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LC

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Hey Ernie, I was watching that "Last Dance" video and noticed the guitars each guy was playing.... It got me wondering how many "axes" each Raspberry brings along on tour. And how many of the guys bring along a bass guitar? (Apologies if you've talked about this already in another thread.)

Best,

Larry

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I'm not sure of the exact count, but there were a lot of guitars on the road between all of us. Ernie would still be the best person to answer this question. I remember the HOB crew guys complaining on too many guitars backstage at the first show. That first show, I had my black Variax, my friend Rick Klien's sunburst Variax, my Fender Telecaster, my Taylor acoustic and my late father-in-law's Gibson Mandolin I used for "Might As Well". When the tour got into full swing, I brought out 2 Variax's, my Fender Tele and my Rickenbacker 360 12 string. I used the Variax's for all the acoustic songs. I tuned my tele to an open G chord for "In A Rocker" for that "Keith Richards" kinda vibe. For the next tour, I'll still be using the Variax's. I'll bring 3 of them out along with my Rick 12. I might bring a Eppiphone SG Les Paul.

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It has been a little hectic around here so sorry about the delay. Here we go...

Lots and lots of guitars:

Wally - Gibson Doubleneck, Flying V, Rick 360/12, 1956 strat, Epiphone Jr, Parker Fly, Martin acoustic

Eric - Variax 700 electric, Variax 700 acoustic, 2 Strats, Rick, Taylor acoustic, Hofner bass (first show only - not used)and the last purchase Fender Tele

Dave - Vintage Fender Precision Special, Ric (sold), Fender acoustic bass, Danelectro Longhorn bass, Fender strat

Billy - see above

Paul - Fender Strat, Epiphone 12 string, Fender tele, ovation acoustic, Gretsch semi-hollow body

I am sure I am forgetting something and due to the fact that I am restructuring my computer files I do not have easy access to my berries files for a couple of weeks where model numbers, ages and all kinds of information on all the gear can be easily found. I do know that all the guitars fit into 3 guitar caskets for transportation and that when it comes time for restringing it takes about a week to get through everything. Tuning before a show takes a couple of hours and then constant rechecking up to show time as well as every guitar change. In addition, we need to be prepared to switch guitars in an instant if there is a broken string or electronic malfunction. Knock on wood during the reunion tour not one broken string.

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Wow! Great stuff, Ernie and Billy. It's great to get this kind of inside info....

I don't know how you keep all those guitars straight, Ernie! It seems like a "heavy" load for the roadies, but probably a lot of fun too.

Re: Dave's list.... He sold a Ric after the tour? That would be a neat thing to own. I wonder who bought it...?

Also, I've always been intrigued by Wally's double-neck guitar. I'm not a guitarist, but it seems like it would be bulky to play, and you don't see a ton of them around, right? (I remember Denny Laine playing one at an old Wings concert....) Anyway, Wally's double-neck and his Flying V are about the coolest looking guitars around.

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One thing about the band and performances is that many bands that go out will rent or use the house back line (amps, keyboards, etc), however because we want the best for the fans we choose to use all of our own equipment except for the sound system. This makes things a little tougher for hauling the equipment around the country but the end result is that we know what we have to work with every night.

As for keeping everything straight I have put together a computer program which lists every song and what each person plays and what back up guitar is to be used in the case we have an equipment failure. The printout is color coded to make life easier and I give a list to everyone in the crew. We do the same for the vocals and lighting crew. The software took some time to develop but it works great. The biggest problem is finding the room to stage all of the guitars. We keep all the guitars off stage so they can be tuned and polished between songs. My guitar world has most of the equipment so that I can make repairs and tune as the show goes on. Although my main responsibility is to take care of Wally and his gear I have to make sure that everything on my side of the stage is operating properly. Believe me, there is never a dull moment during a show or a time to relax. Setting up guitar world usually takes more than an hour.

A couple of weeks ago when we were able to see the DVD "Live at Sunset Strip" I was able to see and hear what the band sounded like from the fans view (I normally only see the sides and backs of the guys and can't really hear a good mix) and my comment to the guys was "Wow, what a great band" As I made that comment to Jim he told me that he could arrange for me to continue to have that vantage point. I turned him down cold!!!

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As for Dave's BLUE ric, I don't know who bought it and Wally's guitars except for the Parker are all originals and over 30 years old. They just don't make them like that anymore. They hold tuning even when they travel across the country which I find amazing. Most of the parts on Wally"s guitars (tuning pegs, electronics, pick guards) are all original. Wally kept the original Raspberries road cases for the Flying V, Rickenbacker, and Doubleneck which continues to protect them and keep them in pristine condition.

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One more thing; as you watch the videos from VH1 take a look on the wall and you will see the Flying V and Rickenbacker hanging behind the band. VH1 had some guitars hanging on the wall and I thought it would be a nice touch to replace them with Wally's for this historic occasion.

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Here's some info on the guitars I brought out. These were the guitars I carried with me for most of the tour.

Fender Strat Sunburst (custom shop with mods on it)

Fender Tele Banana

Epiphone EDS-1275 doubleneck (backup for Wally)

Rickenbacker 360/12 sunburst (backup for Wally)

Taylor 614CE acoustic

Ovation 12-string acoustic (used on "Last Dance")

Later shows, I added a Gibson Les Paul Classic 1960 that I used on "I'm a Rocker" and "Go All The Way" that appear in the Sunset Strip DVD. That particular show I used Wally's extra Vox Valvetronix amp due to the limited space on stage. My normal amp was the Fender Cybertwin which can be seen in the "Hangin' With" special. I created sounds for Wally to use on "Should I Wait", "Nobody Knows", and "Overnight Sensation".

Paul

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I have to thank both Paul and Billy for their expertise and assistance at every show helping me to get all the guitars tuned and ready to go. For me it was a true 30+ year layoff from the music industry and not being a guitar player the issues relearning the tuning and restringing techniques took a little bit of time. Paul and Billy, I have said it before "a thousand thanks".

The one question I always get asked is "how can you be a guitar tech and not play guitar?" The answer "surround yourself with the best and never stop working to be the best you can be".

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  • 3 years later...

Another great thread from the past that I stumbled upon tonight. I thought anyone who showed up here after 2007 might get a kick out of reading about the guitars that ace roadie Ernie kept track of on the Raspberries' late, great reunion tour. Billy Sullivan and Paul Sidoti also chimed in. Great stuff! Rediscovering it is like re-reading a favorite "old" magazine article that you clipped and tucked in a book.

Where is Ernie, anyway? C'mon back! We want you to return to Raspberries Fantasy Football this season! (That is, if there's a season....)

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  • 5 years later...

I know this is a relic of a thread (I found it a  year or so ago, too), but, I'm a new member. But, does anyone have pics of the Dano Longhorn bass, in action?? I believe one was used on the Refreshed album, then another one was used a bit later.

I actually bought the Dano, that was used on the Refreshed album, from Steve Boyer, years ago, maybe in '01 or '02. I changed the stock strings (probably D'Addario) to Pyramid flats...best thing I ever did, next to flying around the world, the opposite way, to make time go backward :)

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