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The Highway Star

Steal from everybody and get your own style

Metal Edge magazine has reprinted online a Ritchie Blackmore interview from February 1997. It goes from the heat of the moment to some timeless advice.

What do you love most about the guitar?

Blackmore: Its shape. The guitar for me, when I was about 11, I was very introverted and I wanted something to relate to. I found I could express myself through it.

Did it bring you out of your shell?

Blackmore: Yes and no, I just went more into my shell with my guitar. Then I’d go onstage and be an extrovert.

Was that scary, the first time onstage?

Blackmore: Yeah, that’s when I’d start drinking. I still get nervous, as to whether I can pull out the sounds I want to hear and I get aggravated sometimes if we’re playing places where the acoustics aren’t right or the band isn’t playing well. It’s very hard for me to say, “another dollar, another day,” unlike some people I know. You can only just cross your fingers and hope for the best. You never get a perfect show. You can come close, but there are too many variables. The electricity can go off or a string will break. But the audience is a lot more tolerant than I would think.

Read more in Metal Edge.

78 Comments to “Steal from everybody and get your own style”:

  1. 1
    MacGregor says:

    “But the audience is a lot more tolerant than I would think”. They certainly are Richard, how many times has an audience been left rather annoyed I wonder. You never know what you are going to get with Blackmore. Oh well as that saying goes, ‘that’s show biz’. And that other saying ‘the show must go on’. Cheers.

  2. 2
    Gregster says:

    Good to hear from the “man-in-black” once again, even if it is an older interview !

    Peace !

  3. 3
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Old and recycled but still nice to read
    Peace ✌️

  4. 4
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Like most gifted musicians, Ritchie is not really good at describing, much less analyzing his own style.

    The best description/analysis of Ritchie’s guitar playing I’ve come across is this one here:


    That site is a treasure trove for other heavy guitar heroes too:


    And the guy


    who describes Ritchie’s style so succinctly below sure knows what he is talking about:

    “Famous / Infamous for:

    Ha! Where does one begin? Kick back and get comfortable, this could take a while!

    Famous for: Countless classic guitar riffs. Introducing classical elements into rock music. Ritchie Blackmore is, along with Tony Iommi, and Jimmy Page, one of the founding fathers of Heavy Metal, and THE founding father of the Neo-Classical guitar school. Ritchie has also discovered some of the best rock singers on the planet including: Ian Gillan, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Ronnie James Dio, along with somewhat less-legendary rock mainstays Joe Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet.

    Infamous for: Being moody, sullen, incredibly stubborn, and difficult to work with. He delights in, and nurtures this reputation while poking fun at it at the same time. Almost as much Strat abuse as Townshend and Hendrix. Ritchie has probably destroyed hundreds of crappy Strats and copies during performances. Feuding with Ian Gillan. Directing Rainbow stage performances like a traffic cop. Changing his band’s lineup more frequently than most of us change our socks. Having the loudest amplifiers ever built and “pointing them at the singer.” Dressing in black in the 70s and 80s. Dressing like Errol Flynn (of Sherwood Forest) these days. Having a gorgeous blonde wife who’s about the same age as his son. Having significantly more and thicker hair at age 55 than he did an age 25. Legendary Blackmore stories abound: During Purple’s performance at the California Jam in 1974, Ritchie beat the snot out of a $70,000 television camera with his Strat (because it got too close to him). He then doused his amplifiers in gasoline and and set them ablaze. Eventually they blew up, setting the stage on fire in the process. As the authorities descended on the conflagration, Ritchie jumped in a helicopter and took off.


    Obvious: Ritchie has readily admitted he lifted a few ideas from Hendrix and has stated that hearing Zeppelin’s first album showed him the way (to turn Deep Purple from a second rate psychedelic band into a hard rock monster). Other influences are clearly classical and medieval music.

    But as far as I’m concerned, as a guitarist, Ritchie is a true original. His style is unique, distinctive, and instantly recognizable. While other players often sound like Ritchie, Ritchie sounds like no one else.

    Not-so-obvious: Ritchie has listed Big Jim Sullivan, Duane Eddy, Hank B. Marvin, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, James Burton, Les Paul among his guitar influences.


    Riffs. For a guy who doesn’t consider himself much of a composer, Ritchie has created a staggering number of classic guitar riffs: Speed King, Strange Kind Of Women, Smoke on the Water, Highway Star, Lazy, Space Truckin’, Woman From Tokyo, Burn, Lay Down Stay Down, Mistreated, Man on the Silver Mountain, Kill The King, Long Live Rock ‘N’Roll. The list goes on.

    Classical influence. Ritchie brought Bach to Rock. It was Ritchie who first injected rock guitar with the classical scales and chord progressions that inspired future legions of rock guitarists. He also brought medieval, baroque influences to his music. These influences particularly color Ritchie’s terrific melodic sense.

    Blues influence. Added to the classical influence is a strong and very unique blues sense that sets him apart from a pure Neo-Classical style.

    Great chops. Sure, there are guys who can outshred him now, but who was playing as fast and as clean as Ritchie back 1970? Not many. If you don’t believe me, get a copy of Deep Purple In Concert 1970-72 and check out the blistering playing on Wring that Neck. In many ways Ritchie was really the first true shredder, and certainly the founding father of the Neo-Classical guitar style. And unlike some of his contemporaries, he hasn’t lost his chops with age.

    Brilliant improvisationalist. Unique, original, instantly-recognizable lead style. Described in more detail in the Guitar Style section below.

    Perhaps his biggest strength is that he’s Ritchie Blackmore and the rest of us aren’t.


    Ritchie only runs into trouble when he loses interest in something. On those occasions, he’s prone to mailing it in — be it a live or studio performance. He’s also been known to let his mood adversely effect his performance.

    Ritchie is also a disinterested rhythm guitar player: In a 1978 Guitar Player interview He said: “I hate to do rhythm tracks, they bore me silly.” And though this comment was made in the context of laying tracks in the studio, the same can be said of Ritchie’s live rhythm playing. In the same interview, he also states: “I love to have that freedom of just going onstage and playing whatever I want to play at the time. I’ll play the numbers which I’m supposed to play, but in the in-between parts if I’m feeling good I’ll play something completely off the wall that I’ve never ever played in my life. In other words, I just lay back for the vocal and then I do my bit when it comes to the solo. I don’t like to do intricate things in the backgrounds; I don’t like to clutter. I like the foundation to be simple.” Details of Ritchie’s rhythm approach appear in the Guitar Style section below.

    You also rarely hear Ritchie play the same guitar solo twice. Wanna know why? He says:”I have a very bad technical memory, so I can’t remember, if I write a tune, exactly what the notes are. It’s really exasperating, ’cause I’ll write one and that’s great, I’ll play it again and record it. And I’ll play it again and, oh dear, I’ve forgotten it. What did I play? It’s really annoying.”(from Trouser Press, July 1978)

    The most unfortunate aspect of this trend is that Ritchie seems completely uninterested in returning to rock music. Ritchie’s acoustic medieval music project Blackmore’s Night, showcases some intricate playing and nice melodies, but in my opinion, it’s entirely too nice — and a great cure for insomnia! It lacks the fire and brimstone of his rock work. By comparison, I find a lot more fire, passion, and excitement in Michael Schenker’s acoustic/electric compositions.


    The most exhaustive rundown of Ritchie’s gear I’ve ever seen is here. To summarize, in the early Purple days (and prior) Ritchie used a Gibson ES-335 and a Vox AC-30. However the Blackmore sound that would become famous centered around mostly-stock Strats and very modded Marshalls. From very early on, Ritchie scalloped the necks on his Strats. He uses stock Fender tremolos, and he eventually settled on rosewood necks exclusively.

    Ritchie played a variety of different CBS-era Strats in the Deep Purple days. But by the late 70s, he had found a white 1974 rosewood-necked Strat that he particularly liked, and that guitar became his main guitar longer than any other. Through most of the 80s with Rainbow, this Strat contained Schecter 500Ts (big magnets) in the bridge and neck positions (the middle pickup on Ritchie’s Strats are always either removed or disconnected and lowered flush with the pickguard). Later on, these were replaced by some stacked humbuckers and a variety of other pups Ritchie tried in efforts to achieve his sound, but kill the hum. This guitar was later ruined by an over zealous guitar tech who planed the scallops out of the fingerboard. Ritchie’s current number 1 is a similar, white 70s Strat fitted with a Roland GK-1 synth pickup in addition to normal guitar pickups.

    Ritchie never liked the sound of stock Marshalls, and through most of the late Purple and Rainbow years Ritchie used modified 200 watt Marshall Majors with two extra tubes built into an extra output stage. These 280 watt beasts are purportedly the loudest guitar amps ever made, and Ritchie ran them full-out, both live and in the studio. I saw Rainbow in the 80s — these amps were positively earsplitting! Fortunately he only used one at a time and the extra stacks on stage were just reserves. These days, Ritchie uses and endorses ENGL amps. The company even makes a Ritchie Blackmore Signature model amplifier.

    Also integral to Ritchie’s sound for years, has been an old reel-to-reel tape recorder modified into an echo unit. He runs it between the guitar and the amp and it also preamps and boosts the signal going to the amp. And while people don’t usually associate Ritchie with specific effects (other than the echo), in the glory days of Dio-era Rainbow, Ritchie used a lot of phase shifter. He also had a set of Moog Tarus bass pedals (though these are not a guitar effect).

    Tech details aside, suffice it to say that Ritchie’s tone is a very Hard Rock Strat tone. And despite the lethal levels of wattage and volume involved, it’s not a very gainy sound. It’s certainly got more crunch and bite than say the Knopfler and Gilmour Strat tones. But it’s less gainy, and thinner-sounding than Gary Moore’s Strat tone of the 80s. It’s closer to Jeff Beck’s Strat tone, but cleaner and slightly thinner.

    Guitar Style:

    Ritchie’s rhythm style is very sparse and part of what makes him sound unique. Instead of a traditional, chordal, rhythm guitar part, Ritchie frequently plays single notes that mimic the bass line — for example, a root-octave figure, or a root-5th-octave figure. In these cases, he frequently employs ascending and descending chromatic turnarounds at the end of a verse.

    You won’t ever hear the standard root 6 bar chord out of Ritchie, you’ll hear a root 1 instead, and occasionally two-note 5th power chords. This approach would sound extremely thin if Ritchie didn’t always have a keyboard player in the band to thicken up the sound.

    Other rhythmical Blackmoreisms include the use of pedal points and arpeggiated triads over a classical chord progression. These are techniques Ritchie borrowed from Bach. But what Ritchie is most famous for is songs based on two-note (dyad) 4th-based riffs — the kind used in Smoke on the Water, Burn, Man on the Silver Mountain, and Kill the King.

