Archives for category: Eddie Van Halen

It has been 31 years since I last saw David Lee Roth front Van Halen on the Women and Children First Tour, when Valerie Bertinelli was sitting with the front of house sound guy and we were wondering who she was with, when Van Halen hit the stage at Bridgestone Arena Friday night at about 9 PM.

Kicking it off with a hard core Van Halen fan favorite, “Unchained,” it was definitely an interesting ride that really showed Eddie back on top of his game while David Lee Roth seemed to do a little soft shoe a la Gene Kelly meets Jaco Pastorius.

Wolfgang was wearing the stripes on his bass while Eddie was showing off his latest Ebony neck Stealth Wolfgang. Alex Van Halen sat behind a very classic Van Halen Ludwig kit with the four double deep bass drums in holographic silver. The only thing missing was the fire extinguishers.

It’s kind of a strange ride to see Van Halen come out as the elder statesmen of guitar pyro technic rock when it doesn’t seem that long ago that I saw them burst out as true revolutionaries on their own tour at Utah State University in 1979 the day Van Halen II came out. Back then, my jaw hit the floor as they started into “Light Up The Sky.” David Lee Roth came running off the drum riser at least 10 feet in the air and landed in front of the mic stand just in time to deliver the first line. Even today, that stands as a mark in time like the moon landing or the day the wall came down in Germany.

The things that I found interesting in this set was, that they didn’t shy from playing their Roth era radio hits, “You Really Got Me” and “Pretty Woman.”  The first original song to do moderately well on radio back then was “Dance The Night Away,” but, when Fair Warning failed to produce a hit and didn’t sell as well as Women and Children First, it was back to cover Halen, “Pretty Woman,” that turned things around.

Wynona Judd at The VH Show

Okay, impressions on Wolfgang, I had seen clips from the last tour, and seeing him now I thought, how cool is that? He gets to tour with his Dad who just happens to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time and he is only 18 or so. What he brings to the band, is his knowledge of what the fans want to hear and act as a balancing act between his Dad and Roth, who seem to play very well together in the sandbox nowadays. I think their egos are in some kind of balance now.

Eddie and Wolfgang did fine on backup vocals, but, Michael Anthony’s high as Frank DiMino background vocals were a part of the classic sound. Wolfgang doesn’t seem intent to do what Michael did on the bass. Michael was old school in that his bass propelled Alex’s bass drum and was so much in the same frequencies as the kick drum that it was hard to distinguish Michael, like where did the bass go? But, that was because he wasn’t sloppy. He was totally in sync with Alex.  What Wolfgang did show off was guitaresque Billy Sheehan harmonies on the new stuff, like”Chinatown.”  If I had to try to mind read Wolfgang, it would seem that he is itching to come out on guitar, but, the bass gig with Dad and Uncle Alex is a great place to be.

Alex had a somewhat brief solo, with pseudo big band tracks that reminded me a lot of Neil Peart solos over the last few years.  Alex is extremely underrated. He has what a lot of drummers lack now and that is the bridge between the original jazz drummers that is the core of rock drummers back then which was Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa and Louie Bellson then mixed with what he grew up with, Ginger Baker and Keith Moon and then throw in early 70’s contemporaries that had that swing groove, Brian Downey from Thin Lizzy and Frank Beard from ZZ Top.  Although it was a good solo, Alex’s high point for me was the Balance (Hospital) Tour.  It amazed me when Alex was wearing a collar brace and was literally not suppose to move his neck and I watched his hands snake all over the drums with no neck movement playing like a demented Gene Krupa – Billy Cobham. The Balance Tour is when my respect for Alex was cemented into my brain.

Of the new songs, “Tattoo,” did become somewhat of a sing along and people got it. There were plenty of 40 something Dads with 14 year old sons wearing matching Van Halen Concert T’s.  I had a couple of them with Dad in the row in front of me and when Eddie would take off on a solo, they would point and gawk much like I did in 1979.  Excellence never grows old. Speaking of excellence, last time I saw Eddie live was the Balance tour and I did enjoy it, but, Eddie was steeped in the Steve Lukather wet-dry-wet-, digital delay and processing and a lot of the edge was gone. For me, the highlight of the Balance Tour was the song “Amsterdam.” Now, Eddie is all about his signature stomp boxes, EVH Amps, his own guitars and the dynamics and definition were there. It sounded phenomenal, very tube old school, loved it.  There was only one step better and that was Van Halen II when Eddie toured with the 100 Watt Gazarri’s House Amp Marshall that he recorded the brown sound on.  But, this was fantastic.

