Various Artists – Night Of The Guitar – Live ! (1989)

FrontCover1.JPGAt the end of the 80s, the music scene was dominated as much in Europe as in the rest of the world, by mass phenomena that fought for first place in record sales. The lovelies Rick Astley, Pet Shop Boys, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Wet Wet Wet, Kylie Minogue jostled for the supersale throne with some groups – with guitar in hand- that defended rock licks, distortion and delays: Guns ‘n’ Roses, Def Leppard, U2, or Metallica were writing their own legends.

In those years, an event that went almost unnoticed brought together nine guitarists for seven gigs in Great Britain (from 20-26 of Nov., 1988) and peaked with a brief tour of Europe. You can hardly find any news about it on the Web and it was finally left to posterity on a double live record and a handful of videos. Guitars Exchange was there.

Before a wall of Marshall screens, getting on and off stage, alternating turns for 3 hours, were Steve Howe (Yes, Asia), Leslie West (Mountain), Robby Krieger (The Doors), Randy California (Spirit), Steve Hunter (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel), Pete Haycock (Climax Blues Band), Andy Powell and Ted Turner (Wishbone Ash), and Alvin Lee (Ten Years After). The ‘nine axes’ enjoyed a rhythm section that clearly met expectations: Clive Mayuyu (drums), Derek Holt (bass and voice), Livingstone Browne (bass and keyboards) and Chris Bucknall (keyboards).

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The initiative all came from the record label I.R.S. No Speak, founded at the beginning of 1988 by Miles Copeland III, master of ceremonies of the night of the guitar and brother of Stewart Copeland (The Police drummer, who also took part as invited guest on the final number that closes the record). Copeland’s aim was none other than to shine light on instrumental rock in the hands of excellent musicians, giving them shelter on a record label devoted exclusively to his production. Somehow you had to protect yourself in a storm of disco, punk, New age. It was an ambitious purpose, musically valid, although financially risky: the label closed after 3 years with just 19 records produced.

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Night of the Guitar – Live! was perhaps the shining moment of the adventure. Pete Haycock’s semi-acoustic Höfner and Steve Hunter’s electric Neal Moser open the record with three numbers, Dr. Brown I Presume (Brown’s notable bass solo), The Idler and Lucienne. Three pieces on records both guitarists released the same year: Guitar and Son and The Deacon respectively. It’s a mixture of rock fusion that culminates in the delicate ballad (3rd track), passing through rock that hides a feeling of urban jazz in Hunter’s piece. He authored unforgettable bits of the soundtracks of our lives: such as the introduction to Lou Reed’s Sweet Jane or the acoustic on Solsbury Hill by Peter Gabriel, to name a couple.

To electrify the air after the ballad, we turn to Randy California and his Charvel, a brand of guitar made popular that decade thanks to high-end guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads and Richie Sambora, among others. After Groove Thing, a brilliant intro replete with harmonies hammered out on the neck, Randy takes charge on a version of Hey Joe in a powerful tribute to his friend and colleague Jimi Hendrix, with whom he shared venues in New York nightclubs in 1966. This was during the militant times of Jimmy James & The Blue Flames, and before the worldwide success of the lefty, before he became known as Jimi.

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The fortunate fans were already set to welcome who was probably the most anticipated name on the ticket: Robby Krieger and his Gibson ES-355 from 1964- his favourite at that point in his life, the 80s, when he searched for more of a jazz sound- definitely brought the house down with a version of Love Me Two Times (The Doors, 1967) with a much ‘fuller’ guitar than the original.

And who better than Ted Turner and Andy Powell to re-establish order in the house? The bi-cylindrical engine of the Wishbone Ash, in perfect synchrony, unsheathed in a version of his classic from 1972 The King Will Come, where Turner’s fabulous Paul Reed Smith (the American brand had been making their gems for hardly 3 years) and the ‘classic’ Gibson Flyin’ V of his mate bring this guitar dialogue to life with an unbeatable connection.

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It was now Leslie ‘the mountain’ West´s turn and his Steinberger, which in his hands looks like a toy. He was in top form, for sure. The two pieces that appear on the record are classics from the Mountain album Climbing! in 1970: a very personalised version of Theme From An Imaginary Western by Jack Bruce and Never In My Life.

Then, once again, after the storm came the calm, from the hands of Steve Howe and his Martin 00-18. A master class of guitar technique on Clap Medley, the only acoustic number of the night without accompaniment. Then time to switch the Martin for a Gibson ES-175 (his main guitar during the militant years of Yes) and in the company of Pete Haycock, start up Würm, a 1971 classic from the English progressive rock band.

