Other Players

notable Gibson to Fender conversions

1

Talking here about those who made the switch and stuck with it! The occasional, once-in-a-decade reversion like EC does... doesn't count.

So... Clapton: late 1969, the Delaney and Bonnie tour. So by 1970 he was all Strat all the time.

Beck: a few years later, like 1975? Between Blow by Blow and Wired albums. Strats and occasional Telecaster

Dave Edmunds: sold the '58 blond 335 he used for like 35 years (I saw it in the glass case) around 2004. Now toggles between Strats and Teles.

BTW check this kool DE interview.

http://www.keysandchords.co...

2

Billy Gibbons..............the Pearly Gates Les Paul to the custom Strats and Teles, but then again, he totes just about anything now !!

3

Ritchie Blackmore was playing a Gibson hollow body up to his Hendrix conversion.

4

When Clapton plays the old classic tunes that were recorded with the 335 or SG they sound thin & lack the tone of the hums. Sunshine on a Stratocaster is like leaving the Ferrari at home and driving a “smart” car.

5

Steve Howe. From a 175 and 345 during the “classic Yes” years, to a Tele in 1975 on “Relayer” (which was fine for the ferocious angularity of that material) to frequent Strat deployments thereafter.

Note to Steve: you sound awful on a Strat, you should never use a whammy bar, and bending strings is something you should only do at home.

Live he now plays a Variax - through a Line 6 - and his tone is never right.

6

Steve even did a you tube demo of the variax during a sound check. It sounded awful. He even used it to substitute for an acoustic on a recent live version of Turn of the Century and it sounded weak. Steve on his beloved 175 is a beautiful thing.

In a reversal (of this topic), I have a DVD of David Gilmore doing a show on a Duo Jet. Still sounded (mostly) like Gilmore.

7

Steve Howe. From a 175 and 345 during the “classic Yes” years, to a Tele in 1975 on “Relayer” (which was fine for the ferocious angularity of that material) to frequent Strat deployments thereafter.

Note to Steve: you sound awful on a Strat, you should never use a whammy bar, and bending strings is something you should only do at home.

Live he now plays a Variax - through a Line 6 - and his tone is never right.

– Proteus

Variax, really?!

Howe without the 175, Sherwood without a Ric sounds like a tribute band to me. Fact is a tribute band would probably be more guitaritcally correct than the original.

There should be a law...

8

Barring a miraculous resurrection album of late-life original material - which includes Anderson, Wakeman, and maybe Bruford - Yes is over.

(I’m good with Alan White, but he sounded awfullly tired on the last studio album. So did Chris, for that matter. And it would be charitable to call the material “weak.”)

Anderson, Rabin, and Wakeman, in concert with their bassist and drummer, have an awful lot of the secret sauce. Last time I saw “actual” Yes - with Variax Steve, White, Squire, Geoff “He’s No Wakeman” Downes, and nu-Jon - it was all pretty good (aside from weak keys and Howe’s ersatz tone). Energy, precision, commitment. Jon Davidson sounded remarkably like Real Jon, and respectfully didn’t try to look like the frontman.

But the Howe band? It may be Yeah, it’s not Yes. Yes was three musicians learning to deal with an iron-willed hippie singer and a bassist who didn’t know his place. (In Classic Yes all five fought each other musically as hard as live Cream, and the music is the shards of those collisions.) Chris and Jon were the two chambers of that heart. With either absent the heart was badly weakened but the patient could survive. With neither, it’s dead, Jim. Heartless.

And apparently earless too, if SH thinks the Variax replaces the Gibsons or Tele. (His Strats should go unreplaced.)

9

But the Howe band? It may be Yeah, it’s not Yes.

Excellent, Tim..

10

So yeah, Clapton (who, aside from “Layla,” for my taste should have stuck with Gibsons) and Beck (who is a holy marvel on the Strat).

Didn’t the third Yardbird go the other way, and switch from Teles to Gibsons? Or did Page continue to use Fender in the studio, and just humbuck for noise control during gigs? And was he unique among the 3 for having always resisted Strat fever?

11

Knopfler thought the PensaShure sounded like both a Les Paul and a Stratocaster which failed on both counts and looked weird. There should be a law that requires the people who played on the record to use the same guitars on stage rather than mock stars, just kidding...maybe.

