Miscellaneous Rumbles

What gear did you play your first gig with?


I took too much gear to my first gig. It was at a very large venue and i was so pumped! It was Australia Day so before we played we all (the bands) climbed up onto the roof of the venue and watched the fireworks.

I used a Fender Rivera-era Concert 1x12 amp, a Boss mini-rack delay and mini-rack chorus, a Matsumoku Epiphone Sheraton and a '73 Gibson Byrdland (!). It was around 1984 and I had a blast!

My first rockabilly gig came years later - early 2000s I guess - and I used a Tele, a Fender Hotrod Deville 4x10 and an Ibanez PDM-1 delay. It must have sounded awful.


Blimey, such riches! I had a Futurama ll guitar, a Linear Conchord amp (a cheap, open chassis thing that made you look like you were playing your Dad's radio chassis) and a homemade plywood box with a 15W Stentorian loudspeaker. Sounded bloody awful.


My friend Jimmy playing my rig. I played several gigs with this setup until I'd made the $80 to buy the used Harmony.


After that, the bass player & I shared a Gretsch amp, and the rhythm guitarist used my little no name amp. That amp had been my dad's PA.


Fender super reverb and a 65 Tennessean probably late 80s. Still have them both. That was my main rig for 30 years. I added a space echo in 92 or 93.


First paying gig: Shure PE86L in 1983. I was the singer for a cover band (bars and weddings) back then. It was a blast. Booked almost every Weds, Thurs & Sat night.

First unpaid, but playing in public: Kent Polaris II through a Sears amp for a 1968 elementary school concert (5th grade for me). The auditorium was full of families and teachers. I strummed and sang "The Cameleon". I don't remember being nervous.


Summer 1997: Sunburst Mexi Tele, Epiphone EA-33 RVT, and a Blues Driver. It was a hot and humid Iowa summer day. We played (I think), Mary Had a Little Lamb, Killing Floor, and Tangled Up In Blue. I was terrified!


A second-hand 12str in a cardboard case. Used their mike, got paid $5.00. It was 1968, and at 14 years old, it seemed like a lot.

It was about another year before I got my Beltone amp and sound-hole pickup.


A new, rented, Framus 5/144 Atlantic Star Bass with the most road-worn, rented, Ampeg B-15NC ever seen....


I don't know what counts as a gig.

First time playing for more than family/friends/"band"mates: 1968 performance of The Loyalists for 7th grade music class, using Crestwood (Fujigen 4FV, it turns out) 4-pickup solidbody through Webcor tape recorder. My buddy had a Kalamazoo SG and some kinda amp. We played our original "Arabian Death March."

First kinda-paid gig, and many shows thereafter: Wurlitzer Cougar stereo guitar, Silvertone 1484 Twin Twelve, LRE Fuzz Sound, vintage DeArmond volume pedal.

Other than teen dances in the basement of the Grange Hall and the gymnatorium of the high school with the loud 4-piece Brimstone Resurrection, from 1970 on two compatriots and I (as "Stainglass") played a sci-fi "rock symphony" we'd written, mostly in special performances at Methodist churches.

The guitar sounded fabulous with the amp leaned against a back wall and pointed toward the apex of the nave. Probably cued my lifelong predilection for huge, multi-textured guitar tones.

While the originals are long gone (other than the volume pedal), I have credible replacements for the Crestwood, the Wurlitzer, the Silvertone, and the fuzz. If I hadn't whacked my back bending over a pedalboard a couple days ago, I'd take pics and post them. Pics are always dandy.


Well, neither the guitar nor the amp had a name on it so I have no idea....


I had a used Hondo 335 copy and a 25 watt Yamaha bass amp!


My first paid gig. 1970 sweet 16 birthday party in a living room. 66 Gibson Melody Maker SG, Traynor bass mate amp, and the Traynor 6x10 speaker cabinet. Too much gear?


Was late 60s or early 70s (I’m terrible with timelines). Was a CYO coffeehouse (bonus points for knowing what CYO is LOL), one mic plugged into the house PA, maybe 10-15 non-interested patrons. I was freaking terrified.

My gear was a used and very abused Gibson J-160E, which I was planning to ditch as soon as I could afford a Martin. Knobs we’re gone, finish was checked, don’t know if the pickup worked because I wasn’t sure what it was for (wow).

Would love to have that guitar today


Well I don't go back quite as far as BZ but still my first gig as Little Dork @ age 12 was with a no name Japanese 2 pickup solid body, vaguely Fender-ish -- but not a copy of anything, played thru a Univox single 12 combo with trem and a Jensen speaker, maybe 12 watts, probably had 2 6BQ5s -- restored, these still sound ok.

Other guitar player had a Tempo guitar and tiny Tempo amp from Japan, bass had a Japanese import bass branded by Lafayette Electronics. Back in those days it was common for 2 dorks to play thru one amp -- it was all you had.

A couple of years later I was still a Little Dork, and painted up the guitar because I was all eaten up with the painted up Strat that George Harrison had on the Magical Mystery Tour album


Farfisa Mini Compact thru a late '50s Gretsch 6163, some HS dance in '64. It's been awhile.


I had been rehearsing with a borrowed epiphone solidbody through a pa. Saved up my dough, and went to Pickers Supply, Fredricksburg VA, in 1982 with $400, and said I need a guitar and amp. They could have sold me just about anything. Walked out with a '72 hardtail strat and a 67 Super Reverb. The Lord (and the kind proprietor) apparently looks after fools.


No offense Jimmy but I'm sure one could get some decent sounds out of that rig you mention while still looking good.

My first gig with a guitar must've been a Hohner ST Special Strat copy (my only guitar for a long time) and a red tolex Marshall JCM900 4501 1*12 combo. I remember using it playing the overdrive section in our Radiohead 'Creep' cover around 1996.


Farfisa Mini Compact thru a late '50s Gretsch 6163, some HS dance in '64. It's been awhile.

– wabash slim

Mini compacts were out that early?


First non paying gig: a one pickup made in Japan solid body with a small Sears amp at our eighth grade talent show.

First paying gig: my 1965 Tennessean with my 1966 Ampeg Gemini 2 at a party. I had worked and saved for both and still have them.


Haha! Yeah my guitars were way better than I was! My Grandmother died when I was about 18 and left me $1800. I kept it in the bank until I needed it for something special. I really wanted a good Gibson hollowbody and they were rather rare in my part of the world back then. A few years later i found a guy who ran a recording studio who was selling the Byrdland. I didn't know a lot about them but it was stunningly beautiful and even smelt amazing.

I played it at a few gigs - not jazz but dancey, soul/jazz kinda stuff was in vogue at the time so that's what I used it for. I used the Epiphone for anything with distortion. After a while I got tired of lugging two guitars to gigs so used just the Epiphone and it probably suited what i was doing better anyway.

The Byrdland had a tiny neck as well as being short scale. As beautiful as it was i was out of my league with such a guitar. I traded it for my first good Gretsch, a '64 6120, and that guitar changed my life in a way. It was the beginning of me finding my sound.


A white 2 pickup Supro and Supro amp. This was for a senior assembly, I played "Rebel Rouser and "Raunchy " with a buddy playing rhythm. I traded for a Deluxe Reverb and Fender Coronada II in '66, I still have the amp.


It was a Tiesco made Top Twenty guitar, £6.00 from Woolworths. I think the amp was a borrowed Burns Orbit.


Jimmy Page had an Orbit during his session days. Sounded terrible.

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