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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Check Out Rich Robinson’s Gretsch Collection

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Premier Guitar recently caught up with Doug “Red” Redler, otherwise known as longtime tech for the Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson, to run through the gear Robinson is using on the band’s latest tour.

While looking at Robinson’s guitars, Redler pulled out several Gretsch gems, including a Japanese-made Black Falcon and a Streamliner (see photo above) that was was damaged during Hurricane Sandy and repaired by Steve Stern of the Gretsch Custom Shop.

Redler explained that the Streamliner is used on the songs ”Feather” and “Good Morning Captain,” noting that Robinson likes it for “anything that gets really loud with a lot of feedback.”

Check out Robinson’s collection in the clip below and visit the Black Crowes’ official website for more information.

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Depeche Mode Brilliant in Phoenix

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Depeche Mode Martin Gore

Simply put, Brit synth-pop-turned-electronic rock gods Depeche Mode were quite brilliant Tuesday night at Phoenix’s Ak-Chin Pavilion, the latest and second-to-last show of the U.S. leg of their Delta Machine World Tour.

Anticipation was high, as singer Dave Gahan dramatically twirled his way onto the dark-lit stage, greeting the audience in song with Delta Machine’s opening track, “Welcome to My World.”

“Welcome to my world, step right through the door … And if you stay a while I’ll penetrate your soul,” he sang.

During a nearly two-hour set, Gahan, guitarist-keyboardist Martin Gore, keyboardist Andy Fletcher and touring members Peter Gordeno (keyboards) and Christian Eigner (drums) did just that, riveting the crowd with their brooding songs and yet playful rockstar charisma.

After delivering another Delta Machine number in “Angel,” the band served up a handful of gems from their vast back catalog with “Walking in My Shoes” off 1993’s Songs of Faith and Devotion, “Precious” (2005’s Playing the Angel) and the title track of 1986’s Black Celebration.  Red laser beams flashed across the stage during the dark and mesmerizing take on “Black Celebration,” highlighted by Gahan’s distinctive baritone.

Depeche Mode Dave GahanDressed in tight black jeans and an unfastened glittery vest, Gahan sashayed, strutted, twirled and delivered endless provocative hip thrusts to rival John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. When he wasn’t grinding with his mic stand, he was whirling it in the air and spinning dizzying pirouettes, earning even more adulation during dance hit “Policy of Truth” off 1990’s Violator.

Meanwhile, Fletcher was cool incarnate behind the keys, sporting dark sunglasses and accenting the lyrics with demonstrative hand gestures.

Even the subdued Gore showcased his playful side, as he tap shuffled across the stage to the drum beat during “Enjoy the Silence” and often rocked out with an envious collection of guitars.

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Billy Duffy Talks White Falcon With Total Guitar

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Billy Duffy and his White Falcon

By Jimmy Smith

It’s no surprise to hear that Billy Duffy loves his White Falcon. Seeing the Cult guitarist with the majestic Gretsch six-string is a common sight for Duffy fanatics.  Recently, Total Guitar magazine sat down with Duffy to see how it all started.

“I always thought it was like a mythical kind of thing: this big, white semi-acoustic guitar,” said Duffy. “It was looks first.

“I really liked that Neil Young approach of getting a really aggressive sound out of a Gretsch,” he continued. “My high-school band was just slightly pre-punk. We got into stuff like Neil Young – sorta folky, rocky – and Neil Young and Crosby, Stills & Nash had them; that was the first time I saw the guitar. [Then] I joined Theater of Hate, took all my life’s savings and bought a guitar.”

For more on the interview with Billy Duffy pick up June’s issue of Total Guitar here.

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Gretsch on ’60s U.S. Series TV

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Gretsch guitars were all over the tube in the 1960s. Big hollow-body guitars remained in widespread use in rock and pop throughout the entire decade, and it seemed at times as though you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a TV set that was showing some variety or music show featuring some band that had at least one Gretsch instrument in the lineup. Pretty cool.

From the Beatles and the Stones and the Animals on The Ed Sullivan Show to the Kinks on Shivaree to the Zombies on Shindig! and more, Gretsch guitars were a staple on U.S. programming. Even across the pond, the Who’s John Entwistle wielded a Gretsch 6070 bass on Ready Steady Go! in 1965.

And yet there was a whole other category of U.S. television programming in the ’60s that also showed Gretsch instruments: prime-time series television on the three major networks at the time—ABC, CBS and NBC. Not only did you see and hear Gretsch guitars on variety shows and music shows; you also saw them on top-rated sitcoms, action-packed cop shows, cool spy shows and more.

Here are five notable examples of That Great Gretsch Sound on U.S. network series television in the 1960s. Some of these shows and the musical acts on them are well known and some are pretty obscure, but there’s simply no mistaking a Gretsch when you see one.

The Monkees

Gretsch instruments appeared in nearly every Monkees episode from first (Sept. 12, 1966) to last (March 25, 1968). In this clip, from fall 1965 pilot episode “Here Come the Monkees” (which, oddly, aired Nov. 14, 1966, as episode ten), NBC’s simian heroes swing their way through “Let’s Dance On.” Sort of.

And that’s three Gretsch guitars out front, wielded not only by Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork, as usual, but here even by Davy Jones. Nesmith’s guitar undergoes an interesting change toward the end, but it’s nothing compared to the utterly magical transformation of Tork’s bass. And pay close attention to the logo on that kick drum head, by the way …

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Reverend Horton Heat Stops By Chicago Music Exchange

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Recently, Reverend Horton Heat stopped by Chicago Music Exchange to sign autographs for fans and perform a few tracks before a concert at another Windy City venue.

The band’s latest album, which is simply titled Rev, will be released on Jan. 21, 2014, but in the meantime, fans can get a taste of their psychobilly in the compilation below.

Visit Reverend Horton Heat’s official website for a full list of tour dates.

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