    Ritchie’s staccato lead style is perhaps the most distinctive and recognizable element of his playing. He’s often quite heavy-handed, but is also capable of being beautifully delicate. Ritchie moves between the fast and flashy, and the slow and melodic with magnificent grace and ease. He’s an alternate picker on speed runs but also uses a lot of legato and open string pulloffs too. Ritchie was also one of the first players to employ sweep picking — usually in the form of quick, muted, raked arpeggios. He does a fair amount of finger picking with his thumb and index finger.

    Scale wise, Ritchie’s licks often mix the Blues scale the with the Dorian and chromatics. He was the first rock player to make extensive use of Aeolian minor, and he sometimes throws in some Middle Eastern flavored licks from what has become known as Blackmore’s snake-charmer scale (a variation of the Hungarian Minor).

    When you think of Ritchie Blackmore, slide player isn’t the first thing that comes to mind — for me anyway — but when you look at his body of work and start adding things up, he actually plays quite a bit of slide and uses it quite effectively to enhance his melodies. Once he’s finished playing his slide part, Ritchie likes to throw the slide — often at one of his bandmates!


    He’s got a few. A medium speed, medium width one, and a faster frantic, heavy-handed one. He also has a rather heavy-handed Hendrix-like whammy bar technique that he uses more in the live setting as a flash effect rather than as an integrated part of his playing style.”

  5. 5
    MacGregor says:

    That is some analysis of Blackmore, I hope the moderators here are ok after perusing through all of that. However I do enjoy Uwe’s passion in the detail for the Man in Black & agree with most of it. I will just add a few little things. The California Jam camera incident & I thought Purple management paid $10, ooo for damage compensation of sorts? Not sure where that $70.000 comes from but you may be right Uwe in the estimate of the total cost of a camera back then, I am not sure. Blackmore also did say to keep the camera out of the way didn’t he, in regards to the camera guy pushing & shoving etc. We can see there is a bit of argy bargy going on there throughout the concert performance. The fire restrictions were in place because of the weather at the time, extreme fire danger & that stage fire would have incensed, (pun intended) the authorities big time. Hence the ‘we better have a decent plan to get outta here really quickly’ helicopter scenario. Also the fact that initially Blackmore refused to play before DP’s allotted time, right on sunset didn’t actually set the scene for any pleasantries. Regarding his rhythm guitar playing or the lack of interest in it comment from the Guitar Player magazine, I remember that well. He also said something along the lines of ‘I get Jimmy Page to come in & play that’. The reason I remember it so well is my younger guitar learning brother took that comment literally, I told him that that is Blackmore trying to be funny, sarcasm etc. Cheers.

  6. 6
    Rock Voorne says:

    @ 4

    Great read though I dont think his hair was that thin in 1970 as suggested.

    Maybe it really started after he pulled that chair away under Gillans buttocks and allegedly causing a change in Gillans personality when hitting his head on the floor.

  7. 7
    Gregster says:

    @4…Wow, now that was a pretty-good summary.

    All I would add is that Ritchie did have a fetish for the Harmonic minor scale in the early-to-mid-80’s, though these scales admittedly slip in-&-out of diminished scales quite easily, & can be blended as needed. And he never plays the same thing twice, so it depends on a recording you may have that one refers back too to say these things…And Yngwie J. Malmsteen was making these scale sounds his own too at the time, or a little later perhaps.

    Also, imo, John Mclaughlin deserves mention here, in that he probably was one-of-a-few guitarists, that had the speed, accuracy, & overlaying phrasing similar to RB at times, though played in a different musical realm…Maybe FZ slips-in-here too, as among many attributes, Frank could play some incredible guitar too, similarish at times to RB, yet unique & completely FZ.

    Let’s face it, what makes a guitar sound so good & unique to any other instrument, is when the blues is played on one. They way the notes roll-off & interweave is what gives a guitar its pleasing identity when played through the blues. It will lose some of this unique identity when other types of styles are played through one.

    All the above players had great blues sensibilities imo.

    Peace !

  8. 8
    George in Ohio says:

    Great find, Uwe. The best, most comprehensive analysis of Ritchie’s playing I have ever read. Fascinating.

    There’s one thing I would add to the article, and – spoiler alert – this is coming from a lifetime keyboard player, so take this as you will. But I think an integral part of what has made Ritchie unique is not only how he plays his Strat, but also how he reacts/adds onto what is going on around him. In that regard, I think Ritchie was incredibly fortunate to have Jon Lord as a foil to work with/against. Jon had the temperament to provide the (usually necessary) rhythm organ to Purple’s sound. That gave Ritchie the freedom to freely explore his melodic tendencies, creating solo improvisations that were quite often outside the box, knowing Jon was always there to support him and keep things on track. But Jon was also a virtuoso in his own right. So he could and did challenge Ritchie to perform at a high level, knowing that if he didn’t, Jon was more than capable of stealing the spotlight Ritchie obviously coveted. Indeed, to me the greatest Purple moments happen when Ritchie and Jon are trading and building on the other’s ideas, which usually resulted in a marvelous counterpoint that was at once complementary and yet totally unique. Ritchie was always going to be a fabulous guitarist, regardless. But he was better because of Jon.

  9. 9
    janbl says:

    Great Uwe, loved it. Now do Roger.

    Have you ever thought about writing a (series of) book about Purple (and family (Purples not yours))? I for one would buy it.

  10. 10
    heycisco says:

    It is interesting what he said about the audience’s tolerance. The audience was a little bit too tolerant during the last Rainbow shows. They were terrible and the side musicians got a lot of heat for the performance when Richie was obviously the weakest link. I cannot deny what I hear. And what I heard was a band that was seriously under rehearsed and a guitarist that thought that he could still wing it like 30 years ago. In the past Blackmore relied heavily on improvisation and following his mood. However, to do that you need to be at the top of your game. He must have been aware that he wasn’t anywhere near that level. In situations like this you asses what you can and cannot do, you work on your parts and you practice, practice, practice and then you rehearse like crazy. He clearly didn’t do it and it painfully showed. When you compare it to Steve Morse who also has arthrosis but he completely redesigned his technique to be able to play, you see a difference in attitude. He must have practiced like crazy to get rid of 50 years old habits. Blackmore didn’t do it as he obviously assumed most people will not realize or won’t care. And obviously he was correct as people just wanted to see him with a Strat. If they heard something odd they blamed the band as obviously it couldn’t be the mighty Blackmore who messed up. As for the last studio recordings there is no excuse. They sound as if they were recorded on a laptop of not very talented studio engineer.

  11. 11
    Uwe Hornung says:

    MacGregor & janbl: For the avoidance of doubt, I have nothing to do with that brilliant Blackmor analyis, its author is Dinosaur David B., a guitarist. I’m just a lowly bass player and could never judge, say, a guitarist’s vibrato competently. Hence I put that analysis in quotation marks and mentioned David via the link beforehand. I just stumbled by accident across this jewel.

    Rock Voorne: 1970 is indeed a bit early, but Ritchie began battling with a receding hairline around 1972/73, but I actually liked that look better on him. It gave him something Lee Van Cleef’ish, nasty and intimidating. Let’s face it, in a Western movie, Ritchie would have never been cast as the good guy, but always as the villain gunslinger. Once he ‘acquired’ more hair around 1977, I thought those new bangs looked a bit girlish. He was obviously attempting to soften his look – in line with where the music was going. These days, his hair enhancement is entirely too musketeer’ish for me.

    Gregster: I agree with your assessment re Uncle Frank’s guitar prowess! One of the meanest, yet brilliant put-downs of Rush was in the NME when a journo quipped about one of their first Rush gigs in the UK: “Alex Lifeson seems like a competent guitarist of the genre; I’ve been to too many Frank Zappa concerts to say more.” OUCH!!!

    George in Ohio: Damn right, Ritchie without Jon is like Stan Laurel without Oliver Hardy or spaghetti without tomato sauce. He never found a keyboard player who gelled with him like Jon. No Rainbow or Blackmore’s Night keyboardsmith was ever able to elicit as much brilliance out of Ritchie than the kid from Leicester. That is also why Baby Face, that slated power trio project with Little Ian and Phil Lynott would have never worked, Ritchie is a lot of things, but not a trio guitarist. And all of his classic monster riffs rely on the “Gorgan”-sound, i.e. with Jon doubling him. And no keyboard player did that nearly as good as Jon.

    heyciso: You’ve said it. It wasn’t the band. The Rainbow reunion disasters were down to the guys being under-rehearsed through no fault of their own because Ritchie couldn’t be bothered to put the work and time into it and consequently also lacked stamina. If there is one commonality between the 70ies, 80ies and early 90ies Rainbow line-ups, then it is that they were always shit-tight, which is why they were live such a potent force and had such an immediate impact. I’ll never forget hearing the first few bars of Highway Star at the first reunion gig at Lorelei – it started shaky and hesitant, the tempo was off – I knew right away something was wrong. And for the rest of the gig it unfortunately didn’t get right either. I had invited half a dozen people with me to see “he great Blackmore”, yet they all said after the gig “it was ok, but Manfred Mann’s Earth Band as openers were kind of better” – could you imagine something more devastating to me personally than people saying after a Rainbow gig “it was ok …”? I still wince from it.

  12. 12
    MacGregor says:

    @ 10 – “I cannot deny what I hear. And what I heard was a band that was seriously under rehearsed and a guitarist that thought that he could still wing it like 30 years ago”. Under rehearsed yes but Blackmore thinking he could still ‘wing it’ like 30 years ago, I don’t think so. He isn’t a fool & he would have been well aware of his limitations. The one thing I thought at the time & still do was Blackmore may have been possibly coerced into doing that ‘reunion’ thing in some ways & may have regretted it. Especially at first when they were committed to those first concerts & official filming etc. More then likely you were bitterly disappointed & possibly had too high a expectation of 30 years ago. “He must have been aware that he wasn’t anywhere near that level’. Yes indeed. “Blackmore didn’t do it as he obviously assumed most people will not realize or won’t care”. Who knows what Blackmore was thinking. I can understand some people being disappointed, however Blackmore did say before those shows that he had some finger troubles & didn’t play rock music anymore & ‘we will see how it goes’. Possibly arthritis etc & not really into it. It wasn’t a conn job or anything of the like done with malicious intent. Most people would have just enjoyed it for what it was, nostalgia as Blackmore had said & a bit of enjoyment. It is what it is. What were your expectations heycisco? Blackmore cranking it like he used to 30 to 40 years ago? Cheers.

