Bruce Gaitsch was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. His early inspiration to write and perform came from many sources. His father was a pedal steel player on the WLS Barndance for years and owned a music store frequented by many up and coming stars of the midwest scene. (Ted Nugent, The Shadows of Knight, The Buckinghams and Chicago) Bruce’s exposure to all this led him to follow the same road. Bruce paid his dues in grade school, high school and college by playing every possible kind of gig in Chicago. He joined Jim Petenck’s (Ides of March, Survivor) band in 1975 and together they recorded an album for Epic Records. Touring with Boston and Heart as an opening act further fueled his passion. He went on to record more than 3000 sessions in Chicago up until he moved to Los Angeles in 1984.Arriving in LA, he played David Hawk Wolinski (“Ain’t Nobody”) a few songs. Hawk was producing Evelyn Champagne King at the time and used two of the songs on her records with Bruce playing the guitars. Bruce’s first cover went to #13 on the soul charts, “Just for the Night.”
Another friend from Chicago, Richard Marx, was looking for a record deal at this same time. Bruce played in Richard’s band for the showcases that got him signed. Then they wrote and recorded Richard’s debut single “Don’t Mean Nothing,” which was Bruce’s first song in the top five. Richard and Bruce continue their friendship as well as their writing and recording relationship to this day.
Another frequent collaborator (and fellow ex-Chicagoan) is Patrick Leonard. Together with Madonna they wrote a song for her “True Blue” record and it became Bruce’s first number one song: “La Isla Bonita.” This song won Bruce an ASCAP most performed award for 1987. The song has gone on to be #1 in over 24 countries worldwide.
Timothy B. Schmidt (Eagles), Peter Cetera, Chicago, Kansas, The Fixx, Restless Heart, Poco, Phillip Bailey, Tom Scott, Agnetta Faltskog (ABBA), Lara Fabian, and over 100 other artists have also recorded Bruce’s songs.
Most recently Bruce has produced an album for Dutch superstar Ilse DeLange on Warner Bros. Records. The CD entitled Clean Up spent 5 weeks at #1 in Holland. Watch for her worldwide release soon. Bruce also appeared in Christopher Guest’s latest film A Mighty Wind. Bruce appears in the film as, you guessed it, a guitarist.
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