Alvin Lee and his Tokai Signature take over in the final stretch with a powerful instrumental No Limit, in probably one of the best moments of the album. With a hard version of Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin’ together with all his mates on stage, nine ‘axes’ for an unforgettable cover of the Dylan classic All Along The Watchtower, and a final medley of the great hits, Whole Lotta Shakin’, Dizzy Miss Lizzie, Johnny B. Goode, Rock & Roll Music and Bye Bye Johnny Bye Bye. A display of skill and real passion for our favourite instrument, genuine fireworks fit to mess up any Rick Astley who gets in the way…

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It was an unforgettable night. A night in which nine guardians of the guitar, nine rock gods, got together to reclaim -at the end of the 80s- a gender that they themselves made so very big and continues to be. (by Massimo D’Angelo)

And I was a very lucky guy … ´cause I saw all these guys during their shot Europena tour in Munich (feat. Jan Akkerman on guitar) … It was one of the best concerts I´ve ever saw !

And the wind beginns to howl … 

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Personnel:

On guitar:
Alvin Lee – Andy Powell – Leslie West – Pete Haycock – Randy California – Robby Krieger –  Steve Howe – Steve Hunter – Ted Turner
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Livingstone Brown (bass, keyboards)
Chris Bucknell (keyboards)
Derek Holt (bass, vocals on 08.)
Clive Mayuyu (drums)

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Tracklist:

Pete Haycock:
01. Dr. Brown I Presume (Haycock) 5.03

Steve Hunter & Pete Haycock:
02. The Idler (Hunter) 5.35
03. Lucienne (Haycock) 5.55

Randy California & Steve Hunter:
04. Groove Thing (California) 4.43

Randy California:
05. Hey Joe (Roberts) 5.01

Robby Krieger & Steve Hunter:
06. Love Me Two Times (Krieger/Morrison/Densmore/Manzarek) 4.58

Ted Turner &Andy Powell:
07. The King Will Come (M.Turner/Upton/T.Turner/Powell) 7.01

Leslie West:
08. Theme From An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown) 5.11
09. Never In My Life (Collins/Lang/Pappalardi/West) 5.07

Steve Howe:
10. Clap Medley (Howe) 5.55

Steve Howe & Pete Haycock;
11. Wurm (Howe) 4.08

Alvin Lee;
12. No Limit (Lee/Hubbard) 4.37
13. Ain’t Nothin’ Shakin’ (Colacrai/Fontane/Gluck/Lambert) 5.37

Steve Howe, Andy Powell, Randy California, Pete Haycock & Robby Krieger:
14. All Along The Watchtower (Dylan) 7.17

Alvin Lee, Leslie West, Ted Turner & Steve Hunter:
15. Rock N Roll Medley 8.39
15.1. Whole Lotta Shakin’ (Williams)
15.2. Dizzy Miss Lizzie (Williams)
15.3. Johnny B. Goode (Berry)
15.4. Rock & Roll Music (Berry)
15.5. Bye Bye Johnny Bye Bye (Berry)

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Pete Haycock´s Climax – Total Climax (1986/1990)

FrontCover1Peter John “Pete” Haycock (4 March 1951 – 30 October 2013)[1] was an English musician and composer of film scores. He began his career as lead guitarist, vocalist, and founding member of the Climax Blues Band.

Haycock was born in Stafford and he attended St.John’s Primary School and King Edward VI Boys Grammar School in the town. As he child he was inspired by the guitar music of The Shadows and he played his first electric guitar at a miners club when he was 12. He then played guitar at school and college dances and formed a blues band with local boys called Mason–Dixon line. As a 17-year-old in 1968 he was a founding member of the Climax Chicago Blues Band which changed its name to the Climax Blues Band in 1970.

PeteHaycock1974The Climax Blues Band went through a few personnel changes during the early 1970s before arriving at their most stable, creative, and successful, line-up, which consisted of Haycock, Holt (switched to bass guitar), Cooper, and drummer John Cuffley. The band, featuring these players, toured heavily in the 1970s and 1980s. During much of this period, Haycock played concerts with his rare trademark instrument, a gold-plated Veleno guitar, which was also on the cover (and was the namesake) of Climax’s Gold Plated album.

In May 2012, the Major League Productions Ltd record label released an until-then unknown vault recording of a 1976 live performance, featuring the Climax Blues Band at the top of their game: Climax Blues Band / World Tour 1976. Haycock provided some insightful liner notes for the CD’s insert, and the recording further demonstrates the tight musicianship that was found in the band’s line-up at that time. The band produced more than 15 successful albums in their heyday

Though another group of musicians, which at one time was led by late former bandmate, Colin Cooper, is currently calling themselves “Climax Blues Band”, their lineup does not consist of any founding members, and has not found the commercial success or following that the original, “true” Climax Blues Band enjoyed during Haycock’s years with the band.