  13. 13
    Gregster says:


    Heycisco said qt.” And what I heard was a band that was seriously under rehearsed and a guitarist that thought that he could still wing it like 30 years ago. In the past, Blackmore relied heavily on improvisation and following his mood. However, to do that, you need to be at the top of your game. He must have been aware that he wasn’t anywhere near that level. In situations like this you asses what you can and cannot do, you work on your parts and you practice, practice, practice and then you rehearse like crazy. He clearly didn’t do it and it painfully showed “…

    There are a lot of possibilities here, & certainly you named a few-of-them ! Speculation can always draw interesting POV’s. From what I saw of these shows, it seemed like an attempt to bring in the Rainbow tunes of old, & see how they fared around a camp-fire-like atmosphere, & to be fair, it may have worked for some, & not for others.

    To personally lift your skill-level back-up, only takes a week or even less, with a concentrated effort for 3-4 hours a day, but the want & desire has to be there too. Plus a known “dogma” practice routine that you trust to do so. (I have mine, & it always delivers the goods, even if it’s painful at times to persist with lol) !

    By all accounts, the band is / was in itself a professional act, though perhaps misplaced with the task at hand, which brings me back into the camp-fire scenario.

    When you get to your mid-late 70’s, the mind may well be fine, but the communication between mind & body ( fingers ) may not be up-to-speed with one-another on-the-night. And after you recognize an error here & there in your playing on the night, your confidence may well be compromised. Throw in a band that’s not as well suited for the job, to bounce-you-back into “the zone”, & we got what was delivered.

    My POV on these matters leans into thinking that yes, for sure Ritchie wanted to blast-out the cobwebs of his amps, but may have underestimated / forgotten about what it takes to put on a hard rock show, for hard rock fans. And you can’t meet these demands 1/2-way, which is possibly what happened.

    That said, I’d suggest that overall, everyone that participated had a more positive than negative experience. Being there is always a different dynamic that watching a You-tube vid, or even a sound-recording.

    I just finished making my own sound-recording of the 1985 show of DP in Australia, but it works much better when viewed than when listened to by itself, & I understand why it was released as a DVD only, & not a CD-set ( as far as I’m aware of ).

    Peace !

  14. 14
    MacGregor says:

    Apologies Uwe, I have to admit to not reading all of it, especially the sections from about half way down & of course at the top including the links. I have to slow down & discipline myself more before applying the quill to the parchment. However I hope that doesn’t quell the ‘passion’ for all things Blackmore? I bit of a worry that one. Cheers.

  15. 15
    sidroman says:

    Regarding Ritchie’s thinning hair at the Cal Jam 74, it was getting to be really noticeable. He looks great for a guy pushing 78, I never cared for his mustache or when he had the goatee. He had really good sideburns, although the king of facial hair in Purple for me was always Ian Paice. I loved those muttonchops! Didn’t really like his full beard circa Paice, Ashton , Lord though.

  16. 16
    Ivica says:

    A musical genius..and so underrated
    If Jon Lord was the soul of DP, Ritchie was the brain of DP.
    I’m happy for him, that he found a lifelong companion (beautiful family) and finally his permanent singer :). Thank you for years and years..

  17. 17
    Leslie S Hedger says:

    Blackmore and Lord are the most Powerful Guitar/Keyboard combo of all time!!

  18. 18
    MacGregor says:

    Yes the well oiled machine scenario has a benefit or two to it & the ageing machine may not, it works that way as we grow older. As Gregster said the communication between mind & body is usually what shows & I am not only talking about playing a musical instrument. It happens & it is life. In regards to a ace guitarist from the era’s gone by trying to dust it off, look at Trevor Rabin when Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman (Yes) finally hit the road in 2016. He was working his butt off for 6 weeks or so from what I read & practising & practising big time & then 2 weeks of intense rehearsals.. However when it came to the first, second, third & a few more concerts, it showed that he hadn’t played in that scenario for 20 odd years. He was still very good most of the time, but it takes time to really get into it. Both Rabin & Blackmore hadn’t played live in concerts like that for so long. Blackmore probably wouldn’t have the discipline that Rabin would have though & Rabin more than likely didn’t have the finger(s) health issue. Trevor Rabin was on fire before we knew it & they (Yes) had the bonus of a more thorough concert itinerary to run with, not just 3 gigs. Just don’t grow old anyone & try to invent a time machine or begin casting spells or something. Or as Dio sang, die young, die young, die young, die young , die young etc etc. Cheers

  19. 19
    MacGregor says:

    The Jack Bruce & Robin Trower live dvd Seven Moons filmed in 2009 is a well under rehearsed performance. Only 3 gigs into a small tour & it shows big time. Jack Bruce did have serious health issues earlier in 2004 & at the 2005 Cream reunion Royal Albert Hall performances he is struggling at times, hence the stool he has to sit on to rest while he is playing. Health can get in the way for some unfortunately. The manufactured BN ‘Rainbow’ concert(s) should never have been filmed, but that is what all the hoop la is about at times. I call it a BN gig & as we heard wasn’t it Blackmore’s missus that ‘found’ Ronnie Romero on youtube? Me thinks Blackmore was not into a’reunion’ at all in many aspects & with JLT going on about his career resurrection who can blame Richard. Similar to the recent youtube clips endorsing a new product or whatever, he is just not into ‘celebrity’. Other people pushing the barrow for their own agenda perhaps?. Cheers.

  20. 20
    Andy says:

    @18 I think the Rabin version of Yes had some excellent moments. I had really hoped Anderson, Wakeman and Rabin would have put out an album of new material. The Talk record gets a bad rap, the song Real Love is an overlooked gem. It’s nice to see Ritchie getting some coverage at the Highway Star.

  21. 21
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Gregster, you mean the 1984 Melbourne gig? Sure, that was released as a double CD + DVD in 2013 by Eagle Music, at least in Europe. And you’re right, it looks better than it sounds, there are things the visual Blackmore can get away with as part of his showmanship that just on audio alone can sound a bit noise merchant-y.

    There is a notable difference between the 70ies Blackmore and the 80ies one: The 70ies one was moody too, but even on an off-night could still sound fluid and captivating, while in the 80ies his performances could sometimes deteriorate to being erratic. Maybe his own playing didn’t carry him away anymore, maybe he was overthinking things or he felt that he had to compete with the new generation of shredders 20 years younger than him, he lost fluidity.

    Speed isn’t key to me with a guitarist, but I appreciate fluidity. If Blackmore came out today and said that just like Ian Gillan had to give up on Child in Time, he can’t do the fast parts of Highway Star as well anymore and therefore gives up on the song, I would have absolutely no issues with that. Fine, Ritchie, play slower, but play fluidly. You don’t have to be the fastest gun in town anymore for me and John Petrucci bores me stiff anyway.

    “To personally lift your skill-level back-up, only takes a week or even less, with a concentrated effort for 3-4 hours a day, but the want & desire has to be there too.”

    Phew, I have to say from personal experience, it took me a whole lot longer, more like three to six months after I had once given up any bass playing for a year or two after another band breakup had been especially frustrating for me. It took quite a while for strength, agility, muscle memory, stamina, speed and pick control (I play bass with a pick, always have, the ole DP bass player school!) to return. But it is true that once you’ve overcome a certain point everything comes back to you much quicker than the first time you learned it (I’m not a natural talent, some of my bass tricks are the product of hard work).

    I’d still say that for Ritchie to get back to early 90ies quality (when he began leaving rock music behind), it would take him half a year of rehearsals and low key gigs. And I don’t think he could ever again achieve the kind of playing ability and zest he had around Made in Japan or in the Dio era of Rainbow no matter what he tried (not a criticism, but a statement of fact).

    One other thing: When I saw Rainbow at the Glasgow Hydro, I sat very much upfront and it struck me how quiet the backline/stage volume was (if you’ve ever been to a YES gig, Chris Squire’s stage volume even shortly before he stopped touring was Nugent’esque: ear-splitting and testicle-shaking), it wasn’t very much louder than at a Blackmore’s Night gig, something Ritchie has undoubtedly gotten used too and cherishes due to the many acoustic instruments BN uses live (also the reason why the drums are – very medieval – in part electronic with BN live, so they can be turned down). I herewith categorically state: At that kind of well-behaved volume, you cannot credibly deliver heavy rock drama and “pin-you-against-the wall” dynamics. There was no sense of danger or surprise. OTOH, it is not un-understandable: Remember how Al Di Meola left the commercially successful Return To Forever reunion tour because he realized that he could no longer stand the stage volume needed to play Return To Forever’s power-jazz rock credibly. They had to get another guitarist.

    MacMarsupial: I’m not the world’s greatest Yes fan, but I saw ARW on their tour here and while no one can replace the friggin’ “make way for me!” force of nature Chris Squire was on bass, that show was damn good and made the four Rainbow reunion era gigs I saw seem limp in comparison. Herr Wakeman was his ‘sloppy-but-ingenious’ self, Anderson sang well, even all the difficult parts, and Rabin worked as hard in the band as I have only seen Rick Parfitt work his ass off live during the Status Quo Frantic Four reunion tours when Rick held a disinterested/bemused/listless Francis Rossi, a physically ailing Alan Lancaster and an out-of-breath John Coughlan together, knocking them into shape single-handedly night after night. If Trevor Rabin had to work hard to achieve this, I can only say he has my respect and the results were well worth it.

  22. 22
    Gregster says:

    @11…Yes my friend, it seems that the filthy-press have always had little love for RUSH… Usually it was the derogatory slander & comparison with Geddy & Robert Plant ( of which I personally hear little similarity ), but the comparison of Alex to FZ could also be taken as quite-a-compliment however…- (I certainly do, & could care less about that writers misguided POV for not recognizing being blessed with hearing live-music from such masters ) ! And I could never understand the LZ to RUSH comparisons, as RUSH were always the heavier band, & generally far-more upbeat…No 1/2-time beats from Mr. Peart (RIP) LOL ! Relatively speaking, they were the upcoming “little brothers” of all the dominating heavy bands of the 1970’s, that certainly forged their own sound & music, within their own limitations as a trio. This made them instantly identifiable imo in any era / decade.

    @16 qt.”If Jon Lord was the soul of DP, Ritchie was the brain of DP”….
    I’d nearly swap the descriptions around to be honest, though both had lots-of-soul. Perhaps the biggest difference was ego size (respectfully).

    @18…Trevor Rabin is a very-much understated & underappreciated guitarist imo, though perhaps that’s of his own making too. I have & listen to the “90125” Yes album often, & without doubt, he delivers the goods. Great riffs, huge sound & song-writing ability, & intricate soloing that can at times, play-around-with-time so confidently, & successfully. Plus he gad a great hand on how to use the then very popular Boss effects, without over-cooking the deal. Very talented indeed.

    @17…They’re right up there, that’s for sure…It will be interesting to see how Don & Simon get-it-on together. Steve & Don rocked well together too.

    Peace !

