Who’s The New Guy? Warren’s Bassist Joins Duran Duran!
By Cyndi Glass
Wes Wehmiller has personally confirmed that he is to be Duran Duran’s bassist for the Fall 1997 promotional events, including the tour being planned for October through December. “I’d have to say that this is the biggest break I’ve had,” Wes said from his apartment in Los Angeles. We at Privacy would like to officially welcome him aboard and say that Duran Duran is fortunate to have a bassist of his caliber.
In mid September, I had coincidentally called him to interview him about doing Warren’s solo shows in March 1996 and he thought that the Duran gig was what I was calling about. He was originally asked in July and “got butterflies about it,” but now he’s really ready to go and looking forward to it. “I’ll be like Steve,” he says (Steve Alexander, the drummer), meaning that he and Steve will be hired musicians, like Warren was from 1986 to 1989 for Duran Duran. “Duran Duran is officially Simon, Nick and Warren. They’re the ones who are going to be doing all the press.” He admits to being slightly nervous about the reaction of the John fans, but says that Warren says he’ll be fine. “I was asking Warren if I was tall enough, if I was British enough,” he jokes.
Wes has been learning about Duran Duran. “I’ve been watching Pop-Up Video. I think I need to rent Barbarella,” he says, saying that he learned about the connection to Barbarella from Warren when his solo song “Retro Harmonix” was re-titled “Orgasmatron” in the fall of 1995. Wes is 26 years old and grew up near Philadelphia and in Delaware, attending the Berklee School of Music in Boston and then moving to Los Angeles, where he has worked with Ahmet Zappa and Cree Summers, as well as doing TV jingles and playing with Sound Assembly. He met Warren through Joe Travers, who, along with Wes, has comprised Warren’s “American band” for his solo shows. Wes played bass for Warren at his solo shows in March 1996 in New York and Los Angeles to promote “Thanks 2 Frank,” as well as traveling to London to play in a set where Warren opened for Joe Satriani.
Wes says that they plan to do Leno on October 9, Rosie O’Donnell on Oct. 14, the Universal City Walk and an hour long VH-1 performance, plus more, and he is really excited about being part of it. He says that for most of the shows they will only be doing one or two songs and those will be new ones, but for anything long, they have a set list: (Note: this was as of Sept. 6, 1997 and has probably changed by now. Warren says it’s a 2 hour show!): Medazzaland, Hungry Like The Wolf, View To A Kill, Electric Barbarella, Big Bang Generation, Girls On Film (“this really whacked out Doors version of it” 95 version), Out Of My Mind, Reflex, Who Do You Think You Are?, Save A Prayer, Come Undone, Ordinary World)