Gary Pig Gold with AXES: BOLD As JIMI’S

On what could have been – should have been – James Marshall Hendrix’s 78th Birthday on the 27th we pay, and play, due tribute to he …and these other supreme six-stringers:


Rock ‘n’ Roll is Beat, and Beat needs a Rhythm and, basically? BO KNOWS. Sure, his Chess Record-mate C. Berry may have had a duck-walkin’ head up in the songwriting department, but what Bo could do with one chord on his box (as opposed to his Vox) guitar helped knock down musical and social barriers aplenty, worked undeniable miracles fusing the rhythm and blues to the rock and soon even pop, and honestly did help shape, oh, let’s say the first two or three dozen Rolling Stones songs to cite the most obvious example. In order to erect all those magnificent and multi-faceted Walls of Guitar Sound that were to follow, Bo laid the solid hard rock granite groundwork. Period.


The man behind Elvis Presley (and consequently, behind so very much red, hot and blue rock’n’roll history) forever remained somehow unaffected, unaware of, and even quite refreshingly humble about all of the magic he infused upon so many seven-inch slices of historic vinyl. At least no less a student body as Albert Lee and especially Keith Richard(s) have paid the man due homage, plus try as he might – and a fine, fine job he did at it too – even James Burton fell quite short of ever matching Scotty’s “That’s All Right, Mama” solo for starters. Ever wonder, for example, why George Harrison’s instrumental Beatle breaks were so concise, compact, yet so packed with pure precision? Two words (besides “Carl Perkins,” of course):  Scotty Moore.


Ten fingers, six strings, three chords, two accompanists, and one Stratocaster. The Sultan of Lubbock surely taught us all we really ever need to know about how to make the kind of good guitar rock that won’t ever stop a’rolling. And as you’ve heard me rave on about so many times before, Buddy’s Crickets (alongside producer-and-then-some Norman Petty) truly were creating The Sixties ‘way back in 1957 Texas …though no-one except perhaps at least three Fab Fourths realized it at the time.


Now, if ever one was to draw a fine line far back towards the actual origins of the Heavy Metal guitar, you’d most certainly find yourself worshipping there beneath the sonic altar which is, and forever shall be, Link Wray. Indeed, there quite possibly could and would have never been such beasts as Eddie Cochran, Duane Eddy, Ritchie Blackmore and even Blue Cheer, had Link not Rumbled it all first and foremost.


No, really! Glen Campbell. Sure, his style (like Scotty Moore’s) grew proudly from Chet Atkins, but from there, there seemed little Glen didn’t convincingly handle throughout the Sixties and well beyond:  Surf, Spector, Sinatra sessions, and a 12-string Rickenbacker (long before Roger and even Jim McGuinn bought, let alone recorded with one) included.  Unfortunately, the R-stone Cowboy never exactly became the cooolest guitar slinger on the block, but I bet half your favourite solos from across your record collection were played by this very man.


Of course Dick Dale is the true, unassailable King of the Surf Guitar – of that there can be no rational doubt. But it took the baby Wilson to weld Dick’s wail to Chuck Berry’s railroading assault, and the result was just about the hottest teenaged guitarist America has yet to produce. Such vintage album fillers as “Carl’s Big Chance” simply don’t do this man justice:  Sample instead his whitebread, onstage raunch all over that very first Beach Boys Concert album, then add to this all the voice (and supposedly temperament as well) of a true angel and you’ve got much, much more to reckon with than the mere “quiet Beach Boy,” don’t you?


And on the subject of child pop prodigies, if all the kinkiest Kink had ever done was to thrust sharp objects through his speaker cone in the middle of recording sessions, we’d all have been blessed with more than enough from this one singular man. But let us not also forget that, as Big Brother Ray often used his guitar onstage as a mere prop, it was often left to Dave to perform DOUBLE-guitar-duty for his band. No problem! The wee Davies could effortlessly concoct nothing short of a Who-like carnival of sound all by his lonesome …and all without any Moon-caliber cacophony to fall back upon either. No mean feat. Plus, need I add, Dave’s truly impeccable way with wardrobe as well?


Question! What do you get when you apply Buddy Holly’s strum-und-drang to the power-filled pop of very early Pete Townshend, then dress it all in Popeye-meets-Eric Von Zipper? Why, you get the six-strung Ramone who did more than possibly even he himself ever realized to inspire an entire blank generation to plug in, turn on, and drop anyone who gets in their way – musically or otherwise – dead as a pile of old Doors albums. Johnny also helped revive the almighty Ventures-vintage Mosrite guitar too, I’ll have every single one of you know, which adds at least one more feather beneath his leather jacket.


Bringing the possibly lost art of rock ‘n’ roll guitaring full-circle, Mr. Romweber, one full half of the one and only Flat Duo Jets, seems to be one of the few folk left standing during at least the past half-century who has learned what Bo knows and isn’t afraid to grab it, then run with it. He doesn’t solo as much as attack, and he doesn’t Roll as much as he Rocks …not that there’s anything wrong with any of that, of course. What Dex brilliantly achieves, on record an especially on stage, is to distill the inner essence of all the geniuses mentioned herein (and then some), then spit it back into your ears as if each song performed is to be both his and your last. You know, I’m simply not hearing nearly enough Dexter Romwebers anywhere anymore (no, don’t even say the words White Stripes and/or Black Keys), and if you think we all couldn’t use some real amplified E, A and B7 chords right about now, then you certainly DON’T know Diddley!


Yes, musicians – and not just guitarists either – are still trying to finger out how in the holy heck this one man created what he did, armed with not ever much more than what that above-mentioned bespectacled Strato-man from Texas wielded. I mean, I’ve positively scoured every possible concert recording and film of Jimi I could find, and damned if I remain as totally baffled as ever as to how he got THOSE notes out of just THAT equipment. But then again, I suppose some things are better left unknown by us mere mortals, all of whom should just be humbly thankful we were allowed to share, if however briefly, some time upon the same coil as James
Marshall. So then, if you haven’t already, I wholeheartedly implore you to turn on, tune up, turn it up and… GET Experienced!


Gary appears here whenever he wants

DBAWIS_ButtonGary Pig Gold may have grown up in Port Credit, run away to Hamilton to join his first rock ‘n’ roll group, hung out with Joe Strummer on his first-ever night in the UK, returned to T.O. to publish Canada’s first-ever rock ‘n’ roll (fan)zine, run away again gary pig gpld facong leftto Surf City to (almost) tour Australia with Jan & Dean, come home again to tour O Canada with that country’s first-ever (authorized!) Beach Boys tribute band …but STILL, he had to travel all the way back to the USSR to secure his first-

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: