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Roadie #3

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  1. Tonight 2/17 (or at the time I am writing this is 2/18) I went out to see Billy & Jen do their new duo act. All I can say is WOW. If you have not heard Jen sing other than an "Overdub" WHAT A VOICE and Billy so talented and equally a great voice. So for those of you near and around Cleveland check out Billy's website for more announcements of where Billy and Jen are playing. It is a great show and while we wait for a return of the Raspberries tour they will sooth your soul with some great music
  2. If I remember correctly the reason for Dave playing bass was due to the changes that had to occur on stage when Eric switched to playing piano. The first rendition of the Raspberries had Wally on lead, Jim on drums, Eric on guitar and piano and John Aleksik on bass. When John left the band and they became a three piece group before Dave came back from Viet Nam Eric started playing bass. Upon Dave joining the band Eric continued on bass and Dave on rhythm guitar. When Eric needed to play piano then Dave would take over on bass. This meant that Dave had to make a guitar change as well as Eric moving to the piano. When they switched back, Dave would take off the bass and switch to rhythm guitar and Eric would go back to bass. Believe it or not this became an issue with the stage show. Dave found that he enjoyed playing the bass and a decision was made for him to play bass on all of the songs. This meant that the changes became minimal. Just for the record, Dave is an excellent guitarist and has become extremely proficient on the bass. There is no lack of quality when Dave plays bass or rhythm guitar. Remember, Dave writes his songs on the guitar, not the bass. Additionally, Eric is a very good bass player as well as guitar and as everyone knows piano. Lastly, if I remember correctly when Eric, Wally and Jim played as a three piece and Eric was on piano I think Wally played some bass on a couple of tunes.
  3. 10:30 pm anyone going to the chat room ? BILLY???
  4. Secret was Dave, Wally, Eric Robertson (vocals/guitar) and Frank M. on drums. Like the berries did Beatles covers with an A+. Eric has a great voice and it mixed with Wally perfectly. They did write some tunes and even did a demo. Frank was replaced in the band by Mark Chalmers. They were very good, A little trivia: Wally, Eric and Dave were in my wedding party and they even played for about an hour at my reception with Mark. I have the video to prove it with everyone playing in their tuxedo's.
  5. There are so many. Cleveland was and continues to be a hot bed for music. I will start a list and I am sure I wil come up with more and others will contribute: The Charades Rainbow Canyon Pyramid North River Street Rock Collection The Occasionals The Originals Bocky and the Visions Rufas East Wind The National Screw Company Freeport The Numbers Band James Gang Michael Stanley Band Circus Lost Souls Baskerville Hounds Mr. Stress Blues Band Fayrewether Wild Horses Rastus Breathless Dave C and the Sharptones Frank Samson and the Wailers Joey and the Continentals Tom King and the Starfires Outsiders Tony and the Twilighters Futuras Sensations Motions Mods (early Choir) Rebel Kind Mother's Oats Kick's Inc Tree Stumps Pie Cyrus Erie Dynamite (Jim & Wally post Raspberries) The News (Wally) The Keys (Wally) Secret (Wally & Dave) Moses Milk Qwasi Qwa (Jesse Bryson) And the list goes on
  6. How about Jackson Browne? He has always been one of my favorites that I have never had the pleasure of seeing in concert,
  7. Marvin great interview and I agree Barb is a very special lady. Although I go back with the band many years it was just this reunion that gave me a chance to get a little closer to Barb and Jim. Barb is a class act and I am very fortunate to call her my friend. Lastly, Marv; you always seem to give everyone a little bit more, thanks for being there and thanks for just being you. Ernie
  8. The Line 6 amps are not lightweights. Billy's Vetta II Combo weighs a ton and it is a little large for an amp with just 2 - 12" speakers in it. However, it is a great modeling amp and allows new software to be downloaded to it via laptop computer. Really neat design.
