View Full Version : Variety Show gig report

April 7th, 2008, 11:24 AM
This past weekend I played with some musicians for a variety show for a fund raiser event. We were backing up a group of singers that were impersonating several different acts including The Andrews Sisters, Liza Meneli, Sony & Cher, Neil Diamond, The Beatles, Kool & the Gang, Styx, etc. complete with costume changes. I even had to wear a Beatle wig and John Lennon glasses for part of it.

It was quite a task to cover all these different styles and get all the right tones for each act. (this is the kind of stuff that I love to do!)
I used my Variax modeling guitar which proved to be perfect for this kind of gig. I also used my Vox Valvetronix amp and a separate acoustic amp for various tunes.

I used the Rickenbacker 12 and 6-string models to cover the Beatle tunes (Hard Days Night, Twist & Shout) and also the Sony&Cher (I Got You Babe) and it sounded really authentic for these tunes.

For the Kool&the Gang tunes I used the Tele model in the middle position to get the funk guitar tones.

I used the Banjo model (through an acoustic amp) for the tune Cabaret, while the keyboard player did a clarinet part and it fit this song perfectly.
The banjo model doesn't work for everything, but it sounds great for strumming parts for dixieland style banjo style which is what I used it for in this tune.

The wierdest part of the show was when I had to play the guitar part for the Styx tune "Come Sail Away", (Les Paul through a Marshall sound) and then go immediately into a Barbara Streisand medley. I thought that my amp was going to develop a personality disorder :-)

It was great fun for all of us and my wife was one of the singers too, so that made it nice to do something together. We had a blast.

-- Jim

April 7th, 2008, 11:29 AM
Sounds like a fun variaxity night!

You should be glad that you didnt have to impersonate Liza Minelli ;)

April 7th, 2008, 11:40 AM
sounds like an interesting evening....as for liza....last time i was in nyc she was leaving a club and was totally f'ed up and making a scene....i got one pic of her before her people got her in her limo and off they went!


April 7th, 2008, 12:43 PM
Definitely sounds like a way cool gig! :AOK:

April 7th, 2008, 01:27 PM
That sounds like a great fun kinda gig. Bet you learned a lot.

April 7th, 2008, 02:33 PM
Sounds like a wonderful show. Love the variety of music you played. Good on Ya!!! :bravo: :bravo:

April 7th, 2008, 05:03 PM
The hardest part of the show, believe it or not, were the Beatle tunes. I like this band so much that I wanted to nail the parts and the tone to match the songs. I also had to sing the lead part on these which made it all the more harder. "Hard Day's Night" has several lines with lots of words, so you have to have it practiced to avoid getting tongue tied.

It was fun to use the 6-string Rickenbacker model on Twist&Shout. This modeling guitar seems to match the sound that they used for this song when I use this setting. I'd never owned a Rickenbacker so I wasn't sure what to expect, but it seems that they used the Rick 360 on the bridge pickup for that tune from what I can tell. It's a very midrang'y kind of chimey tone. It also works really well for getting Tom Petty's rhythm tone for songs like American Girl too.

-- Jim

April 7th, 2008, 07:43 PM
Cool Jim. Great toys and a great gig but why on earth should I moan?;)

I'm glad that you had a great time.

April 7th, 2008, 10:08 PM
Nice report! The gig sounds fun, and the experience you got with the models on the Variax sounds great too.