The Ballbreaker Column

Autograph, Begins New Chapter with Guitarist Jimi Bell

It has been an exciting year so far for Autograph and Jimi Bell. The band has been playing shows and keeping rock and roll alive. Now the group is starting a new chapter with the addition of Jimi Bell replacing founding member Steve Lynch. I had the opportunity to interview Jimi Bell, a guitarist who has had a fantastic career. I had the chance to talk to him about joining the band and also being in the movie light of day.

Angel Alamo: How did you get the gig in Autograph?

Jimi Bell: I met Steve and Randy many years back at NAMM. We reconnected about five years ago when Autograph and Maxx Explosion played on the same bill. Steve and I are good friends, and when Autograph played close to my area, I would get together with them and hang out. They are the nicest down-to-Earth guys. When Steve made his departure announcement, I contacted Randy and said I would love an opportunity to audition as a guitarist. The rest is history.

AA: What were the rehearsals like?

JB: Rehearsals were incredible. From the very first song we played together, it was like magic. We instantly connected on all levels, musically, vocally, and as friends. Lots of good energy!!

Photo Credit: Christopher Carroll Photography

AA: Had you ever met any of the guys in the band before?

JB: Yes ( see question one)

AA: Did you have any concerns replacing a founder member of the band?

JB: As I stated before, Steve and I are very good friends, and we have nothing but the utmost respect for each other. My main concern was to do my absolute best for the band and their fans. Our first show together was amazing. The response was truly overwhelming. They all welcomed me into the Autograph family. I’m so honored.

AA: How do you manage being involved in multiple musical projects?

JB: Well, I have always been a full-time musician, so I try to stay as busy as possible whether it’s performing or recording. I truly love being a member of Autograph, and all their show are a top priority.

AA: You was in the movie light of the day. How did you get that gig?

JB: My band Joined Forces was managed by a member of Blackheart Records at the time. We did an east coast tour with Joan Jett which led to us getting the part in the movie. Joan is incredible and has always treated me great.

AA: How was it making the movie?

JB: It was an amazing experience being in a national motion picture. I can’t say enough wonderful things about Michael J Fox and Joan Jett.
Up at 4am for makeup which took a couple hours before any filming started. We did about ten takes of the song then let all the extras in for the scene — what an incredible time we had.

AA: What was the first studio album that you played on?

JB: Honestly, I can’t remember. I know the Joined Forces EP came out in 1984, but I do remember playing on a few other things prior. On my website the covers of all the CDs I played on are posted. At least the ones I can remember.

AA: Are there any festivals you still want to perform?

JB: ALL OF THEM !!! LOL!!! I’m really looking forward to playing as many shows and festivals as possible with AUTOGRAPH for years to come.

AA: Any plans for new music from Autograph?

JB: All of us are writers. I’m definitely looking forward to collaborating on new music with Simon, Randy, and Marc. In fact, I have already been laying down ideas for new songs with the band. I actually played one of them for the guys at rehearsal, and they loved it.

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By Angel Alamo

Angel is co-host on The Metal Summit & has been featured in Metal Sludge, sleaze roxx & other publications.