  9. I posted this on Raspberries.net and thought that some of the gear gang would enjoy the information. And in the early days before electronic pianos we carried around a Kiwi upright piano and move it on and off the stage. The original sound system was a Shure Vocalmaster with 6 columns (three on each side) and a Shure 100 watt power amp booster. Those stack Marshall’s were ever so heavy. But some things never change. Today, Wally still plays three of the original guitars (Flying V, Double neck, and Rickenbacker) and Jim is playing the same set of drums (he bought them back a couple of years ago and had them recovered from the chrome finish to white marine pearl). You can check out the drum set, both original and recovered HERE. Pictures of Wally’s vintage guitars can be found HERE. ENJOY!!
  10. Hope this answers it What I think you are referring to is when Eric could not hear the keyboard so the monitor mix technician had to make adjustments. You need to understand that none of the keyboards and acoustic guitars use amplifiers on stage therefore they are silent instruments. The outputs go directly to the mixing board and the sound is fed directly to the main sound system and back to the musicians through a monitor. Therefore, the only way a musician can hear what they are playing on the selected instrument is through the monitor mix (a speaker that normally look like a wedge sitting on the floor nearby or earbuds which we are not currently using). One issue is that the mix of instruments coming through the monitors along with everyone’s vocals has to be very precise, whereas the instruments do not overpower the vocals and vise versa. In the case that you described, I believe Eric could not hear enough of the keyboard so the increase in setting was made. During shows the road crew constantly gets signals from everyone regarding what they can or can not hear in the monitor. Although we try to balance it at the sound check the room changes with 1,000 + people, the temperatures and just the excitement. In all the years that I have done this work the monitors and the mix within has always been the hardest thing to control. Nothing frustrates and upsets a musician more than not being able to hear the monitors or feedback screaming back at them through the monitors.
  11. Yes, Don that was me. I guess I have become the designated main driver of the truck, although I made Rusty drive a little of the way on the trip back to Cleveland as I had to drive back to Cincinnati after unloading the gear at the rehearsal hall (another 4 hours) so I wanted to get some rest.. Derek was the other crew member with us but he is the baby and not old enough to legally drive the rental truck. Dugan was already at the airport getting ready to fly back to LA. If I am correct, didn’t you take some pictures of the gear in the truck as we were loading our personal gear?
  12. No the Flying V is in perfect shape. Wally uses the Rickenbacker on songs that require the 12 string effect. Wally loves the neck on the parker due to being able to play very far down on the fret board. Additionally, the guitar is very light in weight which makes it more comfortable to use it during a long show. As posted under pedel effects, the Flying V is tuned a little different for "I'm a Rocker" so it's use has been limited. Don't be surprized if this changes a little more as time goes by.
  13. Sorry I forgot to address the Epiphone. Yes it is a Les Paul Jr special that we use as a back up to the Parker. Normally, we would use the Flying V, but it has been tuned a little different for I'm a Rocker and it makes my life easier not having to re-tune the V for this song late in the show. It is a vintage guitar.
  14. We are working with Parker on an endorsement deal because Wally loves the way the guitars play. On Friday before the show in Chicago Rusty, Derek and I were lucky enough to be able to to tour the Parker factory. We met with the artist relation guys and they wanted Wally to try a couple of their new models. Before sound check they brought two guitars and one bass (for Dave to try) and Wally was quite impressed with one of the guitars. It was a Parker with a front end of a strat and Wally really liked it. In fact, it was the first one off the US manufacturing line. We had planned to use it as either a back up or on one song (Should I Wait) but somehow unknowing to all this song was cut from the set list (an unavoidable mistake)so Wally never got to play it live. Dave really liked the bass (it is very light) but really did not have enough time to play with it to use it in a show. Who knows what the future holds. As time goes on maybe we will see more Parkers being used.
