Tag Archives: George Harrison
Posted: March 30, 2016
Fred Gretsch’s company website, Gretsch.com, recently posted a wonderful Q&A with King of Twang Duane Eddy.
In the piece, Eddy chats with interviewer Ron Denny, covering a variety of topics including his longtime career, influence on other artists, working with George Harrison, and how he feels about his Gretsch guitars.
Here’s a quick excerpt:
What circumstances led to you and George Harrison crossing paths and working together in the ’80s?
In 1986, the Art of Noise decided to do a remake of “Peter Gunn” which had been a hit for me back in 1959. So, I flew over to England with my guitar and opened up the guitar on “Peter Gunn” for the Art of Noise and it was a worldwide hit. As a result of that, I went to a few shows with them, one of which was the Montreux Rock Festival in Switzerland. Jeff Lynne of the Electric Light Orchestra and I met backstage and Jeff said, “I know after this hit you’ll be doing an album and I’d love to be a part of it, whatever you’d like me to do. Write, play, produce, anything I can do to help. I’d love to do a few tracks with you.” And I said, ”Okay, I’ll keep that in mind,” and took his number.
Sure enough, later that year I got an album deal with Capital Records. So I did a couple tracks with the Art of Noise, one with Ry Cooder, and then I called Jeff Lynne and said, “Well you were right, I got the album deal. Do you still want to work on some things?” He says, “I would love to Duane, but I’m working with George Harrison at the moment on his new album.” He says, “I’m just all wrapped up in that and I wouldn’t be able to.” I said, “Fine, no problem.”
I hung up and forgot about it. Twenty minutes later the phone rings and he says, “It’s Jeff. Well, I told George we were talking and I told him you just called me and asked me to help with the album, and George wants to put his album on hold and do yours, do a couple of tracks with you.” I said, “Great, we’ll be over next week.”
This was on your 1987 Duane Eddy album?
Yes. My wife Deed and I, and my ’57 Gretsch, flew over and went to George’s house and recorded three tracks with George. One of them was a song that Ravi Shankar had hummed to him. It had a flat note at the end and George said, “That’s the greatest note I ever heard.” I said, “Yeah, that’s very interesting.” So I took that line and finished writing that part, then put in a middle part which was not weird, but rather ordinary and common to offset that weird part, and it became “The Trembler.” It was used in Natural Born Killers in a real dark scene with tumbleweeds blowing and rattlesnakes and a dust storm and all that. It was very effective.
You’re so strongly identified with your ’57 6120. How do you feel when you see another Gretsch?
Basically I just love them and it’s like coming home. It’s like seeing a family member. I don’t care where it is, if it’s in a pawnshop or a guy’s house. I’m immediately drawn to it, especially if it’s a hollow body. And, when I see a 6120, I wonder if it’s as good as my ’57, if it has that same slim neck.
Posted: June 29, 2015
Hopefully you have at least one road trip planned for the summer. And whether you’re driving in a Toyota Prius or a ’64 Chevy Impala, a solid soundtrack is a must. It’s an important list, one that requires the requisite consideration to match the tempo of the ride and the terrain of the pavement.
We take our road trip playlists seriously. After all, conversation with your fellow riders can only last so long.
So as a public service, we’ve pinpointed five road trip songs that will get your list started on the right foot, errr… wheel.
“Drive My Car” – The Beatles
Coming off the British version of1965’s Rubber Soul, the story goes that “Drive My Car” grew from the Beatles’ first recording session that extended past midnight, as Paul McCartney and George Harrison put together the basic rhythm.
“Drive My Car” features a thumping bottom end that is great for rolling down the windows and revving the engine, with an R&B feel that calls to mind the bass-heavy tracks that came out of Memphis’s Stax Records.
“Beep, Beep! Beep, Beep! Yeah!” indeed.
“Rebel Rouser” – Duane Eddy
The king of twang could have several entries on our playlist, with his signature guitar sound shining so bright on every track he released. But Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser” has a rambling groove that is well-suited to flat country roads. The instrumental hit is accentuated with bleats from a saxophone as it winds down, adding a car chase feel to the tune.
But don’t accelerate too fast. It’s best to just take in the scenery when Eddy is doing his thing.
Highway to Hell – AC/DC
Written by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young and the late Bon Scott, “Highway to Hell” is a paean to the rigors of touring and life on the road with “no stop signs/speed limit.”
The riff is instantly recognizable and makes you want to put the pedal to the metal, as it sears through the brain and has the ability to instantly conjure an adrenaline rush. Now, this fact might also make the song a dangerous one to drive with, but sometimes you need to drive fast and take chances.
Just watch out for the speed traps.
“Tush” – ZZ Top
Whether you’re going to Dallas, Texas, or Hollywood, “Tush” fits the bill. The opening riff immediately commands the listener to pull on their sunglasses and secure their cowboy hat. The original recording was found on Fandango and was ZZ Top’s first Top 20 single, with good reason.
Billy Gibbons takes two turns with searing slide guitar solos, and Dusty Hill’s strong bassline rumbles just as much as the engine. The Texas trio’s hit is definitely at home when traversing the Lone Star State, but there is certainly room for a lot of “Tush” on the Sunset Strip.
“Long May You Run” – Neil Young
“Long May You Run” is an homage to Young’s beloved first car, a hearse that was known as “Mort.” Seriously.
But this hearse has a lot of historical significance. It was the vehicle that carted Young and his original band around Canada. It broke down in the early 1960s in Blind River, Ont., but that spawned Mort’s successor, another hearse named “Mort Two” which ended up carrying him from Toronto to Los Angeles. There, Young met Stephen Stills and eventually formed Buffalo Springfield.
So long may you run, Mort, in that scrapyard in the sky. We’ll appreciate the song you inspired with our wheels firmly on the pavement.
Tags: AC/DC, Drive My Car, Duane Eddy, George Harrison, Gretsch Top 5, Highway to Hell, Long May You Run, Neil Young, Rebel Rouser, Road Trip Songs, The Beatles, Tush, ZZ Top
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Posted: September 23, 2014
George Harrison’s first six solo studio albums, released between 1968 and 1975 on the Beatles’ Apple label, will be available as newly remastered individual releases and as part of a box set, The Apple Years 1968-75.
Due out Sept. 23, the eight-disc box was designed to complement Harrison’s 2004 release, The Dark Horse Years 1976-92, and features an exclusive DVD with several video pieces, including a new seven-minute film with previously unreleased footage. The Apple Years box also includes an exclusive perfect-bound book with an introduction by Dhani Harrison, new essays by award-winning radio producer and author Kevin Howlett, and rare and previously unpublished images.
“I am so happy that what we started a decade ago by releasing The Dark Horse Years is now complete with the release of his first six albums as The Apple Years,” Dhani Harrison said in a statement. “Some of these records have long been out of print, so I cannot wait for music lovers to get their hands on these newly remastered versions. It’s a very proud moment for us, and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us in any way to achieve this.”
The albums—which have been digitally restored and remastered at Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles by a GRAMMY® Award-winning team of engineers including Paul Hicks, Gavin Lurssen, and Reuben Cohen—include 1968′s Wonderwall Music, 1969′s Electronic Sound, 1970′s All Things Must Pass, 1973′s Living in the Material World, 1974′s Dark Horse and 1975′s Extra Texture (Read All About It). Some of the albums contain previously unreleased tracks, while All Things Must Pass contains five bonus tracks that were first released in 2001.
You can order the box set from the Official George Harrison store here: http://po.st/GHAppleYears
Or from Amazon here: http://po.st/GHAppleYearsAm
And order the digital version from iTunes here: http://po.st/GHAppleYearsDigi
Posted: April 28, 2014
We offered a list of five great Gretsch movie moments a few months back. Since there’s plenty more where they came from, however, here are a few more great Gretsch cinematic appearances.
Directed by Richard Lester, Help!, was the second feature film from the Beatles. The comedy adventure’s plot was based around the band running up against an evil cult that was about to sacrifice a woman to the goddess Kaili. Unfortunately, the woman in question is not wearing the sacrificial ring. Guess who has the ring stuck on their finger? Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
We won’t spoil the rest of the flick for you, but it should be noted that there were several musical performances during Help!, as well, and the soundtrack was even released as an album. Most notably during a performance of “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” in the film, George Harrison is seen strumming a Country Gentleman.
Posted: February 7, 2014
Fifty years ago, on Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their U.S. television debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. With George Harrison rocking a Gretsch Duo Jet that night, business skyrocketed for Gretsch guitars.
President and CEO Fred Gretsch recently spoke with Parade about how Beatlemania transformed his family-owned company.
“Overnight, thousands of garage bands were created that wanted to emulate the Beatles…[Demand] went up 25 percent,” said Gretsch. “You know, the baby boom generation was teenagers at that point in time. Rock and roll had begun mid-’50s [and] was gaining steam, [so] everybody was prepped and focused on the Beatles when they arrived…everybody was ready for them.”
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