PeteHaycock02After he and the original Climax bandmates went their separate ways in 1988, Haycock went on to record several solo projects, the first of which was an album entitled Total Climax, which was recorded by his band, Pete Haycock’s Climax. Pete Haycock’s Climax toured extensively in Europe, including Communist East Germany, as well as a well-received tour in Australia. After that, Haycock was asked by his former Climax Blues Band manager, Miles Copeland, to record an instrumental album for I.R.S. No Speak entitled Guitar and Son, as well as the Night of the Guitars live album (from the tour of the same name). After that tour, Haycock teamed up with fellow guitarist Steve Hunter and former Climax Blues bandmate, Derek Holt, to record an album under the name, H Factor.

In 1990, Haycock was approached by Bev Bevan, formerly of Electric Light Orchestra, to join the newly formed Electric Light Orchestra Part II. The group toured and recorded with Haycock in the early 1990s, releasing both a live CD and video of their performance with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra.

In the early 1990s Haycock began scoring music for films. He was asked by Hans Zimmer to collaborate on several projects, including K2 and Drop Zone, among others, and it was on the soundtrack for Thelma & Louise that Haycock performed the Thunderbird theme music on slide guitar. Haycock was asked by Zimmer to re-create his performance, with a live symphony orchestra for the recording of Wings of a Film, which was a compilation album of Zimmer’s successful film scores.

Other work with Zimmer led Haycock to begin composing music of his own for film and television. In One False Move, (1992) Haycock collaborated with Derek Holt. More scores would follow, and Haycock helped produce recordings for other artists.

PeteHaycock03Haycock collaborated with Zimmer again in 2011, and played guitar on Ron Howard’s soundtrack for The Dilemma, which starred Vince Vaughn and Kevin James).

In 2005, Haycock supplied all the music for the Hollister Independence Motorcycle Rally DVD charity project, for producer Jeff Byler, with proceeds benefiting Emmaus House, a shelter for battered women and children. When the DVD’s producer suggested a follow-up soundtrack to the project, Haycock went back into the studio to complete the album that became Bikers’ Dozen, which featured a vocal performance by John Fiddler (Medicine Head).

Haycock signed on as a major contributor to the LovePower and Peace charity CD project in 2009, which was spearheaded by fellow musician Robin George, and was built around George’s hit song, “LovePower and Peace”. Haycock contributed many trademark slide guitar tracks and donated studio time to the project, a charity effort to benefit children with cancer and other terminal diseases.

This collaboration, which included the donated talents of scores of veteran musicians, also resulted in the forming a “super group” called The LovePower Band, which landed a major record deal and completed its first album, which was released in 2011.

After an absence from the stage and live performances, Haycock formed a new band, Pete Haycock’s True Blues (featuring Glen Turner). In 2008, they toured Europe and released their first recording together: Pete Haycock’s True Blues Live (featuring Glen Turner). In April 2009, Haycock, in an interview talked about the early days with the Climax Blues Band, the transition to studio work (with and without Hans Zimmer), and his return to the stage with his new band, after an absence from live performances of fourteen years.

Haycock continued to record, and perform live, and had been a featured guest performer with the Siggi Schwarz’ band, and was on the same bill with ZZ Top and Johnny Winter in 2012.

PeteHaycock012013 found Haycock coming full-circle with the formation of a super-group recording and scheduled for touring as Pete Haycock’s Climax Blues Band featuring Robin George, with Haycock being joined by a lineup of musicians including George, with whom he had collaborated on the LovePower Band, and other projects. Haycock envisioned this project as a return to the “true” Climax Blues Band, and he had just completed the new album, Cruel, before his death. (by wikipedia)

OriginalFront+BackCover1986Original front+backcover from 1986

This is his shortlived “Pete Haycock´s Climix” project and it´s not his best album, because Pete Haycock tried to produce a pop orientated album. But this is not the kind of music for Pete Haycock. So, it´s a more or less weak album … but part of his career.

And this is the German edition of “Total Classic” (with liner notes in German !)

PeteHaycockBandPersonnel:
Livingstone Brown (bass)
Iain Dunnett (keyboards)
Pete Haycock (guitar, vocals)
Pete Thompson (drums)
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Paul Brett (guitar on 06.)
Stuart Brooks (trumpet)
Misha (background vocals)
Paul da Vinci (background vocals)
Chris White (saxophone)
D.A. Williams (background vocals)

BackCover1Tracklist:
01. The Fight Is Fixed (Haycock) 4.10
02. Scene Of The Crime (Haycock) 3.42
03. Young Executives (Haycock) 3.49
04. Love To Burn (Haycock) 4.25
05. (I’m The) Madness In Your Life (Brett/Breeze) 3.46
06. In Time (Haycock) 4.02
07. Irresistible Forces (Haycock) 3.59
08. Guilty (Haycock) 4.19
09. Mean Streak (Haycock) 2.53
10. Sunbird (Haycock/Brett/Thompson) 3.30

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