What I don't understand is that certain guitars MAKE you play a certain way which is a tonal and physical thing. The songs jumped out of those guitars and now it just sounds like a struggle.

12

Didn’t the third member of the 60s Brit blues-rock trinity go the other way, and switch from Teles to Gibson’s? Or did Page continue to use Fender in the studio, and just humbuck for noise control during gigs? And was he unique among the 3 for having always resisted Strat fever?

Page plays a Strat on "In the Evening".

13

Keef!

He had a couple Les Pauls in the early days, one of went to Mick Taylor when he joined and Keef started banging on Teles.

The combination of those guitars, with those two players, will always have a revered spot in my heart.

But wait, I know he's drifted from one guitar to another...it's kind of tough to play only one guitar over a 50+ year career, and now he's favoring Gibbys again?

Well, live, you'll see him with his 335 more and more than any of his Teles anymore.

Recording wise, he wasn't brand or model specific, he'd use whatever fit the song, which, if you have the means, is exactly what you should do.

14

During the John Myall and Bluesbreakers & early Cream years, we used to play with Mayall and Cream often as support band. Clapton occasionally used my Vox AC30 with back boost to save him carrying his amp upstairs at some venues.. (they had no roadies and all travelled together in a small Thames van) His tone, astounding ability, and feel when he played blues (using a Les Paul during his Mayall days) used to make me almost cry..

15

Warner Hodges of Jason and the Scorchers. As far as I know, used to be les Paul's but plays a white CS Tele now

16

There should be a law that requires the people who played on the record to use the same guitars on stage rather than mock stars, just kidding...maybe.

Hah! Imagine my avid anticipation some years ago when I got tickets for Mountain and Deep Purple. Imagine my yearning to worship in the holy church of tone, answering altar calls intoned by Brother Leslie and his P90 slab during slow stately hymns like "Theme" and "Nantucket."

Imagine my horror when he showed up with ... a headless Steinberger.


Deep Purple, on the other hand, understands. Jon Lord couldn't be with us, but Don Airey was playing Lord's magnificently trashed flat black B3 - the only organ ever used by Deep Purple.

And Morse was playing one of the signature Music Mans he's used for decades. (Long enough that I've forgiven him for giving up the 4-pickup FrakenTele-with-Strat-neck of the early Dregs days.)

17

Townshend went from Rics to Gibsons (on stage, mostly recording with his 6120 in the same years) started to mix in teles, and in the past 20-30 years or so is often seen on stage with a strat.

[Still sounds the most Pete-like with a Ric or 6120 if anyone asks me. I'd love to see him do a live show with a Rose Morris...that would survive to tell the tale the next night].

19

I think the most notable conversion went the other way - when the Ghost of Jimi Hendrix went from Fender to Gibson.

20

Townshend plays the EC Strat, it has the piezo built-in, makes for a nearly 1- guitar Show.

It is easier and more comfortable...

21

Steve Howe. From a 175 and 345 during the “classic Yes” years, to a Tele in 1975 on “Relayer” (which was fine for the ferocious angularity of that material) to frequent Strat deployments thereafter.

Note to Steve: you sound awful on a Strat, you should never use a whammy bar, and bending strings is something you should only do at home.

Live he now plays a Variax - through a Line 6 - and his tone is never right.

– Proteus

It's hard to imagine Steve Howe playing anything but his beloved 175, but "yes" he is playing a Variax now. I've seen him play both a Stratocaster (yuk Steve) and a Variax (again yuk), and wonder "why Steve why? I agree about the law thing, going on stage with a computerized guitar, or something other than the instruments that you are great on is a crime!

22

This thread would certainly be remiss by not mentioning Eldon Shamblin, who used a big Gibby archtop until Leo gave him a Strat in 1954. He never looked back.

23

Page plays a Strat on "In the Evening".

Sounding like someone not even trying very hard to be Jimmy Page, and clearly demonstrating why he shouldn't have.

24

Page plays a Strat on "In the Evening".

Sounding like someone not even trying very hard to be Jimmy Page, and clearly demonstrating why he shouldn't have.

– Proteus

Exactly, the vibrato seems foreign like someone driving stick for the first time.


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