Back during Van Hagar, Sammy had a clip when he played guitar alone on “When Eagles Fly,” on this tour we get to see Diamond Dave’s champion cattle and sheep dogs in black and white film as they compete and Dave talks about what the dogs could do before going into “Ice Cream Man.” Dave has always been larger than life on and off the road and this was about the most human I had ever seen Dave. It was very cool.

As far as Dave banter, he didn’t say he forgot the words, because he didn’t, but, he did say some great lines like,”A kid asked me if I had ever seen a screen as big as the one in the backdrop of the band?” to which Dave said “Oh yeah, we had one of those in Indiana out in a field, we called it a Drive In Movie.” One of my favorites was an old school reference when Alex kicked in the drum intro to “Everybody Wants Some,” and Dave started singing, “From the land of sky blue waters…” I think that was Hamm’s Beer.

There were definitely some songs I missed like “Light Up The Sky,” “I’m The One,” “On Fire” and “Top Jimmy,” but, “Hear About It Later” and “Romeos Delight” were great deep track shredders.

Eddie was not slacking at all, his solo which was kind of a “Variations on Eruption” thing, showed him spotlighted in front of the amps and then perching in his surfer kid hair cut on one of the drum riser stair steps. It had more the feel of seeing Eddie practicing on the end of his bed as a kid then a rock star running all over the stage. The camera was right on the neck in total focus showing what his fingers were doing on a giant back screen.

This tour has less set design and was more stripped down like the Balance Tour. It’s hard to express this, but, it felt like an intimate post card to true Van Halen fans in a big arena setting. In fact, it didn’t feel like an arena until the last song, ”Jump,” with confetti dropping out of the ceiling and Dave waving an oversized checkered flag. With Dave, there always needs to be something Texas sized about the show.

The band more than made up for Bridgestone Arena’s very poor acoustics. In this town, T-Pac or The Ryman is the place to really “hear” a band, but, if Van Halen did that, they would have been here all week long. The arena was definitely a near sell out.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

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Kenny Vaughan at Mercy 2011

This would be the year that Indie makes more news in Nashville than Country; what Music City is known for. There seems to be much more going on with the ever developing spider web of Funk, Rock and strange magic underbelly from the Gulch to East Nashville.

Before, we get into this weird year, 2012 with its three Friday the 13ths exactly 13 weeks apart, the intrigue of political discord, 12/21/12, which lines up with Rush’s “Temples of Syrinx” released in 1976, prophecy being realized, “Our great computers, fill the hallowed halls, We are the priests of the temples of syrinx, All the gifts of life, Are held within our walls,” ha! Computers, what a blessing and a curse as all the creative occupations occupied by humans are eliminated by this gift we call knowledge at our fingertips. Remember, when Rush wrote “Temples of Syrinx,” a computer took up a whole room. Well, Steve Jobs, one of the great Priests of the digital age has passed onto the spiritual realm.

The Mayan calendar ends shortly after the election, maybe the world won’t come to an end, but, probably a lot of music will be written about end times and there will be an uptick of heavy dirge and Metal music. This may be the year to contemplate life listening to Dark Side of The Moon again or about sinister underlying forces in Queensryche’s Operation Mindcrime.

Before we move through this “L” shaped recovery, one of the most mentally difficult times I can remember in my life, let’s rewind.

 As far as music, 2011 was a “run for cover” year as the “360 deal” pop artists keep spinning their “larger-than-life-80’s-on-ecstacy” fluff with the bands that happen to still be signed to major labels sounding not too far off the Katy Perryesque mark. I think the bands were put on warning, “Rock radio is dying so you better have “Moves Like Jagger.”

