, 1947 |
New York City, New York, United States
Wachtel was born May 24, 1947, in Jackson Heights in the New York City borough of Queens. At about age 9–10, Wachtel began to learn to play the guitar, taking lessons with teacher Gene Dell (who insisted that he learn to play right-handed despite being naturally left-handed) until about age 14. At that age, he says, he began writing songs.
Wachtel also studied with Rudolph Schramm, who was the head of the NBC staff orchestra and went on to teach music at Carnegie Hall. Schramm tried to get Wachtel to take piano lessons, but Wachtel was intent on playing guitar so Schramm agreed to give him guitar lessons three times a week on rhythm, melody and harmony.
After performing with local bands in the New York area, Wachtel formed his own band, The Orphans, who played in Connecticut and New Hampshire. Eventually the band settled into a regular bar band routine, playing in Newport, Rhode Island, where Wachtel took lessons from Sal Salvador. When the Orphans disbanded, he formed another band, Twice Nicely. At the suggestion of Bud Cowsill (of The Cowsills), he brought Twice Nicely to Los Angeles in 1968 where they recorded a few demos, but after two years, Wachtel decided to work as a session player, recording with The Cowsills and produce their albums.
In 1972, he made an appearance in the film The Poseidon Adventure with the actual band on stage in the dining room when the ship capsizes.
He also played in the Oscar's awarded short film Session Man in 1991. Wachtel has composed and played instruments for film scores including Joe Dirt, Up in Smoke, Nice Guys Sleep Alone, The Longest Yard, The Benchwarmers, Grandma's Boy, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Strange Wilderness, The House Bunny, and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. He has also composed, produced, or performed in songs with Warren Zevon, Joe Walsh, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and others.
By 1973, he played with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks on their first album Buckingham Nicks (credited as 'Waddy', no surname), and on tour. Later, when Nicks and Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac, he played rhythm guitar on their 1975 album Fleetwood Mac on the track "Sugar Daddy".
In 1980, he wrote, recorded and sang lead vocals on an album for producer Peter Asher with members of Linda Ronstadt's band, including musicians Don Grolnick, Dan Dugmore, and Rick Marotta. Both the group and the album were titled Ronin. Released on the Mercury label, the record never charted.
In 1984 he played on Steve Perry's (Journey) solo album Street Talk.
He has appeared on hundreds of albums with many different artists and bands.
Production credits include albums by Stevie Nicks, Keith Richards, Jackson Browne, Bryan Ferry, The Church, Sand Rubies, George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Warren Zevon. Wachtel co-wrote several songs with Zevon including "Werewolves of London". He also co-wrote the Warren Zevon song "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead" from the album Mr. Bad Example. He performed and co-produced the first two Zevon albums.
Wachtel also shares co-writing credits with Stevie Nicks on a few tracks such as "Annabel Lee", and "I Don't Care".
Wachtel has been credited on some albums as Bob Wachtel, but some online sources have incorrectly credited him as Richard Wachtel on albums he was credited as having played guitar on.
Wachtel and his wife Annie were arrested in 1998 on suspicion of possession of child pornography after illicit images were found on a computer they had in their home, also hard copies and duplicates of child porn were found in the home. The case against Wachtel's wife was dismissed; Wachtel pleaded no contest and was placed on probation for three years.
Wachtel plays a 1960 Gibson Les Paul and 1957 Fender Stratocaster. He said in a 1980 interview that the newest made guitar he owned was a 1964 Fender Stratocaster. In September 2014 the Gibson Custom Shop chose the 1960 Les Paul Waddy Wachtel guitar for their new Collector's Choice series.
Wachtel has performed regularly at the Los Angeles venue The Joint since 2000. The band includes, Phil Jones, Rick Rosas, and Jamie Savko, with regular guests Bernard Fowler, Blondie Chaplin and Keith Allison. 
|1977||Karla Bonoff||Columbia Records|
|1979||Restless Nights||Columbia Records|
|1982||Wild Heart of the Young||Columbia Records|
|1983||You Bought It – You Name It||Warner Bros. Records|
|1985||The Confessor||Warner Bros. Records|
|1991||Ordinary Average Guy||Epic Records|
|1975||Fleetwood Mac||Warner Bros.|
|1973||Buckingham Nicks||Polydor Records|
|1981||Bella Donna||Modern Records|
|1983||The Wild Heart||Modern Records|
|1985||Rock a Little||Modern Records|
|1991||Timespace - The Best of Stevie Nicks||Modern Records|
|2001||Trouble in Shangri-La||Reprise Records|
|2001||The Divine Stevie Nicks||EMI Records|
|2007||Crystal Visions - The Very Best of Stevie Nicks||Reprise Records|
|2009||The Soundstage Sessions||Reprise Records|
|2011||In Your Dreams||Reprise Records|
|2014||24 Karat Gold: Songs from the Vault||Reprise Records|
|1988||Talk is Cheap||Virgin Records|
|1991||Live at the Hollywood Palladium||Virgin Records(Dec 15, 1988)|
|1992||Main Offender||Virgin Records|
|2010||Vintage Vinos||Mindless Records|
|2015||Crosseyed Heart||Republic Records|
|1976||Hasten Down the Wind||Asylum Records|
|1977||Simple Dreams||Asylum Records|
|1978||Living in the USA||Asylum Records|
|1980||Mad Love||Asylum Records|
|1982||Get Closer||Asylum Records|
|1998||We Ran||Elektra Records|
|1976||In the Pocket||Warner Bros. Records|
|1981||Dad Loves His Work||Columbia Records|
|1976||Warren Zevon||Asylum Records|
|1978||Excitable Boy||Asylum Records|
|1980||Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School||Asylum Records|
|1982||The Envoy||Asylum Records|
|1991||Mr. Bad Example||Giant Records|
|1978||Up in Smoke||Lou Adler||with Danny Kortchmar and Lee Oskar|
|2001||Joe Dirt||Dennie Gordon||N/A|
|2003||Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star||Sam Weisman||with Christophe Beck|
|2006||Grandma's Boy||Nicholaus Goossen||N/A|
|The Benchwarmers||Dennis Dugan||N/A|
|'Last Request||John DeBellis||N/A|
|2008||Strange Wilderness||Fred Wolf||N/A|
|The House Bunny||Fred Wolf||N/A|
|2009||Paul Blart: Mall Cop||Steve Carr||N/A|
|2011||Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star||Tom Brady||N/A|
|Jack and Jill||Dennis Dugan||with Rupert Gregson-Williams|
|2013||Jimi: All Is by My Side||John Ridley||with Danny Bramson|
|2015||Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser||Fred Wolf||Digital film|