Thursday, January 12, 2012


Try as I might to find a common theme among songs on the same post, this one is kind of an exception. The reason is because it's for my brother, Tim, who passed away in 1997 and was a brilliant guitarist. His birthday is January 13, which this year falls on a Friday, hence the image above. So, here's just a few of guitarists that he dug.

I had to start it with Johnny Winter, because that's the first guitarist that I remember him trying to emulate, and he had it down; to the point that you could name an era of Johnny Winter and he could improvise something in that style, be it bottleneck blues, or electric rock 'n' roll. The cut below, an alternate take of "Dallas," begins with Johnny Winter muttering "unlucky thirteen" which, of course, meant I had to post it.

He was also into surf music, deep. Beginning with the omnipresent garage sale Ventures, and then onto the Surfaris, the Challengers (who he would later christen "dodes"), the Lively Ones and so on. We knew about Dick Dale, but, believe it or not, at the time all of his records were out of print and nearly impossible to find. Finally, around 1975, Dick Dale released a new album with re-recorded old material and some new stuff. It blew away all of the other bands. Tim got it bad. A few years later (around '80) he started a surf band, the Evasions, with a guy he met through a classified ad, Richard "Skid Roper" Banke (who Tim would call Braniac, because Richard had suggested "The Braniacs" as a band name). A while later, he would get the opportunity to be sent to Dale's house, to shoot him for a friend's music column. He spent a day, one on one, with the King of the Surf Guitar. Dale took him out on his boat, played piano, and played an unreleased song on acoustic in the middle of a tour of the house. He gave Tim his phone number and told him to call him any time (and, as any brother would, he later proved it by calling him while I was present).
Tim, Del Mar Fair, mid-80s

That's only two, and though there's a few others down below, this will have to be continued later. I can see where it's going, I could go forever about all of the guitarists he loved. Besides Johnny Winter, Dick Dale, Cliff Gallup (Gene Vincent), Paul Burlison (Johnny Burnette), Neil Young and Karl Precoda (Dream Syndicate), all represented below, there's the man, Chuck Berry, Billy Lee Riley, Scotty Moore, Keith Richards, Mick Taylor, Ron Wood, Jeff Beck, Rory Gallagher, Hendrix, Clapton, Duane Allman, Leslie West (Mountain), Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, Tommy Collins, Joe Maphis, John Fogerty, Ronnie Montrose, Jimmy Page, Rick Derringer, Jeff Beck, Ron Asheton, Johnny Thunders, Paul Johnson, and on and on. His tastes were varied, but it was always about the guitar.

Johnny Winter - Dallas mp3 at David Fullmer
Dick Dale & the Deltones - The Wedge mp3 at 4Shared
Gene Vincent & the Blue Caps - Cat Man mp3 at LYWL
Johnny Burnette & the Rock n' Roll Trio - Honey Hush mp3 at
Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Down By the River mp3 at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends
The Dream Syndicate - Halloween mp3 at The Mad Mackerel

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