  23. 23
    MacGregor says:

    Song selection & sound is definitely the key to getting it together & I agree with the ‘if in doubt leave it out’ principle’. Set it up for Blackmore’s ability & Romero’s vocal. However the nostalgia thing is always lurking, so many people want to hear certain songs from the past, it is a difficult one for some artists to leave out certain songs no matter how the version is played. In regards to the sound, power & delivery of the guitar in any rock band I agree. With the Trower & Bruce concert Trower’s guitar is not anything like in his own band with the sound & volume & for good reason. They didn’t play anything from his career, it was the new album with Bruce & a few Cream classics. Jack Bruce does also have an issue with guitarists being too loud, remember the BBM issue with Gary Moore. So yes indeed, set the gig up with the appropriate settings, sound & song selection & deliver a more balanced show. @ 20 – I was of 2 minds in regards to a new ARW album, simply because I feared Trevor Rabin may have been too dominant in the songwriting, like he was with Big Generator & even some of those AOR style songs on Talk. Plus Rick Wakeman isn’t that sort of keyboard player, Rabin would probably play the keys on the record, well some of them I don’t know. Wakeman is more suited to Steve Howe’s style. Having said that maybe Wakeman being there may have forced a change in Rabin to the bands benefit. As long as Jon Anderson is heavily involved in the YES songwriting with Rabin, as they both are on a few Talk songs, it could have been good. I do like the Talk album, well 3 songs, Real Love (a heavy riffing & low bass frequency subwoofer mother of a song) & I Am Waiting & the classic progressive 15 minute Endless Dream composition. @ 22 -YES indeed Gregster, 90125 is a superb album, beautifully recorded Trevor Horn producing & a good balance of songwriting with Rabin’s new influence at that time. It stands up well still to this day. Cheers.

  24. 24
    Gregster says:

    @21…Yes, that’s the show UWE, only the version I have may have been a first-version release of DVD only. I remember when ordering it that I was committing to computer-use only, as the DVD was European-region specific, & even then, I had to dig-deep into the-then “Vista” operating system, to get it to play…

    You indicated also that it was the Melbourne show ( my home town ), & I always thought it may have been a Sydney show, at the Sports & Entertainment Centre for some reason ( likely because of the Queen bootleg shows I have are from Sydney ). The DVD I have is in an unusually small package case, & is titled DP Perfect Strangers Live, 2013 release from Thames records via Eagle Vision. It makes it even more special knowing now it was filmed in Melbourne. The liner notes don’t state where it was sourced. I actually got to see Queen that year ( April 16th 1985 ) at the same arena, & have no-doubt, that I would have gone to see this DP show, but there was little-to-no foreword of the tour that reached my ears, until they came & went…Bummer…

    As for IG’s voice on-the-night, he initially suffered from a dry-cough that even I get every-time I visit back on the mainland, & I’m a native lol ! I’d suggest everyone gets it that visits mainland Australia, & will cough when you go to speak. But he recovers quite well I thought. It “is” a top-ranking show regardless as far as I’m concerned. And it wouldn’t matter if it was filmed in Texas or Berlin, a good show is a good show.

    As for getting your chops back on a guitar, I guess it varies for sure from person to person. Where I’ve been fortunate, is having gone through the “Berklee” series of books by W.G.Leavitt. This means that you get to know the fret-board pretty-well, & the 5-general fingering types used across the board for the 12 different keys. Once you have these down ( it comes automatically from going through the books ), you then make-up your own routine of “dogma” practice through all 12-keys ( Simply play through the cycle of 4th’s & 5th’s ). For sure accuracy & speed don’t come back over-night, but for myself, I can hit the record button on the recorder after a few days with solid, if not quite perfect results. But also in recent years, the guitars have been close-at-hand, & one is always on a stand close-by, & rarely a few days goes-by when I haven’t picked-it-up & played for at least 20-30 minutes.

    @23…”The Seven Moons” tour with Bruce, Trower & Gary husband is really good. And I get what you mean by Robins unusually dry sounding guitar tone. I’m pretty sure that both Bruce & Trower were using “Harttke”(?) amps, & not Marshall’s, though you do see Jack turning his own volume dial-up a few times lol ! No doubt Leslie West was the cause of his suffering back in the “West Bruce & Laing” days ! ( Now that was a great band )…

    Peace !

  25. 25
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Gregster, the undulating love of the English music press for Rush in 1976/77 was also inspired by Neil Peart’s lyrical championing of über-libertarian poster-grandma Ayn Rand (“To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. This and nothing else.”) and his comments in interviews that Canada was “a socialist state”. That didn’t go down too well in pre-Thatcher Britain and one scribe from the NME spat: “If you went to see them, you hopefully didn’t do it on your dole money, that wouldn’t be in line with their philosophy at all!”

    Auntie Rand and her belief that ownership of assets was a universal right that applied to everyone except, uhum, Native Americans, was a divisive figure (and went out of her way to be one):

    QUOTE —>

    In a logical sleight of hand that would even confound and bewilder even Lewis Carroll, Ayn Rand proclaimed in the 1974 Q&A that it was in fact indigenous Americans who were the racists, not the white settlers who were ethnically cleansing them. The laissez-faire leader declared that Native Americans did not “have any right to live in a country merely because they were born here and acted and lived like savages.”

    “Americans didn’t conquer” this land, Rand asserted, and “you are a racist if you object to that.” Since “the Indians did not have any property rights — they didn’t have the concept of property,” she said, “they didn’t have any rights to the land.”

    If “a country does not protect rights,” Rand asked — referring specifically to property rights — “why should you respect the rights they do not have?” She took the thought to its logical conclusion, contending that anyone “has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in this country.”


    Digest that before you dig out your tomahawk.

    Ironically, it was Rush’s 2112 as well as later Rand’ism-inspired songs (like “The Trees”) that got me to read Ayn Rand back then (she is viewed as a very obscure and hardly quotable thinker even in German absolute market freedom circles so I was unaware of her until Rush came along and the NME pointed Neil Peart’s fanboy’ism for her out; I believe in his later career he did distance himself from her). I still sometimes (re)read her stuff, not because I agree with her (I don’t), but I find the one-sided-ness and non-practicality of her rigid views fascinating. Growing up in Stalin’s Russia certainly did something to her.

    Back to Rush’s music and not their message(s) (at least back then): Geddy had a high falsetto voice. So did Robert Plant. That is where any comparison to Led Zep ends. The two bands are worlds apart. Zep always made sure that they sounded (and looked via Plant and Page) sexually alluring, Rush OTOH is as we all know the name of a musical contraceptive:






    What’s in it?
    Every woman deserves to know exactly what’s in her birth control. Rush is a Canadian progressive rock power trio whose golden era is generally considered to be from 1975 to 1982. Thankfully, for your long-term family planning strategy, the band has an extensive discography that spans from 1974 to 2012.

    The music of Rush is marked by erratic signature changes, unconventional chord structures, heavy use of synthesizers and electronic effects, and, most importantly, lead vocals that sound like an ancient witch is being exorcised out of your body with live wires. In less clinical terms, imagine taking the most annoying parts of science fiction and Libertarianism, isolating them, and then somehow blending them up into a cursed musical slurry. Then, infuse that slurry with a distinctive INCEL vibe, and presto! You’ve got one of the most powerful contraception options on the market.

    How effective is it?
    No one has ever gotten pregnant while listening to the music of Rush. Clinical studies show that when combined with watching a male sexual partner play air bass along to the extended solo in “Freewill,” the contraceptive efficacy of Rush approaches 100%.

    Will I experience any discomfort?

    How does it work?
    The music of Rush is a tri-modal contraceptive, meaning it acts on three biological systems — endocrine, reproductive, and psychological. Together, this system is known as “Surge, Purge, and Loss of Urge.”

    Surge: When a woman hears the ill-considered, stereotypical East-Asian riff at the beginning of “A Passage to Bangkok,” her pituitary gland floods the system with the hormone disgustagen. You’re familiar with this naturally-occurring hormone as it’s released by your body when your male colleague tells you to smile or when someone says, “You’re cute when you’re angry.” This makes Rush a safe, natural alternative to copper IUDs.

    Purge: The purge phase begins when the vocals kick in. You’ll think you’re hearing jaws of life prying open a metal car door after a devastating accident. This is actually the testicles-in-a-vise banshee wail of vocalist and bassist Geddy Lee. His countertenor falsetto, combined with the surge of disgustagen, work in concert to trigger a panic response in the ovaries. Your reproductive system intuitively knows that it should not bring a child into a world that would reward this music with success. The ovaries will start tossing eggs overboard like they’re bailing out water from a sinking canoe.

    Loss of Urge: The first two contraceptive phases of the music of Rush work synergistically with Loss of Urge, your most reliable tool in pregnancy prevention. About 30 seconds into the melodic meandering and feral-cat-being-threatened-by-a-raccoon vocals, a woman will experience a complete and total shut down of her sex drive. At this point, her legs will snap shut with the spring tension of a bear trap, making intercourse all but impossible.

    How do I take it?
    During the time between menstruation and ovulation, hormones are beginning to build. You will start with a mild dose of the more accessible—albeit still irritating—tracks like “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit of Radio.”

    The days around ovulation are when hormones peak. During this phase of your cycle, you will need to listen to the most baffling Rush selections. Mid-cycle, you’ll take any track in which a citizen of a hypothetical futuristic society discovers a banned quotidian object. In clinical trials, positive results were achieved with “Red Barchetta” and “2112: Discovery,” in which a car and a guitar are discovered respectively.

    During the final phase of your cycle, you can lower your dose to include instrumental tracks like “YYZ” or shorter tracks with reduced synth and pretension like “Fly by Night.” Relax! You’ll get your period soon because you definitely didn’t get pregnant while listening to Rush.

    Are there any side effects?
    Common side effects include:

    Skin crawling
    Jaw clenching
    Loss of social status
    Some women report feeling incredibly uncool. You may develop medium-to-severe irritation when your male sexual partner gives an impassioned ten-minute speech on how Neil Peart was the greatest percussionist in human history.

    Fans of Rush may tell you that women just can’t handle complicated time signatures and cerebral lyrics. This is a serious and irreversible side effect called “sexism.” Women who experience this adverse reaction should call their doctor, all of their friends, and then post the entire exchange on Twitter.

    You have many options when it comes to birth control. Ask your doctor if the music of Rush is right for you.”

    END OF QUOTE !!!

    Glorious, ain’t it?! : – )

    Even the Rush fans in another forum I frequent loved it (and btw: all agreed).

    And let me add this: I have everything from Rush, Geddy is a great bass player and Neil was a fantastic drummer. Geddy’s voice is an acquired taste though and Alex Lifeson’s guitar playing sounds very cold and academic to me, as if he grew up in an alternative universe where Muddy Waters and BB King never lived. I do not dispute their rightful place in the pantheon of great bands in the no man’s land between hard rock and Prog. But I’ve never ever had sex to Rush’s music nor felt any such inclination. And I would certainly caution you to even attempt it.