Okay, before I get to something positive, there were some disappointments. Janes Addiction, while preparing to release their newest album, The Great Escape Artist, put down their last effort, Strays  as not being that good, when in fact Strays did have a couple of great guitar hooks, while this dark piece, weak on guitar, ended up being more reminiscent of Porno for Pyros.  There was not one solid hook on the entire album.

Red Hot Chili Peppers were able to put together a solid if not remarkable effort with new guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer, who may be capable of taking on some Frusciante and Slovak, but not as innovative. Frusciante was a trailblazer; this is like replacing Eddie Van Halen.

So, with FYE the last major chain in Nashville closing its doors at the old Tower Records site, you got your choice, you have major league fluff, really not much different than the cotton candy days before The Beatles and The Rolling Stones crashed the party or you can go outside the box, think for yourself, show up at a Grimey’s in-store or a showcase at The End.

Hello Kelly at The Rutledge, photo courtesy- Jeni George

As far as bands go, Jeff The Brotherhood, joins the two member band fray that goes nationwide, well deserved with great shows locally and at Bonnaroo and beyond. As far as other local rock acts, Hello Kelly always put on a solid show when I saw them this year as well as The Onethroughtens that played solid sets at both the Third Man Vault show and some fashion meets art consortium at Mercy Lounge.

Kenny Vaughan at Ernest Tubb Record Shop

As far as favorite shows, Kenny Vaughan’s record release at Ernest Tubb’s downtown location was the place to be this year with Marty Stuart, the Fabulous Superlatives as well as Chris Scruggs playing to a packed room with about half being friends and relatives.

Jeff Beck at Ryman 2011

Jeff Beck at The Ryman was another phenomenal show as well as the Americana Awards that saw not only The Avett Brothers and The Civil Wars, but, also Robert Plant and Greg Allman bookending appearances with Buddy Miller providing the musical proceedings.

Okay, now for my top ten of the year. Many recordings are sounding more analog in the Indie world, if not recorded analog, the attempt to match the style with the sound that would come out of the influential era a must.

10.  Jeff The Brotherhood  – We Are The Champions

Starting out with some punk rock Buck Rogers guitar laser blasts subsiding into gnarly Maestro phase shifter on “Hey Friend” clocking in with a long intro, the writing is strong, simple and effective. Jeff gets a major label deal off this one. It will be interesting to see how that goes. Their own label, Infinity Cat, being one of the major local indie labels to develop a short roster that has been hitting every club and festival that they can, Jeff the Brotherhood came up with a solid piece of work.

9. The August – Dear Chicago Love Nashville

Jacky Dustin has one strong Country voice, this Chicago band has been down here chasing their Country music dreams for a little while, not waiting to get signed, they put this great piece of Country rockin’ song cycle out themselves.  Big labels, in their search for solos and doubles, have so far overlooked this great band. What’s wrong with a great band that writes their own songs about cranking The Rolling Stones and talking about where they came from? This is not a one trick pony going from the double-time “We Write Our Songs” to the getting more than you bargained for sultry “Love Me Like A Stranger,” this is probably the best “unsigned” country band in Nashville.

8. Graveyard – Hisingen Blues

This was a find while traveling out to Utah to do interviews, stopping it at local indie record shop, Gray Whale and picking up a recommendation. The Swedish rockers are somewhere between first album Black Sabbath and Vincebus Eruptum, Blue Cheer. The recording sounds like it was done on an old well worn 4 track reel to reel with non-Marshalls, more like full blown, old Sound City amps or something. There doesn’t seem to be anything above 8k on this album. It plays like a record found at a garage sale from an old Vietnam era stoner. They are playing this month at Exit/In on January 20th.  The early Black Sabbath slow un-blues of “No Good, Mr. Holden” and stoner boogie, “Buying Truth (Tack & Forlat)” are stand outs.

7. Mastodon – The Hunter

It’s weird to think that a Metal band that was conceived at The Nick in Birmingham and worked its way out of Atlanta, would earn its wings being lauded not only by Metallica but attendees at such indie festivals as Coachella with 2008’s, Crack The Skye, busting out everywhere. It was hard to follow up Crack the Skye which would be their Dark Side of The Moon, but Mastodon do a great job on such cuts as the “Sweet Leaf” groove of “Curl of The Burl” and the Dream Theater flavored, “Octopus Has No Friends.”  

