The Guitars Of The Cure

The Guitars Of The Cure

I encourage everyone to pop on a pair of headphones and listen to a few songs by The Cure – especially if you’ve never really paid close attention before. You’ll hear how a few simple melodic ideas can be blended together to form a much more complex whole. It’s really intriguing to listen to and learn from how each instrument works together, especially when the six-string bass is used: often Robert Smith might play a high melody while Simon Gallup plays a more traditional bassline, but sometimes these roles become cloudy: Gallup will play a more wandering melody while Robert plays something more anchored. The lines really become blurred between the roles of each instrument in service of the song. Robert Smith, Reeves Gabrels and Simon Gallup all have current signature model instruments to help them get their sound. Let’s have a look at them all.  Read More …

David Bowie’s Custom Steinberger

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I just spotted this on the Juliens Auctions website last night while cruising for cool old auctions to geek out about: David Bowie’s custom Steinberger, serial number 7712, which sold at auction for $12,500 in 2009. Bowie seemed to like his headless guitars – you can see him playing a red Hohner in the video for “Valentine’s Day” from The Next Day just a few years ago – and this one has a particularly interesting story which, like a lot of great Bowie-related guitar stuff, has a lot to do with Reeves Gabrels. Read More …

NAMM: Reverend Reeves Gabrels Spacehawk

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Reeves Gabrels is one of my all-time favourite guitarists. I don’t think I can ever truly get along with a person unless they too get chills from Reeves’ solo in “A Small Plot Of Land” from David Bowie’s Outside album. Reeves is currently playing in The Cure, and his latest signature guitar looks perfect for the job. The semi-hollowbody Reverend Reeves Gabrels Spacehawk is Reeves’ latest signature guitar with the company and it features a Bigsby vibrato bridge, Railhammer pickups designed by Reverend founder Joe Naylor, Pin-lock tuners (a thumbwheel under the tuner pushes a steel pin up through the post, locking the string in place for exceptional tuning stability and super-fast string changes), a Korina body, a bass roll-off pot, sealed body for controlled feedback, on-off toggle switch, custom soft-touch tremolo spring, and push-pull phase switch (in the tone control). Read More …

I Miss You, David Bowie

I never had time for David Bowie.

That changed when I was 16 though. I read an article in the newspaper, an interview with Bowie about his then-new album , 1.Outside. It was a concept album, planned to be the first of a series, one to be released each year until 2000 or something like that. (It didn’t quite end up happening like that. 1.Outside was the only disc released from the project). In the interview Bowie talked about his creative process and his assumption of different characters and stuff like that, and as a teenager struggling with his sense of identity and coming to terms with what it meant to be a creative person, I was intrigued. Accompanying the article was a competition: you could win the album by phoning up and answering a trivia question or something. I did, and I won. So my first Bowie album was possibly his most impenetrable, his darkest, his moodiest. The one with a graphic depiction of a disembowled cadaver in the booklet.  Read More …

Railhammer launches the Chisel – Bridge model

You might recognise Railhammer Pickups from the Reverend Reeves Gabrels II model guitar. And chances are good that you’ve heard of Railhammer/Reverend founder Joe Naylor before. Railhammer has just released a new humbucker model called the Chisel and from the following press release it sounds like a monster!

RAILHAMMER PICKUPS LAUNCHES CHISEL – BRIDGE MODEL
Features include Ceramic magnet and 44 gauge wire.

The Chisel – Bridge model pickup is aimed at hard rock and metal players. Using a high output Ceramic magnet and 44 gauge wire, the tone is aggressive and thick, but with enhanced clarity. The rail/pole structure allows players to dial in a tight percussive tone on the wound strings without the plain strings sounding thin or sterile. Riffs are loud and clear, even under heavy distortion.

Read More …

Reeves Gabrels playing with The Cure

The legendary Reeves Gabrels is one of the most unique, creative and altogether interesting guitarists on the planet. Check out his work with Bowie (solo and with Tin Machine), his solo albums and his latest project, Sonic Mining Company (which you can buy from Bandcamp by clicking on this link). Sonic Mining Company is a collaboration with Frank Swart (Norah Jones, Patty Griffin, Morphine), and naughty drummer Adam Abrashoff (Funkwrench, SIMO) and it’s brilliant.