  26. 26
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Jack Bruce does also have an issue with guitarists being too loud, remember the BBM issue with Gary Moore.”

    You darn conniving stick-wielder, Herr MacGregor, you’re projecting!!!

    ; – )

    Don’t blame the poor bassists! Get your paradiddles straight! THAT WAS MILD-MANNERED GINGER B WHO COMPLAINED ABOUT THE VOLUME in BBM!!! As he always did, Jack Bruce was too loud for him too during the Cream reunion (and it is true, Jack tends to be loud on stage).

    But you’re right about the second leg of the Cream reunion phase, the Madison Square Garden gigs in the US. Baker’s and Bruce’s quarreling had again reached a point where most of the allotted rehearsal time fell flat and Eric Clapton saw it coming that the US performances would suffer. As they did. According to his memoir, he regrets the second part of the Cream reunion for that reason. But it beefed up the pensions of the other two.

    Gregster: Hartke is chiefly a bass amplification company who came to fame in the 80ies with their aluminium cone speakers (I had two cabs too and still have them in storage somewhere) and sophisticated amp equalization. They were renowned for providing an especially clean and punchy sound (ideal for slap technique playing which Jack however never employed), though the combination with Jack’s growling, less than hi-fi vintage Gibson basses and his likewise not very clean-sounding fretless Warwick Signature Thumb bass is an unusual one, but maybe Jack liked opposite worlds, gnarling bass with a hi-fi’ish amp with lots of frequency options – whatever sinks your U-Boat I guess!

  27. 27
    MacGregor says:

    @ 21 – I remember a while ago you said you went to a ARW concert. I am curious as to Lee Pomeroy’s bass sound. I noticed he was using a Rickenbacker watching the online filming. Did the bass rumble something similar to Squire’s sound? Cheers.

  28. 28
    MacGregor says:

    @ 26 – I could have sworn it was Bruce who riled about Moore’s guitar being over the top, trying to sing over it etc but I may be wrong, ‘Grumpy’ Baker wouldn’t have loved it either. A mismatch that band was & I thought that well before I heard any music or read any reviews etc. That Gary Moore blues phase I didn’t like & I had to play the proverbial ‘Still Got the Blues’ so many times in a band at that time, plus a few others. I couldn’t understand the hype, Moore did much better & more ‘original’ blues playing in his own songs well before the sell out. Regarding Jack Bruce he did mellow somewhat later in life, the liver cancer & eventual transplant & rejection & then being ‘clinically’ pronounced dead in 2004 would have had something to do with that. Incredibly fortunate he was to live for another 10 years by the sound of it. Back in the day he did have a nastier’ aggressive sound to his setup, hence the West, Bruce & Laing trio etc. On those two early 1980’s Trower & Bruce albums there are a few heavier tunes, however there is nothing like that in 2009 on Seven Moons. His hearing also may have been an issue, no surprises there & Trower wound down his approach big time for those concerts. I liked that less is more approach to those concerts. I did get to witness Gary Husband on the keyboards & drumming a little at the John McLaughlin Fourth Dimension concert in 2015. There was another drum kit setup for a jam session towards the end of the concert. A superb musician indeed is Mr Husband. Now about that Rush information. Why did you have to highlight the ‘Quote & End of Quote”? He He He, don’t worry I would have known they were not your comments. Sheesh that is a different way of looking at Rush & their music. In todays world of media & entertainment ‘sanitation’ regarding the gender comments, that may not sit well in some circles. I did find that part amusing to say the least. I do also remember Neil Peart distancing himself from Rand all those years ago, not surprising. Cheers.

  29. 29
    Gregster says:

    @25…Wow…I will not enter into this too much, except to say that Neil for sure got some ideas from “The Fountain-head” & other Ayn Rand’s works, but that doesn’t mean he agreed completely in her POV’s.

    Listening & learning from the lyrics of “2112” both exposes the similarities per-se, & the differences too. He was respectful & appreciative of some of her ideas, that’s for sure, but naive in the-ways-of-the-world, & how some people would react to a simple thank-you within a liner-note. And how is the world today in comparison to the story in “2112” ???…Amazing…The date appears to be 100-years off perhaps !

    RUSH need no defense from myself, & don’t feel too obliged to defend them either. I love the music, & they’ve been with me all-my-life. It was “Signals” & “P/G” that caused some confusion to me at the time, but as mentioned elsewhere, the “P/G 1984 tour” live album set everything back to normal lol. And I honestly love every album since, especially “Power Windows” from the mid 1980’s. All these early 1980’s records taught me a massive amount about the nuclear age, & the fear of the weapons use upon us. And 40-odd years after their release, the content is just as relevant now, as it was then, & in days to come.

    For example, who would have though that at 15, I’d be wondering about this “Enola Gay” & what that was ?…And what a lesson in history to discover…

    The 1980’s Bruce & Trower recordings were solid efforts for the time, but they also lacked something too, that I can’t place. Probably we / I was expecting some solo passages from both artists, but they didn’t deliver this-time-around. It doesn’t make sense to have such wonderful musicians together, renowned for their soloing abilities to be deprived of their best assets on a recording. All we got was mostly the 3-4 minute radio hopefuls with “BLT” & “Truce” imo…Though they did have some interesting avante-gard blues / jazz developing that was quite good, but “New Wave” was where it was happening back then perhaps. No doubt Record Company pressure would have some claim of responsibility to this anomaly. They’re still enjoyable listening however, but they keep you waiting for something that doesn’t arrive…

    And then DP Mk-II reformed….

    @28…I’ve already probably said too much about my love for “West Bruce & Laing” but I still put them on almost every-day as we speak lol. Perhaps one-of-the greatest tragedies of the early 1970’s was to lose this line-up of people. 1972-73 was a magical time for music in general, & their recordings capture that magic incredibly well imo.

    Peace !

  30. 30
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Jack Bruce moaned about Moore’s OTT approach, but that is Gary Moore for you, he was always clamoring for attention with every note.

    Clapton, even as a young man, was always yielding in the way he played, he made room for Jack & Ginger. And then they “replace” him with Gary Moore, of all people, the man who thought Don Airey distracted from his guitar playing, relegated an ace bassist like Neil Murray to play root notes and nothing else and preferred a drum machine on Wild Frontier to Gary Ferguson’s human drumming? I thought he was a hilariously unlikely choice when I heard it at the time. They should have chosen someone like Clem Clempson, Robim Trower or Mick Taylor – who knows when to shut up and that sometimes less is more (not Moore).

    “@ 21 – I remember a while ago you said you went to a ARW concert. I am curious as to Lee Pomeroy’s bass sound. I noticed he was using a Rickenbacker watching the online filming. Did the bass rumble something similar to Squire’s sound?”

    Oh yeah, the leftie, I remember him. He played a Ric and he had that trebly sound down pat (de rigueur for most Prog bassists), but not as abrasive a Chris Squire’s take-no-prisoners sound of yore. (I love Squire’s playing, but his bass sound on its own could sometimes sound outright nasty, yet it fitted great into the overall mix.) Pomeroy played all the right notes, but he didn’t command the band live with his bass like Squire did. Squire had that idiosyncratic mix of sheer volume, gung-ho panache, reckless chops and just the right amount of devil-may-care sloppiness. To this day the loudest bassist I’ve ever heard in a live setting (louder than, yes, Lemmy with Motörhead).

    The ARW gig was really good. They were also surprisingly heavy, more so than the actual Yes (the official ARW live release doesn’t really get that across). Rabin is unlike Howe a true butt-kicking rock guitarist and Wakeman is no shrinking violet as we all know, he has none of the sparseness of Geoff Downes (who sometimes even plays too little for me, I like busy keyboards). With those two, ARW could have played Wacken without fear.

  31. 31
    MacGregor says:

    @ 29 – I like a lot of the songs on those 2 early 80’s Bruce & Trower albums. You are probably correct in the ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ comment. I don’t think they ever toured with both lineups. So it was nice when they did play some concerts in 2009. @30 – Cheers for that ARW info, I wish they had toured Oz. Squire’s bass in 2003 with Yes was chest rattling & him being my favourite bass player & Yes one of my favourite bands it was bliss. As you said there is plenty of room with Yes music for Squire to beef them up with his playing & sound, especially the classic Yes music. I read a little more about the BBM sound level issues & it seems the too loud thing was from all sides, if we can believe press stories etc on that. Ginger Baker replying to a day when Moore was absent & allegedly at the doctors because he blew his ears out (again), said ‘A doctor, he needs to see a psychiatrist” ha ha ha. Another story from Moore was that he turned up for rehearsals or possibly a recording session with a single 50watt Marshall & he was shocked to see Bruce setup with 3 x 100w amps & of course blew the house down, or words to that effect. It sounds like too many ego’s & plenty of push & shove etc, predictable they didn’t last long. Gary Husband was the initial drummer & couldn’t commit to the long term recording & touring because of prior engagements. When Bruce suggested to Moore of getting Baker in Moore replied, ‘do you think that is wise’? Gary Moore would have been excited to play & record with those two, but no doubt in the end probably glad to get away from it all, the Bruce & Baker feuding. Band politics eh? Or should that be personality differences? Cheers.

  32. 32
    Uwe Hornung says:

    See, even Gregster hasn’t laid (no pun intended, I despise juvenile double entendres!) claim to having had sex while Rush was running on the stereo. Case closed! : – )

    Gregster, have you actually seen the Fountain Head movie with Howard Roark’s/Gary Cooper’s court room speech encapsulation of Auntie Ayn’s anti-collectivist philosophy?


    Neil Peart always struck me as a very perceptive, cerebral and sensitive man (a pity that he’s gone) – I’m sure that his influences went farther than just Rand’s ‘objectivism’.

  33. 33
    MacGregor says:

    Neil Peart was a very perceptive & humble human being & I used to read his online travels & diaries all those years ago. A wonderful lyricist & the joy of many of my favourite musical artists is that they also write about the things I want to think & hear about & talk about with friends etc. Robert Fripp is another one who is quite analytical & a deep thinker. It depends on certain subject matter though, we all have our preferences. One of a few reasons I place an importance on decent lyrics. The music moves me & the lyrics actually say something, the best of both worlds. A good speech there from Mr Cooper & a pity the world in general hasn’t heeded many of those aspects of decency, compassion & creativity. Talking of ‘creativity’ I have finally relented & have been watching a few of Daily Doug’s analysis of early Yes recordings. I like him & he isn’t over the top & he is relaxed in more ways than one. Herbal enhancement anyone. He must reside in California or one of the states that allows herbal enhancement, I think he called it that, he he he. I notice he also likes a tipple of whiskey at times to get into the groove. Have to like Doug. Cheers.

  34. 34
    MacGregor says:

    Talking about Blackmore there is a new article at Classic Rock about Robert Fripp & he mentions when he first came across Blackmore as a 18 year old. Cheers.