Dedicated6. Steve Cropper – Dedicated, A Salute to The 5 Royales

Steve has the opportunity to pay tribute to guitarist, Lowman Pauling, who was one of the biggest influences on Stax soul as the great era of the Sixties would kick in full effect. The King records office, run by “Duck” Dunn’s brother in Memphis, brought in some of the strongest soul artists of the day from around the country. Booker T. and The MG’s, Otis Redding and many other artists were influenced as the music changed from rhythm and blues to soul. This has an all—star vocal cast from Delbert McClinton on “Right Around the Corner” to Steve Winwood, B.B. (Beale Street Blues Boy) King, Steve Winwood, Lucinda Williams and an A-list that contribute to this project.

5. Gary Clark Jr.  – The Bright Lights E.P.

With some gritty Black Keys meets The Burnside Exploration bluesy soul of “Bright Lights,” kicking off this four song cycle, there is a little Paul “Wine” Jones thrown in here, this Texan, all things, including a little hill country blues, is more of a promise than a full album. It was good enough to make Rolling Stone’s list for the year and earns a place on my list as well. The fact that it is on Warner Brothers makes it really twisted.

4. Tony Bennett – Duets II

With many of the classic icons now “Dust in The Wind,” it really is amazing that Tony Bennett still sings like a prizefighter. Mr. Bennett could hold up everything by himself, but, the interesting match-ups with Mariah Carey, John Mayer (yes, John Mayer), Willie Nelson, as well as Lady Gaga’s best performance to date on “The Lady is a Tramp” makes for an instant standard. The most prized track is Amy Winehouse’ last recorded performance of “Body and Soul.” The Nelson Riddle style strings make this record sit on the top shelf with the best early Sixties era Frank.

3. Kenny Vaughan – V

Kenny shows up on a lot of Nashville records, known as Marty Stuart’s guitar slinger, Kenny takes center stage with The Fabulous Superlatives providing back up, the album rocks as much as it steeps in mystified netherworld Country, blasting off with “Country Music Got a Hold on Me,” stopping mid-point with the instrumental, “Wagon Ride” before ending up in a rockin’ Country church, “Don’t Leave Home Without Jesus.”  Sonically, this has the frequencies in the right place with no high-end ADD busy bee stuff going on. Well done!

2. Blitzen Trapper – American Goldwing

If I could be in a band right now, this would be it, with only a strong sense of songwriting being the guide this is all over the map with heavy 70’s influenced, “Might Find It Cheap” being probably the best structured song I have heard this year, to influences from accoustified Dylan to southern fried Tom Petty, I think there is a concept going on here, but, more than anything this is worth at least a dozen listens.

1. Amy Winehouse – Lioness: Hidden Treasures

We may never know how far Amy could have gone. She absorbed Dinah Washington, Donny Hathaway as well as The Ronnettes with equal grace. Amy not only did some great covers, but, was a songwriter on par with the best. This disc has some raw original versions showing Amy supporting herself on guitar. Amy had all three talents, great voice, great musician and great songwriter. She was a triple threat in a class of one. Amy is the best voice of the last twenty years. This collection takes us all the way from the very beginning on the demo, “The Girl From Ipanema” to mid career, Stevie Wonder influenced, Amy Winehouse penned, “Half Time” to the current torn heart on a sleeve, Leon Russell cover, “A Song For You.” This is a chronicle of a flame that burned hot and way too fast. She should be here now.

Okay, that’s it.  Watch out for Imelda May. She actually played at 3rd and Lindsley this year. Imelda would have been on the list with Mayhem except it is a 2010 release, but, watch out, there is More Mayhem coming out at a Grimey’s near you.

Kitty, Daisy and Lewis’ stripped down take on the Forties as well as some Ska and Hawaiian music on Smoking in Heaven continues where the last one left. They’re heading for the Big Day Out Festivals in Australia and while not making much of a dent in the States, the recording is a vintage gear monger’s dream. They accurately feel like recordings made in Chicago or Memphis way before Sun.  

 – Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Photo – Brad Hood

When Parrish Hultquist started playing out at age 15, Utah had no idea what they were in store for.

After first tracking at Bonneville Studios for a band called Equinox, he developed his songwriting with Adrian Scott and Brad Hardisty in Roxx. Within a few short years, he was out performing originals with Moviescreen who released their first album in 1984.

Moviescreen

By the time Moviescreen started playing at The Generation Gap, Parrish’s lightning speed and interesting chord changes set him apart from what was available at the time in Utah. Parrish was learning from just about every imaginable influence from early Ritchie Blackmore, Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads to even Jazz artists like Al Di Meola and Allan Holdsworth. If he heard it, he could play it.

Wolfgang at Rafters-photo-Brad Hood

During the early 80’s he challenged himself to study classical nylon guitar only to find out that his teacher from the University of Utah had taught him everything he knew in six months. Anything that he would challenge himself to do on the guitar he could accomplish. He was a guitarists’ guitarist.

Parrish excelled in his abilities and quickly became bored or disinterested if the band he was in was not up to pushing as fast as things should be, reached a plateau or could not see his vision. Most of the time Parrish was the only guitarist in the band, but, those that were fortunate enough to share the stage with him found it to be an exhilarating experience.

Megattack Raw Delivery 1986

Parrish took guitar seriously and was not up for sharing the stage with somebody he would consider subpar.  Probably, the most successful band that Parrish performed with was Megattack with the dual guitar attack of Parrish Hultquist and Jay Gough. They played regional shows from Salt Lake City to Boise, Idaho with crowds of a 1000 or more. Megattack’s first album Raw Delivery took off in Europe just as the band broke up.

Wolfgang, Parrish,2nd in White pants

Parrish played in numerous projects in the late 80’s, such as Terra’s album Flames of Passion (out of print) featuring brothers Dana and Kevin Freebairn and early 90’s, most notably Wolfgang who played regularly in Salt Lake City and played tour dates opening for bands such as Extreme and Tesla. Wolfgang recorded several unreleased tracks and a few videos that can be found on YouTube nowadays.

Megattack , Raw Delivery era, Bryan Sorenson, Jake Oslo, Rick Jackson, Parrish Hultquist, Patrick Carter, photo courtesy The Bryan Sorenson Family

Megattack , Raw Delivery era, Bryan Sorenson, Jake Oslo, Rick Jackson, Parrish Hultquist, Patrick Carter, photo courtesy The Bryan Sorenson Family

Parrish created a lot of buzz as a guitarist and garnered compliments from other contemporaries such as Michael Schenker and George Lynch. He started to appear on Metal Fanzine covers as the next big thing or the Intermountain Music Scene secret weapon.  It would be a fact that Parrish would not have a problem tangling with any guitarist on stage doing anything from Metal to Jazz to Classical Music. He was an accomplished musician who studied everything he could get his hands on.

Megattack, photo courtesy The Bryan Sorenson Family

Megattack, photo courtesy The Bryan Sorenson Family

Parrish began to have medical issues, a very rare seizure problem in the mid 90’s that began to slow down his ability to perform. He took whatever energy he did have to creating demos off all of his song ideas in his home studio and took opportunities to record with friends.

Megattack in 2006, Jay, Richard, Rick, Parrish and Bryan

In 2005, the opportunity came to record with the original Megattack line up and a follow up to Raw Delivery called Save The Nations was recorded. The album was professionally mastered at Airshow in Colorado.  Parrish put as much as he could into his songwriting and playing. He was constantly dealing with seizures although he was grateful to have the opportunity to record again and perform on stage in Salt Lake City. Although medical issues would keep him in Spokane, W A., where his family lived and where he had medical attention, he was grateful to perform saying finally his daughter, Taylor, was able to see him perform with the band that garnered so much success in the 80’s.

One time he was riffing away at a visit to Guitar Center in West Valley later in years when a Salesman was blown away and asked if he had ever heard of Parrish Hultquist, that his Dad use to hang with him and he was considered the best guitarist to ever come out of Salt Lake City.  He finally busted up a little and explained that he was Parrish.

