Earlier this year Racer X bassist extraordinaire Juan Alderete had suffered a severe brain injury.  He was riding his bike, and although he was wearing a helmet, fell, hit himself on the head. At the time, it looked like he wouldn’t recover.  Thankfully, things have started turning around for him. But like many others, the issues of his hospital bills remain. 

Juan has played in The Scream, Mars Volta, most recently Marilyn Manson. But, Racer X is where many first became acquainted with his bass mastery.  The band has gotten back together over the years. They’ve recorded new albums, and done some sporadic shows.  This time around, they’ve banded together to help Juan. They are releasing a left over track from their Technical Difficulties album.  The track happens to be a cover of the old Patridge Family song, “I Think I Love You”.  During the intro, guitarist Paul Gilbert explains how he dug the song up, finished it. He also gives you a brief overview of Juan’s current condition.

Check the video out here:

If you want to donate to Juan’s GoFundMe, you can do so here.


Racer X first came to my attention thanks to WSOU playing their cover of the Judas Priest song “Heart Of A Lion”.  I remember waiting around in my brothers room to hear the song.  He had the only receiver in the house that could pick up SOU.  I still can picture the old black and gold cassette tape, a Maxell knock off, that I used to record the track.  I’d play it over and over again. 

At the time I had a mailman that was a huge fan of Shrapnel Records. He would talk about Racer X, how Deen Castronovo was the greatest drummer in the world all the time. He professed that the label had the greatest lineup of artists going.  Very few can argue that Mike Varney had assembled a ridiculously talented stable of players.  I remember the mailman telling me this one story. “Eddie Van Halen has stopped going to shows in L.A., because Paul Gilbert has challenged him. He wants to prove he can best him in a shred off, and do so if he ever ran into him at a club.”  I don’t know the validity of this rumor, but there is no doubt that Racer X was composed of a bunch of top notch players.

While running the site Earpeeler, I came across Juan’s YouTube channel. It’s called Pedals And Effects, and as the name suggests, deals with all sorts of guitar pedals. What makes the show great is that he is always honest, and tells you if he felt something was crap, or road worthy.  To top it off, he always had some weird pedal no one had heard of to try.  It was great!  The last video was uploaded shortly before his accident.

If you’ve never heard their cover of the Judas Priest song “Heart Of A Lion” check it out here:

We wish Juan a speedy recovery, help him if you can.

Article by Victor M. Ruiz of Mars Attacks Radio & Podcast, and Galaxy Of Geeks Podcast.  Connect with him on Twitter:  @vmr907

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