  35. 35
    Rock Voorne says:

    Wow, I ve been around for many years now , but I must admit I m truly baffled by the extreme long texts some people, uche, are able to write.

    Its not its non interesting but….

    I wonder….

    How did you get kids if you talk these long txts at home to your wife?

    I m overwelmed and think some here writings are a great contraceptive.


  36. 36
    Gregster says:

    @ 32…LOL !!! I have had plenty of great times however in the company of friends & with some “enhancers” listening to both RUSH & Deep Purple. MiJ & MiE were always favorites, along with the first several RUSH albums.

    Neil eventually wrote lyrics about differing types of “issues” for most of the last 2/3’s of RUSH’s career. I guess that the science-fiction themes were dropped for more meaningful, & day-to-day considerations & questioning situations/circumstances, rather than being imagination opening. They were always quite good & thought provoking however. eg, The line from Tom Sawyer “His mind is not for rent, to any god or government” is awesome, & grabs your attention.

    I haven’t read Ayn Rand, or seen the films sorry. She seems to be both popular & controversial at the same time, even today ! I’ll follow-up on the link, but I have limited wi-fi here, simply because I pay yearly for all of 40Gb of data, & it’s expensive @ $150:00…This arrangement means that my modem works all over the country, & I don’t have to fork-out $20:00 or more for wi-fi overnight, should work reasons have me stay in a hotel somewhere, which is / was often the case. Too much time on the net fries your brain with the new 5G…Be warned folks !

    @ 31…qt.”Another story from Moore was that he turned up for rehearsals or possibly a recording session with a single 50watt Marshall & he was shocked to see Bruce setup with 3 x 100w amps & of course blew the house down, or words to that effect. It sounds like too many ego’s & plenty of push & shove etc, predictable they didn’t last long”…

    LOL !!! Back-up amps are always needed ! And those 50-watt Marshall’s are loud too, in every sense of the word loud…Perhaps a 4 x 10 or 4 x 12 cabinet was all that was required to compete ???…( The one’s I’ve seen are 2 x 12 when in combo-form, though you can attach whatever speaker cabinet you like if you have a 50-watt-head, & the correct loading from the speaker set-up (Ohms )).

    Most bass rigs ( I hope Uwe agrees here ) need to be over-size so that they can be loud, but without over-working the amp, so they can cruise at say middle volume levels & remain reliable…Guitarists however, tend to push the amp harder to get everything out of those tubes, to get all the gain / overdrive + sustain possible if desired…Different circuits over the years, & the advent of competent effect-pedals might have reduced this tendency, especially through the 1980’s, but it all changed again with “grunge” in the 1990’s, with “more” of everything & effect-pedals used too…In the 60’s & early 70’s, you “had” to play the tube-amp wide-open to get your natural over-drive.

    Leslie West apparently with the 3rd Mountain gig in “Frisco” was delivered a tube PA-head, with 4 x microphone inputs…This meant that the amp had a tube pre-amp section for each of the mic-inputs, & so tube-overdrive was born, since you could push the mic-input flat-out,( for your over-drive tones ) & control volume levels via the master-volume…Designers quickly incorporated this feature into their designs, though it took a few years. Kudos to the people at Sunn amps for delivering Leslie the wrong amp LOL !

    Now-day’s however, most top-tier artists may have amps-on-stage for stage-visual-purposes only, & run through effects-boards, & onto front-of-house mixing desks, & stage monitoring systems. The modeling effects today are quite good at replicating all the historic amp sounds, but the regular musicians working a local-circuit would I imagine, still be divided between the virtues of tube-amps & the now predominant digital / transistor amps, since high-end, & good sounding front-of-house equipment varies, & is dependent on where you play. And for most bands starting-out in their working life, the PA-system used is usually relegated to the singer’s responsibility, or hired-out, as that’s his / her amp requirement, along with a decent microphone. Generally speaking, most amps that are actually used on stage are stage-monitors only, & maybe set to rehearsal volume levels, just so you can hear yourself over the drums. Drums are loud, & you have to watch where you stand when the cymbals are hit hard, because if they’re at ear level, you won’t hear anything, & have ringing in your ears for days at least !

    Peace !

  37. 37
    Uwe Hornung says:

    “Most bass rigs ( I hope Uwe agrees here ) need to be over-size so that they can be loud, but without over-working the amp, so they can cruise at say middle volume levels & remain reliable…Guitarists however, tend to push the amp harder to get everything out of those tubes, to get all the gain / overdrive + sustain possible if desired …”

    He does. You need a high multiple of watt power and speaker membrane surface area to compete with a guitar amp and speaker. Ten times as much and higher. I currently play with two coupled 500 watt amps over 1×15″, 4×12″ and 2×10″ speakers. That is fine to get yourself reliably heard in comparison to our guitarist’s 15-20 watt combo (he doesn’t like the more indirect sound of larger rigs), but I’d be having a hard time against a 50 watt Marshall over a 4×12″ cabinet and a 100 watt Marshall over the same cabinet turned up would drown me out no sweat.

  38. 38
    Svante Axbacke says:

    @35: I think people tend to nerd out here just because the partners at home aren’t interested. 🙂

  39. 39
    Gregster says:

    @35…LOL ! You may be onto something here…

    @37…Nice big rig Uwe !!!

    And also worth mentioning, is that the claimed-wattage of an amp, is actually an energy-consumption-figure, not necessarily the actual out-put power that gets labeled, which can & does vary, especially with comparisons between tube & transistorized & MosValve amps…Companies will play with numbers to their advantage here, but hp figures with cars, the larger the claimed number, typically the louder she’ll go…Tube amps are always louder than transistor amps with the same numbers printed on them.And for the nerds (lol) in engineering, there are overlays between Watts & Db’s, as they’re directly proportional to one-another. You go deaf at 126-Db apparently.

    And I found a link to Leslie West discussing how he got that all-tube-overdrive sound, all those years ago. It’s not long, all of 3-4 minutes from an edited interview session. Enjoy !


    Peace !

  40. 40
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Both my wives – past and present – have picked up a considerable amount of DP trivia over the decades. They also remain staunchly appreciative of my listening habits:

    (at hearing the Burn riff) “You’re not really listening to that one again, are you?”

    (at the sight of a new box set) “You will not be listening to it in one go, right?”

    (when I give the IGB’s Clear Air Turbulence a spin) “Ian Gillan screaming AND jazz rock – my absolute favorite combo.”

    (after a few notes of Glenn Hughes singing) “Not him again, I just realized I have one of my headache days!”

    Or more recently, at the sight of a picture of David Coverdale: “Oh, it’s the Avon lady again!”

  41. 41
    MacGregor says:

    Yes those ‘smaller’ guitar amps are dangerous beasts also. Size isn’t everything & I have had plenty of those amps pointed in my direction years gone by in jam sessions. The guitarist used to say ‘those effing drums of yours are too loud ‘etc. Sure owning a Sonor concert series with Zildjian & Paiste cymbals doesn’t help, but that was the guitarists excuse for pointing their amp directly at me even though I was protesting to their loudness. The bass player never wanted the guitar amp pointing at them but didn’t seem to mind the drums being loud. It is the cymbals & snare drum that do the damage.The things we did in our younger days. It is a good thing this forum is visual & not audio, other wise I wouldn’t understand anything anyone ever said. Hang on, that could be a good thing, he he he. Cheers.

  42. 42
    George in Ohio says:

    Guess Ritchie also could play bass on occasion. These apparently were happier days for everyone (1985) – Roger and Ritchie traded instruments. Check out the man in black interacting with the audience at the end.


  43. 43
    MacGregor says:

    @ 42 – thanks for that link, happy days indeed back then. @ 39 – Leslie West bless him, I remember that live clip with Frampton, that comment to Frampton after talking about their managers who have all gone ‘what the eff are we still doing here’. Classic & that interview is good also & of course that live version of Mississippi Queen. Cheers.

  44. 44
    Gregster says:

    @ 42…Awesome clip, thanks for sharing !

    @43…Yes, Leslie remains quite a personality for sure. Almost everything he has to say makes you laugh ! There’s even an episode amongst that batch where he discusses the the alligator-clip wiring from the volume-pot of a Hammond B-3 into a Marshall amp…One wonders whether “everyone” was at a local pub somewhere, & Jon Lord overheard & remembered this idea…( I say this as I think Mountain may have been doing this before DP, (though who knows ? ))..It was around a similar time-frame, though Mountain may have been among the first to adapt its use. He certainly claims to have “figured it out” in the interview.

    I’ll have to re-listen to “In Rock” once again, as it may be “Machine Head” where we hear Jon’s keyboard played through a Marshall with overdrive, ( though the studio version of Black Night’s organ sound bites ). Certainly the early Mk-II live material features “that” sound, & Jon seemed to not use it anymore during the reformed Mk-II years in the 1980’s-90’s. ( Maybe this is why these earlier live albums have an edge, albeit subtle to their sound ?)…

    And there’s some excellent interview material from the same people featuring Corky Laing too…Maybe when the circumstance is right, we can re-post some here.

    Peace !

  45. 45
    MacGregor says:

    Sadly two passings recently with guitarists Ian Bairnson & Lasse Wellander. Two of popular musics most melodic guitarists & if there are any other guitarists that played that superbly FOR THE SONG, let me know. Brilliant Bairnson was with Pilot & that fading too soon solo on Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights & all his work with The Alan Parsons Project & many others. Wellander with Abba & session work & no doubt on his solo outings. Vale to both of them.

  46. 46
    Gregster says:

    @45…Thanks for the update Sir !

    And RIP Mr.Bairnson & Mr.Wellander.

    The Alan Parsons Project had some great tunes among all those albums, & certainly some very tasty guitar work along with them.

    What is there to say about ABBA ?…Possibly the most successful pop-band through the mid-70’s & into the 80’s…And yes, there is some solid guitar workouts within them. I didn’t know it was session players.

    Peace !

  47. 47
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Did someone say Pilot? Great band, brilliantly crafted pop. Ian Bairnson is the lanky guitarist.



    David Paton (the singer and bassist) played and sang not only on Alan Parsons Project recordings, but also with Elton John in the 80ies (that is his fretless bass line in ‘Nikita’), he’s a very nice man, I exchanged a few emails with him not so long ago when I ordered a few CDs from his website, Ian Bairnson’s sad condition was therefore no secret to me. In his final years, he became unable to play guitar and recognized no one from his past anymore, living in a nursing home. Dementia is a bitch.

    And now for something completely different: IIRC, Jon used the no-Leslie-go-straight-thru-the-Marshall sound on the holy trinity of In Rock-Fireball-Machine Head and reverted back to Leslie cabinet usage at the time of WDWTWA because he felt his role in DP’s sound had changed. If you listen closely, the Hammond on the last Mk II 70ies album doesn’t sound as mean and direct anymore, but warmer and with a greater halo effect, more traditional if you will. (The Leslies remained in usage until the demise of Mk IV.)

  48. 48
    Gregster says:

    @ 47…Yes dimentia must be a difficult circumstance for all concerned, no doubt. Your body wants to stay here, but your mind is moving-on. Thankfully my folks are still with-it, but there’s no doubt that they’re slowing-down a little as they approach their 80’s. Good that they’re still around, I’m happy that they remain healthy, though Dad is having “infusions” regularly for leukemia…Damn that horrible nuclear industry.

    qt.”Jon used the no-Leslie-go-straight-thru-the-Marshall sound on the holy trinity of In Rock-Fireball-Machine Head and reverted back to Leslie cabinet usage at the time of WDWTWA because he felt his role in DP’s sound had changed. If you listen closely, the Hammond on the last Mk II 70ies album doesn’t sound as mean and direct anymore, but warmer and with a greater halo effect, more traditional if you will. (The Leslies remained in usage until the demise of Mk IV.)”.

    Yes, that’s quite apparent, though “Fireball” contained softer & varied keyboard sounds throughout its tunes, & we even got some piano too, as with WDWTWA. There’s no doubting that Marshall-sound with the live material available of that era. And in the later years after reforming, it would have been awesome to hear it again on the more formidable tunes, simply to contain RB’s at-times, over-powering prowess a little, & remind him that there’s another capable sounding force in the band to contend with lol ! But it’s all good, & if your “sound” reflects your mood / attitude, there’s nothing wrong mellowing-out a little.

    Peace !

  49. 49
    Uwe Hornung says:

    And in case you thought Pilot were just some miming teenybopper band who couldn’t deliver the goods live, you’re far off:


    Bairnson (who has a little bit of Tommy Bolin in him) is really on fire here.

  50. 50
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Gregster, all those years with WS had an effect on Jon and left a mark on his playing. He became less lead-organ’ish. I remember an interview where he said that his role in DP had been “being the oil to Ritchie’s vinegar, we weren’t fire and water as everyone says, we were oil & vinegar, that’s a tasty mix!” And in another interview he stated “that DP approach doesn’t work with Whitesnake, there’s two busy guitars already, I rather try to be the halo around what Bernie and Micky are doing”.

    And while Jon welcomed the freedom and musical space the DP reunion returned to him, he never reverted to the Mk II “lead organ” style in full. And if truth be told that style had already become less prominent on DP albums such as WDWTWA, Stormbringer & CTTB. It was blatantly obvious on the Mk I stuff (where Ritchie even took a backseat) and on the first three Mk II albums plus made a resurgence of sorts on Burn (but only in part, there was no ‘Gorgan’ on Mistreated – and I always miss it that Jon isn’t doubling that riff – and Ritchie explicitly didn’t want one, having a more sparse Free’ish sound in mind).

    Mind you, that early lead organ style didn’t have only fans, I remember a Rolling Stone review that was somewhat bemused by Jon’s attempt to sound like a second guitar carrying the riffs and described the Hammond sound as “overly loud” in the mix.

  51. 51
    MacGregor says:

    Thanks for the live Pilot link, good to see them outside of that of miming videos for Top of the Pops. They were a good band with some good songs although probably too Beatle influenced for me. Some of those bands at that time really struggled to come up with their ‘own’ thing, in that sense of the word. Not to worry. Cheers.

  52. 52
    Gregster says:

    @50…Thanks Uwe, good post ! At least with W.S., Jon was doing something & being active, even if he didn’t really want to be involved in the beginning. D.C. did well to have him included imo.

    And the recent posts above have had their effect on me, causing me to upgrade my cassette-version of “The Best of Alan Parson’s Project” into CD, & I even found the same version from the late 1980’s for all-of-a “fiver”…Sweet ! I have a few LP’s too from these guys, but for me the “hits” albums are where it’s at, as the LP’s were overall disappointing for me. Great songs within them however here & there 🙂 !

    Peace !

  53. 53
    MacGregor says:

    Yes indeed Gregster regarding The Alan Parson’s Project albums. I only own the first Tales of Mystery & Imagination, it is a little darker & more ‘progressive’ for me than anything else I have heard. The other albums up to the 1980 era I have always had access to, I haven’t bothered with later than that & as you say a few albums have some good songs, however I grow tired of them as full albums. A hit & miss thing. Some lovely songs & a few instrumentals here & there & superb musicians & production etc. Cheers.

  54. 54
    MacGregor says:

    @ 50 – “Mind you, that early lead organ style didn’t have only fans, I remember a Rolling Stone review that was somewhat bemused by Jon’s attempt to sound like a second guitar carrying the riffs and described the Hammond sound as “overly loud” in the mix”. If Jon Lord’s Hammond was ‘overly loud’ I wonder what that reviewer thought of Uriah Heep & Ken Hensley’s sound etc. Oh hang on, that might have been the journalist who threatened to kill herself if the Heep ever made it! Oh dear those journo’s at Rolling Stone. They have a way with words. Obviously Lord’s Hammond didn’t annoy that reviewer as much as Heep annoyed that lady back then. Cheers.

  55. 55
    George in Ohio says:

    Uwe, I’m going to partially agree and partially disagree on the timing of Jon’s style switch from “lead organ/gorgan.” I completely agree that, in Stormbringer and CTTB, he presaged the more supplementary role he assumed more fully in Whitesnake. But I think he was still pretty upfront in WDWTWA. “Rat Bat Blue” is clearly his showcase, and in “Smooth Dancer” and “Place in Line” he has excellent, prominent solos. And Jon plays an absolutely integral part of “Woman From Tokyo,” and in every cut on the album Jon’s contributions would be missed if they weren’t there.
    Because of Big Ian and Ritchie’s difficulties in getting along, the synergy that developed when the guys were jamming together didn’t happen very much, and the album – while still excellent, in my opinion – admittedly doesn’t represent their absolute best work. So I’m not surprised that Jon stepped up to do his best to try to hold the album together.

    I also agree that it would have been awesome to hear him doubling Ritchie on “Mistreated.” Different to be sure, but still awesome. As far as Rolling Stone’s review stating Jon’s Hammond sound being “overly loud”…well, I never bought the idea that RS was the final authority on rock music. Yes, the rag was a groundbreaker in many regards. But the RS journalists were legends in their minds only.

  56. 56
    Uwe Hornung says:

    With Heep to this day, the Hammond is hilariously upfront, even more so than with DP. Phil Lanzon is like 40% of their sound live (and he’s also very tall towering over his keyboard set-up) and the other guys together are the remaining 60%. That became especially evident when I saw Don Airey with Heep live (when he deputized for a mourning Phil Lanzon who had a death in the family). Don is soundwise no shrinking violet as we all know, but within Heep he was almost sonically shy. And the immediate result was the disappearance of that characteristic Heep organ roar live (and he even played Lanzon’s keyboards!).

    Uriah Heep rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, a bit like Grand Funk Railroad actually. (And I always heard a similarity in David Byron’s and Mark Farner’s more theatrical tenor voices.)

    Not me though, I loved Grand Funk in all their chest-beating glory. Especially when they turned into a quartet with Craig Frost joining on keyboards. Their addictive opener “Footstompin’ Music” then even featured a twin (!) keyboard attack! (Not to mention Farner’s orange satin pants pressure-fit to his butt he was always so proud of! That said, Don Brewer’s pink puffy sleeves aren’t bad either.)


  57. 57
    MacGregor says:

    GFR were in that record collection of my older cousins way back in the early 70’s. I listened to them a lot then, a powerful talented group they were. GFR Live & Mark, Don & Mel were the albums from my distant memory. Did they lose out because of the British bands I was possessed by at the time? I have tried to listen to them a few times since however the songs just didn’t grab me. They would have been the first or one of the first American stadium bands wouldn’t they. Well before any of the mainstream acts that followed them. A powerful rock ‘n roll band indeed with excellent musicians & also a mighty power trio for a while. Regarding Uriah Heep yes Phil Lanzon is a force & he needs to be to keep that flame burning. I think he is their main songwriter in many ways, a coincidence? I remember when Don Airey filled in & yes he was a good temporary ‘replacement’, but a different approach to the keys. All good though. Cheers

  58. 58
    Gregster says:

    @53…Thanks for your support on this matter ( Alan Parson Project discography ), & I’m sure we’re not the only one’s who feel the same ! *What’s surprising is that when I searched, there were a couple of newer Vol.1 & 2 “hits” available, that got me thinking about these, since he’s obviously been active over the years, but it was a no-brainer to simply upgrade into CD the version already acquired when I saw it…

    I was very much like Uwe ( & likely a lot of us here ) through the 1980’s, & it wasn’t until having acquired a few CD’s as gifts well into the 1990’s that I finally bought a Yamaha single-disc player ( that I still have & works well )…In fact, it was acquiring DP’s “The Battle Rages On” on CD that encouraged the move at last…The problem now was restocking everything into CD’s, whilst also taking stock of all the excellent 2nd-hand LP’s that flooded the market…Needless to say, that’s where I acquired a number of the Alan Parson’s albums, & some other excellent, & sought after Records, that have increased in value considerably. The LP’s, cassettes & CD’s all form a part of an awesome musical-journey that’s still going & growing, & I’ll let my nieces & nephews decide their fate ( along with everything else ) when it’s time to check-out-of-this-place, & move-on to-the-next !

    I do hope that if they don’t hang-on-to my rig & Stratocasters, that they at least appreciate what they have, & find good homes for them lol !

    Peace !

  59. 59
    MacGregor says:

    @ 58 – yes indeed, the art of letting go of worldly possessions. I know what you mean regarding quality musical instruments, I have a few friends who worry about their guitars when they have shaken off their mortal coil. Will their children or whoever they leave them to give a damn about it & just sell them off to anyone. At least one thing is for sure, we won’t be around to worry about it, or will we still hear about it in the afterlife or from the other side. Ha, ha ha. I was lucky selling my Sonor drums to a genuine buyer 6 years ago. A guy who was lamenting the fact that the series I owned in Rosewood & with heavy duty hardware etc had eluded him from the early 1980’s. Although I sometimes do think, ‘what if something happens to him’? Where will they end up? We all just have to move on without our favourite toys eventually. Cheers.

  60. 60
    Gregster says:

    @59…Well said, & very true. At least you found a good home for the kit. It’s always good to pass-on things into a good home.

    I just hope that my guitars & amp get played & enjoyed ! I still use them quite often, but there’s no doubting some guitars spend lots-of-time in their case. My Oly-white Stratocaster generally gets the most use, as its also turned into being the most worn out lol ! Once you get proficient playing it however, the others seem like brand-new with no fret-buzz & lower action, so you really-fly around the fret-board proficiently. And you really have to see an Oly-white Stratocaster in-the-flesh to appreciate the beauty. I have never seen a picture yet do one justice. This one’s an awesome work-horse, & dear friend.