Travis, Shawn and Parrish

If Parrish respected you as a musician or as a person he was a lifelong friend. While he had a hard time with people that were not what he considered real, judgmental or dishonest he was ready to include those that he could tell were on the fringes whether they were shy, handicapped or otherwise feeling left out. He had a sense of humor and a personality that would light up the room or the face of a girl working as a Checker at the Grocery store. If he wanted to engage you in conversation or merriment there was no stopping him.

Back row, Parrish, Rome, Shelly, front, Stacy, Tracy, Ronnie, Shawn and Travis

Parrish never made the natural choice to go out to the LA scene in the 80’s. He loved Utah, Idaho and Washington State. He never wanted to be too far from family. He was the oldest brother of eight children.  The last several years with his health problems he was never far from his sisters and his Parents in Spokane, Washington.

Parrish was preceded in death by his younger brother, Shawn Hultquist, who had heart problems and while waiting for a heart donor died in 1998. His mother Gay Lynn Saunders also passed away a few years ago.  The surviving family, his father Ron, Stepmother Jacque, Travis, Rome, Shelly, Stacy, Ronnie, Tracy as well as Cory and Billy are gathering for a Memorial in Spokane, Washington over the next few days. His engaging personality and talent will be sorely missed but warmly remembered.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN    thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

Sitting in/Band Practice/Cabimas, Venezuela, 1983

I left for Venezuela for almost two years in April 1982, leaving behind all my sold dream rock guitar gear, The Dean ML, Gibson White Double neck, Marshall MKII 100 Watt stack and the van to carry it all in, a 1972 yellowish Chevy van. I figured if I was meant to get back into music, the right gear would come back into my life.

My Venezuelan Cuatro and Laud

After about a month in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, I went down to the shopping district to buy a Cuatro, kind of a Venezuelan oversized ukulele, A Tenor Uke of sorts, used to play traditional Venezuelan Folk Music. The cassette recorder I had to record my voice and send home began to be my portable studio, developing Caribbean flavored non sensical flavored blues a Van Halen.

I played some stuff for the locals and it left them totally confused. That Cuatro became my free day muse until months later when I found a Spanish Laud, a twelve string short scale in the flea market in Maracaibo for about $100.  I was able to do almost Classical Acoustic Guitar pieces on that thing and by the time I was living in Cabimas, Venezuela, I would enlist the closest person in the house to help make up songs like “Junkyard Dog” and “U.S. Girls”. For a period of 16 months, these were the only stringed instruments I had.

Moviescreen, 1983

When I got back to Salt Lake City at the end of 1983, I got a crash course in the current Metal scene going to a band practice with Parrish Hultquist and his band Moviescreen. Parrish handed me one of his Charvel Star guitars and I nearly blead to death riffing some of the old riffs I wrote two years prior. It felt good just to be playing through a Marshall before the band got practicing. It had been nearly two years since my last encounter with an Electric through a Marshall rage.

Wally in doorway,me in yellow/blue,Snow College 1980

I went to College in Provo, Utah in the winter of 1984 and my old band mate, Wally Gerrard from Karma would stop by my place at Raintree Apartments on the weekends and ended up letting me borrow some kind of no name half stack and a Japanese lawsuit Black Les Paul to practice some guitar. I ended up jamming with a group called the True Detectives with that rig in Provo, a bunch of Orange County, California semi punks playing “Breathless” X style and a few other punk gems. It was a little mismatch to my still metal ways but it was fun.

Mosrite 12 String

The summer of 1984 I was off to work in Southern California with the intention of returning to school but it never happened.  Parrish had loaned me a guitar he had borrowed from Dana Freebairn, a vintage Mosrite Ventures 12 string with a vibrato bridge. I strung it as a six string, bought a Tom Scholz Rockman and spent the summer jamming in the sand at Newport Beach, California for the summer.

