thought I'd start a thread here about spotting resonators and their players on mainstream media, sparked off by seeing Rocco DeLuca playing what looked like a spider cone guitar on Jonathan Ross on the 5th May. His song was dull,(but his association with a famous film star helps boost his status) his playing average, and his tone duller(maybe that was the tv studio, cos Primal Scream sounded naff too, though their song was better and featured some nice open tuned Telecaster spanking too) but his reso guitar looked cool gleaming under the lights and the cameras. It got me thinking, a) when are the great moments of resophonic guitars in the mainstream media, be it TV, radio, newspapers, and b) will him playing guitar on prime time evening TV have the same effect on resophonic sales and popularity that other stars playing certain instruments have had on other sorts of guitars?
Maybe other forum member can add to the list of great/ famous/prime-time/celebrity/etc resophonic guitar moments....?
I remember Ronnie Lane playing a steel bodied dobro on 'Top Of The Pops' on 'How Come' back in the 70s.
I was 11 or 12 at the time and thought what was that?
I also recall the dreaded Marillion on a promo-video for one of their songs with Steve Rothery playing a steel guitar. Can't remember what song, but I'm pretty sure it predated Dire Straits' 'Brothers In Arms'-incidentally, I seem to recall there was a limited poster sized print of the BIA album cover with the early LP copies of this. What a plug for National!
Post by Michael Messer on May 7, 2006 13:39:43 GMT
This is a game I used to play back when I first became a National fanatic! It is a long time since I thought about it, but I am sure with time I will remember some mainstream resophonic guitar moments from TV, film & the press.
Certainly Mark Knopfler did a lot for promoting Nationals. When Brothers In Arms first came out lots of people thought Mark was using my guitar, or that I was using his. They thought it was the only one! Mark Knopfler not only helped promote Nationals, but also was a catalyst at the time for their rise in value. A friend of mine, Dave Temple, has one of the original Brothers In Arms posters of the Style O, it's a beautiful image. I have a limited edition print with the Brothers In Arms band's autographs scribbled all over it!
Off the top of my head I can think of .....George Segal, John Lennon, George Harrison, Eurythmics, Kinks, Roy Hudd, Spitting Image, Car advert...Renault or Fiat?, Erasure, Mike Harding, Ronnie Lane, Ronnie Wood, Jerry Douglas, Notting Hillbillies, Dire Straits, National Gallery, Rory Gallagher, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Bryan Ferry, Hank Williams Junior....have all appeared on mainstream TV playing or accompanied by Nationals & Dobros. I am sure this list could run into hundreds of sightings!
This is a nice one....front cover of Sunday Express magazine:
Unfortunately, I'm old enough to remember Tom McGuinness playing a single-cone with Manfred Mann on TOTP back in the mid-60s - gave a distinctive sound to a few of their records; ditto Ray Davies of the Kinks (eg Lola)..
Post by Michael Messer on May 7, 2006 17:33:02 GMT
I remember the Tom McGuinness TOTPs too. That guitar was used by Son House on some of his British tour dates & on TV, possibly when he was on the Old Grey Whistle Test. Ah....there's another! The Ray Davies one I mentioned in my first post. Mark Makin has a very good memory for these, hopefully he will leave us a post with some that he can remember.
Silverslider - I haven't listened to the Notting Hillbillies album for many years, but I think you are correct in that for most of the album they are playing regular acoustics & electrics. I think there are one or two tracks that don't feature, but you can hear a National or two.
When the Notting Hillbillies media promotion was in full swing, I do remember a documentary TV film about them where there were a few scenes of them all playing Nationals. I haven't seen it since, but I am sure someone on this forum has a VHS recording of it somewhere.
Here's a photo of National Gallery in 1987 - at the time there was talk of who influenced who....but I think it was synchronicity at work again! There was a big feature in the Italian version of 'Guitarist' magazine that had the Hillbillies on one page and National Gallery on the opposite page. If I can find the magazine I'll post it on this thread. I have great respect for Mark Knopfler, Brendan Croker & Steve Phillips, and never thought anything of all that. We were very different bands, playing different music and doing it for different reasons. The last time I saw Mark Knopfler at the Albert Hall he played a fantastic set and is still waving the flag for National guitars. He did a couple of songs on the Style O and was accompanied by I think...Richard Bennet on a square-neck Tricone for one song.
From left to right: Mark Makin - Michael Messer - Ed Genis - Mike Cooper
The Notting Hillbillies - 1989 "MIssing...presumed having a good time"
Left to right - Steve Phillips . Mark Knopfler . Guy Fletcher . Brendan Croker
Funny you mention Mike Harding. I seem to remember him having a late night TV show back in the late 80s, he did a bluesy song, on a shiny National, which he referred to as his "Barnsley fighting guitar"! I guess thats why some old blues guys used to use them too, they may well have needed to use them for defence, considering the joints some of them may have had to play in, and the clientele that they may well have had.
Whats also funny is that no-one has actually disagreed with me about Rocco DeLuca........!
I too am a big Mark Knopfler fan and have seen him play Romeo and Juliet live on his Style O on many occasions. Many people associate him with the Style O from the Brothers in Arms album onwards, but you can hear it quite clearly on Water of Love and Wild West End on the first Dire Straits album. He even refers to it in the lyric of Wild West End. Richard Bennett plays a National tricone on All That Matters off the Shangri-La album so I imagine that was what you saw live.
I can also remember seeing Rory Gallagher playing an old National back in the early 70s. He also played wicked electric slide on an old Tele and wrung some great stuff out of his "Tatocaster"/AC 30 combination. A great live performer and sadly missed.
All the best,
Joe (aka Mairena Red)
PS I have the In Step CD and have always loved the cover photo but had not realised it was taken by your brother Alan. Great stuff!
Wow, what a response, I love this forum, its the best!!!!! Goes to show what a friendly, informative, elclectic lot us reso players are, full of advice, chat, laughs and passion, reaffirms ones faith in human nature somewhat.
Ray Davies, of course, now theres a guy. As for Mark Knopfler, I was never hugely keen on Dire straits, but the stuff he has done since he downsized, is great. He also taught me that ditching the plectrum, opens up a whole new approach to playing, both acoustic and electric. Sailing to Philadelphia is a great album, with some awesome guitar tones on it.
Regarding the film Chocolat, Depp does actually play guitar on the soundtrack and is credited for it, but its definately not a resophinc on the recording more like an archtop, or a maccaferri type. I just think those pics of Depp with a national are cos it looks cool too.
He can probably play one better than Tracey Shaw however (though I stand to be corrected), though her photo does put a new slant on the phrase "lap-style"!
On another note, among other things including as full time work, and parenting one of my roles in life is being a local councillor. Am I the only resophonic player who holds elected office? Not quite like the Strats in Number 10, but maybe Tony would have a more relaxed approach to his Premiership, if he just relaxed with a Tricone and a slide on his pinky!!!!!
The film Chocolat was on tv recently and despite it being one for the ladies I watched diligently for the guitar connection. Johnny (captain jack!) plays a Duolian briefly on the boat/barge and later plays some gypsie jazz on an archtop.
A great Reso moment involved a few years ago Dave Stewart of the Eurithmics at the Brit awards playing slide on what looks to be a fine Resophonic but I have it credited in a book as a National although it was definitely the vine engraving which I have only seen Mike Lewis use. Do you know different Michael? Lee
...."Young at Heart", played by The Bluebells on T.O.T.P. around 10-plus years ago...the guitarist played a 12-fret Style 'O', and i think (mind you - i'm a deaf old bugger now : the actual track has some fingerpicked reso flyin' around in the background on there.....