    I play the others alternately when I start going through a “recording phase”, so they all get played & recorded.

    And my amp is an awesome beast, a very rare, though under appreciated hand made & designed B.K.Butler “TubeWorks” RT-2100 4 x 10 combo from early 1993. It sounds somewhere in-between a Fender & a Marshall imo in a general sense, ( not quite as fat & full sounding as a big Fender rig, & yet not quite as glassy as a Marshall can be ), though a little more Marshall-biased now for-sure, with the New-Old-Stock 6n2p-ev Vostok Rocket Russian tubes in there now. It does have a unique Over-drive sound however that you get when pushed-hard, making its own very agreeable sound identity…Cool…Mr.Butler was famous for making the now revered “Tube Driver” effects pedal, that featured a real 12-AX7 tube, & was / is used by many artists from Billy Gibbons to Satch to Dave Gilmour…

    I wonder if anyone’s collected one of RB’s Stratocasters yet ?…

    Peace !

  61. 61
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Ha, my son always says regarding my bass collection: “Tell me which one goes into your coffin, I’ll sell the rest!” Don’t you just love the offspring!

  62. 62
    MacGregor says:

    @ 60 – an interesting story regarding that amp of yours. I had a one off jam with a guy about 10 years past & he had a very different tube amp, combo size & I cannot remember the name /brand of it. It was awesome & a cross between the classic Marshall & Fender Twin sound. He had an old Strat & was a Hendrix, Beck, Blackmore freak & the sound he had was bliss. It was a brand I have never heard of & that Butler amp possibly rings a bell. I am familiar with all the ‘known’ brands. I have even looked up rare brand tube amps trying to jolt my memory, alas I cannot recall it. I will look up Mr Butlers amp. Your worn Stratocaster could possibly be looking a little like Rory Gallagher’s road weary one me thinks, as in very well played etc. Classic indeed & who is it that owns that rather worn Telecaster, is it Gilmour, it also looks like it has been around. I enjoy some of those guitar players from the older days looking at their collections etc, that Jeff Beck one is a good video. @ 61, ha ha, better let them decide which one, although the Steinberger would fit in no worries. Cheers.

  63. 63
    Gregster says:

    @61…LOL…Decision,decisions…Might be better to let them all go to new appreciative owners, rather than one-in-the-hole with you…

    @62…Unfortunately or fortunately, all my guitars look & play like new lol !!! Even the 1989 Strat-plus looks very good for age, though it has seen by far the most road-work, rehearsals & gigs. The Oly-white 70’s Strat has a long story to it, as it was bought at a great price as a pair-deal, along with another black 1970’s Classic series guitar back in 2003-4. And the Sunburst 70’s Stratocaster I got at a super great price that I couldn’t refuse, from a really great shop in Devonport that has closed-down since…It’s my RUSH guitar, as its birthday stamp is 21/11/12 on the neck-heal…Amazing…

    The Oly-white Strat came with me to the Maritime College years ago, & was my only player for a number of years. The vintage frets wear quickly, but I have a replacement neck for it when needed, or I might just use the new neck for a personal build. I’ve raised the action about 0.5mm & she remains playable.

    The Tube-Works amp is killer, & I got it at a great price too, as I was teaching guitar at the time for a small business Music store. Rated at well over 100-Watts by the original sales brochure, I can honestly say that its loud & capable, having done out-side gigs with it, & generally speaking, you only ever need 50-60% of its capability.


    The picture above ( scroll down a bit for main photo ) is one-of-a-few that I could find where you see the dials, as the amp-head lives in a recess on the rear of the top deck, similar to a Fender De-Ville. Also, mine has the grey-carpet covering, not the one in the photo.
    They do sound great, & feature 3 x channels & a real-spring-reverb tank too. The channels are clean, over-drive & stack…Stack is for solos & ultimately sends a 10+db boost out through the speakers. It’s tube is also biased for clarity & sustain.

    I don’t know how to send a PM to anyone here so as to get contact details ( or if it’s possible ), but maybe one-day we’ll hook-up, as we’re both in Northern Tasmania. A jam would be awesome !

    Peace !

  64. 64
    MacGregor says:

    @ 63 – Sheeessh, that close, why was I thinking you were now in the States. I remember your Melbourne Australia stories, I may have my wires crossed with another person commenting here regarding the US of A. I am in Westbury, Van Diemen’s Land, not the one in England or the USA . So maybe I could drop up there to the Laneway cafe or somewhere else, take it from there. Or meet up here or Deloraine, Launceston I am easy. Cheers.

  65. 65
    Gregster says:

    @64…No worries mate, I’m in Hadspen, so we’re virtually neighbors…Only Hagley separating us, but there’s no where in Hagley to have a coffee lol !…

    Westbury hey, “You’ll be bowled over” LOL ! The weather is turning for the inconsistent wet at the moment, & I’m motorcycle only, but happy to get together if you like. How about you suggest a time & day, & we’ll meet at the Caltex / Ampol on the corner opposite the pub ?…Any day is fine, except I try to keep week-end mornings clear to get the washing done. Just look for a black & grey Suzuki Hayabusa, & we’re done ! ( I dislike Launceston, lots of greedy programmed people in there, living their lives through their phones lol ).

    Look forward to meeting someday, & I’ll bring a CD of my own stuff to get you keen again on hitting-the-skins. I get along with most DP tunes OK, just need the rehearsals to cement. ( eg I remember the popular riffs & solo’s etc, but without a band or singer, one can lose / forget the exact arrangement ).

    Peace !

  66. 66
    MacGregor says:

    @ 65 – excellent & as you said the change in seasons is upon us. As you are riding a motorcycle, i was going to suggest either this Thursday or Friday however they are both forecast for showers. Maybe next week sometime although Monday could be possible showers also looking from this far away & not sure as to the rest of next week as yet. Looking forward to it & it is bizarre that some people talk on forums etc from half way across the planet, depending on where the forum base is & later find out they virtually live across the street from each other, we have to laugh. It does happen often & that is the internet. A world wide web & what a web it is we weave at times. Regarding Supertramp I only own two albums, Crime of The Century & Even in the Quietest Moments, their two most progressive albums. After that they started to sound a little the same & far too commercial for me. That mid 70’s era was their peak, a dynamic & dramatic live band at that time with strong songs. Cheers.

  67. 67
    Gregster says:

    @66…Ha ha, all the weekdays are looking like having rain at the moment, but it’s never really accurate, especially the further ahead you look…

    That said, Saturday & Sunday both look to be clear & sunny, & I’ll easily find the time on either afternoon, on either day if you’re up-for-it. Even if we only get together to exchange e-mail & phone numbers on this occasion, it would be worth doing, as I doubt there’ll be too much open in Westbury, unless the IGA serves coffee LOL. The Ampol servo, (or close to it) suits me as a good place to meet. ( There’s actually a coffee shop a little way down the street on that side of the road, but may be closed ). I was thinking around 14:00, on either day, but whenever you’re free.

    No doubt we’ll be discussing music,DP & what’s in store for the new record lol. And how good it is to have these guys still making music !

    Peace !

  68. 68
    MacGregor says:

    @67 – Ok Gregster Saturday afternoon at 2.oo pm at the Servo suits me fine also. I was going to suggest either afternoon but thought I would wait for your reply. I know one or two caffeine fix locations, we will talk about that at the rendezvous. Looking forward to meeting you & the way this is turning out who knows, Uwe could rock up also, he he he. See you then. Cheers.

  69. 69
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Oh my jumpin’ kangaroo, we’re witnessing a penal colony inmates’ get-together of sorts!

  70. 70
    Uwe Hornung says:

    The mind boggles: This is turning into a Tinder® for aging Purple fans!

    : – )

  71. 71
    Uwe Hornung says:

    They’ll become an item no doubt. I’m expecting them to soon post under a joint moniker here #MacGregster …

  72. 72
    MacGregor says:

    We will keep the cryptic scribblings separate so as to not confuse anyone. The deeper the writings & the doubt as to who actually wrote what will be too much me thinks. A bit like Shakespeare, who actually wrote that? Or maybe we both could simply change our pseudonyms? Or even use Australian fauna names, ie Lace monitor or Goanna, now that could be confusing. One thing is for sure, if we start to play music together I will have to purchase a drum kit again & we will need a bass player. Remember that endangered species? Cheers.

  73. 73
    Gregster says:

    @68…Saturday @ 14:00 it is ! I’ll likely arrive a little early, & hang around for a while too, since I have all my clocks adjusted forward 10-15 minutes to make sure I’m never late lol, though I have no idea how long it actually takes to get there, as I’ve never timed it. Be patient if I’m a little late, I will get there, rain or shine lol ! And I’ll park as close as possible to the servo on the main-drag, so just look for the bike, & I won’t be too far away !

    @69…LOL ! You never know Uwe, anything is possible. I initially thought that Mr.MacGregor may have been from the east coast, somewhere around St.Helen’s for some reason, but he’s only around 20-km away, which is unbelievable. It will be good to meet that’s for sure, but the possibility of a jam down-the-road some time makes for good times-to-come.

    Peace !

  74. 74
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Though I never thought I would end up on an Australian male dating site, I just love true romance, guys!

    I can vividly envisage this already. Do send pics or it didn’t happen!


  75. 75
    Gregster says:

    @72…Oh bummer, I actually thought you only let-go of one-kit, & still played a bit from time-to-time…And bass players are hard to find lol ! I guess we could follow the “Black Keys” lead if required lol !

    @74…LOL ! This is just acknowledging an odd coincidence, where we’re basically neighbors, that happen to be communicating on the WWW ! And since we can’t jam together, maybe some exchanges & upgrades to our musical library will transpire lol ! It is an unusual circumstance, believe me…Especially for here in Tasmania, as it’s a very different place to live compared to the rest-of-Oz, because it’s so isolated. I will be encouraging the Longbeach 1976 show.

    Peace !

  76. 76
    Uwe Hornung says:

    With all due respect, there should be prohibition laws against duos without a bassist!!!

  77. 77
    Uwe Hornung says:

    A very pleasant Billy Corgan (suffering from a bad cold) lauds Ritchie (at 01:50)


    I know that Billy digs Deep Purple too, but he rightly probably didn’t consider them heavy metal.

  78. 78
    MacGregor says:

    Interesting comments from Billy Corgan but not surprising at all. Blackmore does hail from the song writing era, the 1960’s & trying to get the popularity (hits) rolling so to speak. I always remember that comment about the advice Pete Townshend gave him in the late 60’s. He was always a song man in so many ways & that does vary a little depending on the era & the mood no doubt. Cheers.

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