A couple of Facebook friends asked me what gear I’ve been using so here goes.
It’s strange because a musical instrument is a very personal item and some of us grow
quite attached to our axes. We also go through various phases where different pieces of equipment
inspire us at different times depending on how we feel at that given moment.
For instance, I’ve been playing the same Gretsch Nashville 6120 for many years and it has
become something of a trademark for me. Obviously the perfect guitar for rockabilly style playing, it is also a great sounding guitar for hard rock. Don’t forget that Malcolm Young created that amazing rhythm sound for ACDC using a Gretsch Duo Jet. Mine is a late 90’s reissue of the 1960 model. It has TV Jones pickups and it was made before Fender took over Gretsch.
That being said, I am also just as inspired by my other guitars:
A) a 2004 Fender American Deluxe Telecaster. I originally bought this one to use on a country gig in Las Vegas but it has now become my go-to guitar for session work and sitting on the couch playing at home.
B) a 1976 Gibson Les Paul Custom with Bill Lawrence pickups which I put in last year – this was my first great guitar and have had it since I was 15. A great guitar for hard rock and metal.
C) a 1995 Tamahauk custom Strat built for me by my old friend and West Side Winders original bassist Randy Riley. Really sounds like a classic old school Stratocaster. Great for blues and rock.
D) a 1997 Gibson Tal Farlow hollowbody with size .013 flat wound strings that I use on jazz gigs. Played this on the song My Baby from The West Side Winders album “Snaken Not Stirred.
E) a Gretsch New Yorker mandolin which I bought recently to learn the Wicked show. I’m really enjoying learning this instrument.
F) a Taylor 314CE steel string acoustic that I very recently acquired. The fine folks at Taylor shipped this guitar to Albuquerue, NM for me for a show that I had there with Broadway Rox. Played beautifully right out of the box and also sounds great plugged straight into the P.A.
G) a DBZ steel string acoustic given to me by my friend and master guitar builder Dean Zelinsky (who is no longer with DBZ.)
Amps – In the mid 90’s I used a 100 watt Mesa Boogie Mark IV combo with 1 12 inch speaker mostly for rock gigs, then switched to a 40 watt Fender Prosonic combo with 2 10 inch speakers in the late 90’s which I used with The Big Swing and in the early days of The Sidewinders. In 2008 I picked up a 45 watt Budda Superdrive 45 with a 2 12 closed back cabinet. It’s been my main amp & used on almost all West Side Winders gigs ever since. The Prosonic however is the amp heard on our two album releases.
Once I moved to NYC, the Budda stayed in Chicago. Most clubs in NYC provide backline gear and therefore I will use whatever is available. Usually it’s some sort of Fender combo. I also have an excellent sounding Fender Blues Jr. (given to me for an unlimited time from my old buddy Ronnie Weiner) that I keep in NY.
Pedals – my pedal board has a Boss tuner, a Dunlop 505Q crybaby wah, a Keeley modded Boss Blues Driver, a boss compressor, a Fulltone Deja Vibe and a Hughes & Kettner Replex tube driven delay pedal. I also use a Line 6 DL4 delay modeler occasionally and a TC Electronic Flashback delay pedal when I’m in NY.
There it is but it’s always in a constant state of flux.
Most of us guitarists are on a never ending quest for good tone and therefore we change and/or add amps, pedals, pickups and guitars all the time.
I suppose I could really geek out and describe the specific gear used for the various songs on our album releases but I think I’ll save that for some other time.