Solo albums: Instructional videos: Instructional CD-ROMs: A great guitar virtuoso. What is more surprising is his youth (he's probably the youngest member of my Olympus). He studied guitar at G.I.T. (Guitar Institute of Technology) in L.A., where he won the "Outstanding student of the year" mention, and he also won the "L.A. Guitar Wars". He was born in Carvendine, Illinois, on November 6, 1966.


This band was formed in late 1985 by Paul and other student in GIT, bassist John Alderete.

As Paul was the most famous name in the band, their first album, Street lethal, is credited to "Racer X with Paul Gilbert".

Soon after this album, in 1986, the drummer is changed, and also another GIT student arrives here, Bruce Bouillet.


They release their second album, Second heat, with help of Mike Mani, playing keyboards in two tracks. Recorded on November and December 1986, it's a very good album. The instrumental tracks are killers, and it contains a very good cover of David Bowie's classic "Moonage daydream".

But in June 1988, Paul Gilbert leaves the band to form his own outfit, Mr. Big. Racer X continued along several lineups until his final split in April 1990.

It was released a live album with Gilbert, Extreme volume - live, after Gilbert had left. Years later, in 1992, it was released another live album Extreme volume II - live. Both were recorded from the same concert.


The name of the band was taken probably from the song by the band Free. I remember the excitement when it was known that both virtuosi, Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan were to play together.

Their first, self-titled album, Mr. Big contained great songs. The CD edition contained 1 bonus track, "30 days in the hole", a song written by Steve Marriott for his band Humble Pie. One of the songs is co-written by Journey's former keyboardist, Jonathan Cain.

Lean into it also was a great album. Two of the songs were written by Paul Gilbert alone. It contains his big-seller ballad, the beautiful "To be with you".

Finally, after several more albums, and without an official declaration of separation, the members of the band started doing their own things. The great Billy Sheehan started his new amazing band, Niacin, and Paul resumed his solo career.

The band has recently reunited in 1999, but without Paul Gilbert this time.

As a side note, there was an earlier band with the same name, commanded by singer Jeff Dicken, from 1975 to 1977. They released two albums: "Sweet silence" (1975) and "Mr. Big" (1977). So, don't be confused.


Tribute to Jimi Hendrix is what you can expect, of course! It was recorded live at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival on June 2, 1991, although for some reason, the bass parts were recorded live later in a studio. The lineup is:

It contains 5 tracks, with superb renditions of Jimi's music. "Hey Joe" is fantastic here, but my favourite track is "Purple Haze", more than 9 minutes of endless fretwork. Love it!!!

His new album, King of clubs, contains something similar to a Racer X reunion. In one very long song, we can find together Paul Gilbert, Bruce Bouillet, John Alderete and Jeff Martin. Another musician in the album is Mr. Big's drummer, Pat Torpey. The single is 'Girls Who Can Read Your Mind' but you get two non LP bonus tracks: 'Lucy Brown' and a guitar version of Elton John's 'Bennie and the Jets'. The album itself is quite different from what you should expect from Paul.

As well as albums, he has released several instructional videos (and a CD-ROM), where he shows how to perform licks of his own.


Press here to read about Paul Gilbert sessions

Links related

Family tree

Coming soon (I hope so!).

Thanks section

Thanks to: The Shred Baron, for lots of info about some rare releases; Janne Stark, for info about Black Sheep and Darrell Mansfield; Dia Orlowski, for lots of info about The Szuters.


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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 27/March/1998. Last modified on: 20/October/1999.