And now Reeves is playing with The Cure, performing at festivals throughout the northern Summer. Cool huh?

Reeves and Reverend Guitars also just unveiled the Reeves Gabrels II, a new version of his signature guitar featuring the Railhammer Chisel bridge and neck pickups, solid Korina body with flame maple top, tone control with stealth push-pull phase switch, Wilkinson trem with back rout, and a rotatable pickup selector toggle switch which can be easily angled to suit the individual player.

Here’s a video of Reeves playing with The Cure at the Pinkpop festival.

J21: Beyond The Holographic Veil

A press release just landed in my inbox from J21, a musician of impeccable taste in collaborators. Just look who he’s surrounded himself with on his album Beyond The Holographic Veil: Don Preston, Scott Thunes, Ed Mann and Robert Martin from Frank Zappa’s ensembles, Mike Garson and Reeves Gabrels of David Bowie’s band, Marco Minnemann, Geoff Tyson… and the music itself is very cool – proggy stuff that I just know my mate Steve Turner would dig. Order the album here.

PRESS RELEASE

J21: ‘BEYOND THE HOLOGRAPHIC VEIL’

“UNLIKE NORMAL PHOTOGRAPHS, EVERY PORTION OF A PIECE OF HOLOGRAPHIC FILM CONTAINS ALL OF THE INFORMATION OF THE WHOLE. IF A HOLOGRAPHIC PLATE IS BROKEN INTO FRAGMENTS, EACH PIECE CAN STILL BE USED TO RE-CONSTRUCT THE ENTIRE IMAGE. JUST LIKE IN A HOLOGRAM, WE CAN SEARCH FOR THE ANSWERS OF THE QUESTIONS THAT THE WHOLE UNIVERSE PRESENTS US IN EACH ONE OF OUR ATOMS. WE ARE THE CENTRE AND THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE AT THE SAME TIME”

Floating World Records are inordinately proud to present Beyond The Holographic Veil, a dazzling and diverse new album from the fertile imagination of Spanish-born guitarist J21. A thoughtful and inventive, beautifully-packaged set that also features guest performances by the likes of ex original Mother of Invention, keyboard ace Don Preston, David Bowie alumni Mike Garson (the guy who provided the incredible, atonal and innovative piano solo on Aladdin Sane) and guitarist Reeves Gabrels, as well as the likes of Scott Thunes (formerly of Frank Zappa’s 1980s bands, as well as lining up with Wayne Kramer of The MC5), Beyond The Holographic Veil is an incredibly absorbing listen that creates a kind of alternate universe of the imagination.

Read More …

NAMM 2010: Reverend Reeves Gabrels signature

When I was 16 probably my greatest guitar hero was… actually it was Steve Vai. But my second-greatest was the unfathomably incredible Reeves Gabrels. I fell in love with Reeves’ playing on David Bowie’s 1.Outside album – check out his amazing Fripp-on-shrooms solo in ‘A Small Plot of Land.’ I was also blown away by his playing on Tin Machine II, especially the snaky melodies of ‘Shopping For Girls.’

Reeves has used many different guitars throughout his career, including Steinberger and Parker models, but now he’s working with Reverend. Here’s the press release about this new sig. I’ll make sure to check it out in person at NAMM in a couple of days

Reeves Gabrels to Unveil new Reverend Signature Guitar at NAMM
January 11, 2010

David Bowie/Tin Machine/solo guitar legend Reeves Gabrels will be appearing at the Reverend booth to unveil his new signature electric guitar. Gabrels will also be performing in the Allstar Guitar Night Concert on Saturday night. Visit the Reverend booth for concert details.

The new guitar fulfills Reeve’s desire for a guitar that can cover everything from high-gain shred to avant garde rock to heavy blues. The uncovered Reverend bridge humbucker and Dimarzio Fast Track 1 neck pickup deliver clarity with power, and the push-pull phase switch adds unique tone options. Other key features include a solid korina body, flame maple top, 25.5″ bolt-on maple neck, Pin-Lock tuners, and Bass Contour control. Available in Trans Red, or Trans Black. List: $1199, Street $999.

Visit the Reverend booth (#1372) for appearance schedule.

LINK: Reverend Guitars