  15. We use three (3) keyboards on stage. Eric uses a Roland Fantom X8 which is a very versatile keyboard that allows him to simulate many of the sounds that were created both onstage and in the studio. In the 70’s we carried 2 mellotron keyboards that were loaded with tapes of different instruments. They were big, bulky and a pain in the butt to program. The X8 keyboard blows that technology away with expansion ports for different sounds and its rather lightweight. The keyboard has so many capabilities for different sounds sometimes I have seen Eric working for an hour just to find the right combination. I believe with time to really get into this amazing keyboard Eric will do some great things both for current tunes and composing new music. On a couple of tunes, Jen can be seen playing this keyboard. Paul uses two (2) keyboards the first being a Roland X88 and secondly a Yamaha MOTIF 8 Synthesizer. The Roland is very much like the 8X that Eric uses with a little less electronic capability and the Yamaha has a remarkable piano sound. Jen also plays the Yamaha on a couple of tunes. As for mikes; we use whatever the venue provides. One of the keys to playing the HOB venues is that they have very good sound systems with top notch equipment. You can check out the keyboards at the Roland and Yamaha websites and if you are really into the production stuff, HOB has a listing of all their backline and FOH equipment for each venue on their website.
  16. Some songs the keys were changed for various reasons including they are not so young anymore and their voices have changed and with the addition of "The Overdubs" some songs just sounded better in a different key. But in all honesty, everything sounded better than it was originally recorded or played live in the 70's
  17. Regarding the Vox amps; between the day gig and rehearsals I don't think Wally has had a lot of time to experiment with the amp. I beleive at this point he likes it but is it his favorite, that is questionable. One of the things about the reunion tour is that the guys wanted the live sound to be better than the records (CD's) and to do that it I think it takes more than the standard amp and that is why the modeling amps are so useful. I am not sure why they purchased the Vox AD 120 heads and 412 cabinets but the decision was made very early and they seem to be very happy with that decision. Having strings provided by manufacturers make decisions on what to use very simple. However, if Wally ever told me to use a certain make of strings that would be the end of it. If Wally is happy then I am happy. Eric loves the Variax guitars and prefers playing them to his Fender Strat’s or the Rickenbacker. Billy Sullivan is sold 100% on the Variax and uses two of them during the show. As far as problems, we did encounter some with the acoustic model and had to exchange it. Additionally, I think they need to work on their EL/DI foot pedals. As far as the settings, he is still playing with them as there seems so much to do between the versatility of the Variax guitars and the electronic keyboards there never seems to be enough time to experiment. One last thing to note; Billy also uses a Line 6 Vetta Combo modeling amp that he loves. One thing that Line 6 offers is the capability to download new amp models to the Vetta Combo via computer the Vox does not have that capability at this time.
  18. While the guitar was living at the R & R Hall of Fame the case was living at Wally's house.
  19. The picture of the case posted above is the original road case for Wally's Flying V that we purchased back in 72 (I think it was 72). I am not sure when Wally had the top of the inside recovered with the Lennon print. Yes, I will try to find out when and who!! As far as the location of all of the original road cases they were sold when the band broke up except for a couple that Wally kept. This would include the cases for the Flying V, Gibson SG Double Neck and the Rickenbacker. I believe that one of the reasons the guitars have lasted so long and with little repair work required is due to these cases. They really protect the guitars, but are they ever heavy. Additionally, Wally kept one of the wardrobe cases that we now used as a guitar coffin and a odd ball case (I think it was for one of the sound system speaker cabinets) that we use for cabling and odd equipment which includes K & B.
  20. I don't know, sometimes he is not too funny when he says things to me during the shows. In all honesty, Wally is a lot of fun to be around all of the time and is very quick witted. He takes the music and the performance very very seriously, but has the uncanny ability to keep it light on stage.
  21. I haven't had any problems with the low E or for that matter any of the strings. If I can remember correctly I think I did some work on the nut in the late 60's. But being an old fart I really can not be certain. Maybe, it’s because most of Wally's guitars are vintage models and were painstakingly made by hand by real guitar craftsman. You know, they don't build them like that anymore. And as far as bringing strings, I always have at least 2 dozen matched sets and about 200 loose strings of various gauges in my tech kit. It is refurbished with new strings before each show, therefore I have no excuses regarding not having strings or the right ones. I can say "its not a job, its an adventure".
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