Eventually, I pulled some cash together and purchased a Gallien-Krueger twin 12 similar to the stuff that Alex Lifeson was using at the time. I thought the cool thing was that it had a built in Chorus circuit and had kind of that post punk sound, like Warren Cuccurullo licks.  Living in Orange County, I was getting pulled all different ways, I was still listening to Randy Rhoads but got tuned into bands like U2, The Cult, Souxsie and The Banshees, The Fixx, Missing Persons.  It was Orange County and even if Leatherwolf was hanging at the house where I was staying in Costa Mesa, Metal was kind of an inland music; the beach had punk and related music going on.

Kramer DMZ1000

Near the end of summer, Parrish sent out some copies of the Moviescreen Cassette and wanted me to come back up to Utah and play second guitar. I was having a good time in Orange County but I heeded the call and went back up with my Duran Duran style hair, Gallien Krueger and ended up picking up an aluminum neck Kramer DMZ 1000 at a pawn shop in Provo to get more of the heavy rhythm sound he needed. The problem was the Gallien Kruger didn’t sound like a Marshall and at that point in 1984 it was all about the Marshall. We were supposed to open for a band called Exciter at The Salt Palace when Brian Sorenson, the drummer, got hit by a drunk driver and his hand was busted. I ended up taking him to physical therapy several times a week and within two months I had moved back down to Orange County, California.

I had the exact same White Kramer/1985

When I moved back to Orange County at one time I pawned the guitar and amp to pay for a ring for a girl I was serious about.  That relationship ended and made me re-think, don’t ever sell gear for a girl. I went and bought a cheap white Kramer van halen style guitar at Guitar Center when it was still in Santa Ana with the Floyd Rose vibrato on it. It was the budget model but still did the dive bombs.

I started to settle into the Huntington Beach, California scene where it was almost open warfare between the kids from Downey and Anaheim coming down in black leather listening to KNAC and the surf punks listening to KROQ. In fact, I lived above Jack’s Surf Shop at the corner of Main and PCH Highway and one night when it was still old town with bars, small stores and surf shops there was a full scale riot going on.

I watched from my bedroom window as the KNAC Metalheads numbering about 100 and the surf punks who were into surf clothes, The Ramones, The Toy Dolls and looking the part actually got into a full out fight on Main Street at about midnight in about 1985. I would just rock riffs with the White Kramer/ Floyd Rose/ Van Halen type setup through my friends Fender Deluxe with a distortion pedal.  Finally, somebody got thrown through a plate glass window store front and the cops were coming and everybody scrambled. I could crank that guitar any time of day and nobody cared down by the beach.

Halloween 1986,me in smoking jacket, Derrick Lee-Glam Rocker

Derrick and I put together a group and called them The True Detectives after the band that both of us had jammed with at one time or another. We practiced in the apartment above Jack’s Surfboard Shop and in south Orange County.  We were doing covers like “Dancin’ With Myself”’867-5309”and other party favorites around 1986. When my Aunt died and I left for a funeral and didn’t make a gig I never got called for band practice anymore. What can you say?

I wasn’t satisfied with the Kramer and wanted a more serious guitar. I was into jazz guitarist John Schofield after catching a video from the album “So Warm” on an L.A. afternoon rock video show. He was playing an Ibanez AS 200 semi-hollow burst guitar and I went in search of one and found one used and traded the Kramer for the Ibanez. I had studied jazz in college but this was the first time I had tried to start incorporating jazz inspirations into my own playing.

Ibanez AS200-my jazz period and beyond

I was kind of on my own, playing my John Schofield-Pat Metheney inspired chord patterns. My friends in Orange County were still into a kind of post punk thing while L.A. strip bands were getting signed left and right and touring the Midwest. I would keep that Ibanez for nearly 20 years and it would survive the rise and fall of a couple of bands, several amps and an upstairs recording studio that is all now part of the past. In an interesting twist, although I had practiced with Moviescreen and The True Detectives, I never did end up playing live; in fact I had not played in front of an audience since Karma back at Snow College. It was like I spent the rest of the 80’s figuring out what I wanted to do with my music while I was busy dating girls and going on with my life.

Snow College -Me,the Tall one next to Professor, Wally dead center on sax

 – Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN    thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com