This page is a bit of self-indulgence! Basically it's designed to shame RJ into a bit more practising between sessions!

Yes, still rocking.......after all these years

    - lucky we didn't give up our day jobs!


Yes, twins! Sonic Blue '62 reissue Jazzmasters: serial numbers 1901 (RJs) & 1920 (mine)

Click here for July 2007 update

 

We first met at college in October 1963 and struck-up an instant friendship due to a common passion for guitars and rock music. RJ at that time possessed two electric guitars: his first, a natural wood finished Dallas Tuxedo, and a shiny new, red Futurama III, whereas yours truly was struggling with a Rosetti 6-string acoustic. Somehow I managed to talk RJ into selling me his Dallas - it cost me a week's money. It was some time before I managed to get myself an amp for it!

In the mean-time, my boss roped us in to play at my work's Children's Christmas Party that was held in the place (next door) where RJ worked. There was a basic problem, however, in that neither of us sang and all the numbers I knew were in fact songs, mostly Buddy Holly ones; RJ fortunately played lead guitar and knew a few instrumentals. This meant I had to learn to play some new numbers, PDQ, so RJ stopped off at my house on the way home from college one evening and taught me the rhythm part to Walk Don't Run, FBI and a basic 12 bar riff, amongst some other things. I practiced as much as I could, but we didn't actually play together until the morning of the (afternoon) party. Ray brought along his friend Dave G to play bass, and we had a bare hour to sort ourselves out before another guitarist and drummer turned-up to play along us. By this time, Ray and I had got it together and the others fell into step amazingly well! So in the space of about two and a half hours a 'group' was formed.

Shortly before we were due on, my boss turned to us and asked who shall I introduce you as. The name "The Electrons" (a bit of an in-joke seeing as how electronics was a major component of our work) was suggested by RJ, and we went with that. I can't remember the actual introduction as walking out onto the stage of a large (lecture) theatre full of children is a pretty daunting experience, to say the least! The final instruction from RJ to me, as we plugged-in our guitars, was turn your amp up a bit more!

The opening number of our set was Walk Don't Run, which meant yours truly starting the number by playing, all by himself, the killer four chord rhythm riff - on my first time in public. I was nervous as hell but somehow managed to knock it out to my satisfaction and when RJ joined in (as arranged) for the second sequence of the chords, we were off and running, and the rest of the band just had to keep up. Exactly what numbers we played and how many times we played each, I can't recall. However, it went on much longer than intended as the children absolutely loved it, most of the older ones got a turn at coming up on stage to dance alongside us. By the time we played the last number (surrounded by children), a lot of the parents who'd come to collect them had joined in the dancing. How much of a success we were, didn't matter to us, we'd just had a great time playing our guitars...

and that's the way it has remained!

 

The most recent photographs (Dec '06) taken by our friend and fellow rock guitar nut JC who had to endure our playing for the best part of a day to take the pictures:-

   
Thanks for the photos, John.

PS John recently conspired with Jet (at his show in Fareham) to send us a message...

Click Here for Jet's message to us.

 

Until a chance meeting in 1990, we hadn't even seen each other, let alone played together, since the late sixties - even now it's only once in a blue moon, although these seem to be occurring at a greater frequency in latter days. The guitars and amps are a lot better (Strats & Jazzmasters and Fender & Vox amps), shame about the players!

We've spent a lot of time experimenting with Strat sounds of late. The most significant factor to emerge is that you can pay over 1000 for a Strat and it won't necessarily provide THE SOUND. This is especially true if you're after the original sound that late 50s - early 60s Strats produced. And we've tried-out a few over the years: Custom shop 1960 model; CBS Antigua in original and modified conditions; Jap System 1; 70's Hard-tail; American Series; Highway One Series in original and modified conditions,  50th Anniversary American Deluxe in modified condition, 50th Anniversary American Series, 60th Anniversary American Series, Strats and a Classic Player 50s Strat. 

So what follows is a rolling collection, updated as we go, of sound clips taken from recordings as and when we make them.

Guitars featured include:-

Lead: RJ - CBS Antigua Strat / Custom Shop Strat / Jazzmaster '62 reissue.  Amps: Vox AC30 & AC15CC, AC30 (Blue) & PigNose 60

Rhythm/2nd Guitar: Me - Limited Edition Am Strat / Jazzmaster '62 reissue / Highway 1 Strat. Amp: reworked Fender Princeton

NB The audio files on this page takes some time to download!!! -  ~1MByte MP3s.

 

RJ lead:-

  • Walk Don't Run - We're still tinkering around trying out different  sounds for this number. Here we got a sound that we like with our Jazzmasters!
  • Hall of the Mountain King - One of the standards popular with guitarist in the early sixties. This a version we're working-up.
  • Night Train - our version of it, anyway! Jazzmasters again. Me using the bridge pick-up & reverb was a bad move. The addition of the sound effects was done in real time, hence you don't hear me straight away.
  • Rhythm n Blues - a shot of the real RnB. In our heyday we could keep going for at least 10 mins by the two of us playing alternately lead & rhythm.
  • Stars Fell on Stockton - one of the few occasions when we managed to keep going - brilliant sound from both guitars on this.

  • Country n Western - another one we're working-up.

Genuine 1960s recording - Lets Go featuring Treble-Stroke Rolls Tony who had a really hard time keeping the drum kit together throughout - quite a large proportion of it was played standing-up. The (poor) recorded sound is very reminiscent of that heard outside a dance hall - "real nostalgia"! This features RJ playing his Futurama III; I really can't remember what I used that day, very probably my red Futurama III - the only other time when we've had matching guitars.

A couple featuring Dave the Rave (my son)  with his double pedal bass drum...............

Green Onions        Pipeline

New feature: video clips

  • Pipeline ending. Note gentle reminder (sign language) on use of tremolo on final note.

  • Shadoogie start. This was suppposed to be a practice run through. Note RJ on knees obviously offering a silent prayer not to play a bum note!

 

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