Vintage Guitar Scene: Guitarists’ Special: Steve Hackett

Melbourne Guitar Show

Leading up to the Melbourne Guitar Show, What’s My Scene will be celebrating GUITARISTS. Stay tuned for our exclusive Q&As, Vintage Guitar Scenes, Snap Scene features, and much much more.

Steve Hackett discusses his guitars:

Photo by Cathy Poulton

These are a few of my favourite things…

I used a late 1957 model Gibson Les Paul Goldtop with twin humbuckers and tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece combination on the Firth of Fifth solo on Selling England by the Pound, not to mention some extraordinary noises on Dancing with the Moonlit Knight both from my own favourite Genesis album.

I also like the Gibson Les Paul Custom. It’s heavily modified with Floyd Rose trem and Roland hex pickup and controls for the Roland GR-700 guitar synth. It’s a really fat sounding guitar with a warm tone plus the added facility of mixing the neck and bridge pick-ups together – creamy, bitey, nutty, crunchy!

Photo by Lee Millward

I have a black 1970s model Fender Stratocaster which was once home to the Gizmotron which was invented by Lol Creme of 10CC & Godley & Creme. It was most famously used on Please Don’t Touch plus Wind and Wuthering. Please Don’t Touch featured deliberately excessive use of tremolo arm. I was thinking of the swirls that became prevalent in Van Gogh’s later work as the madness really set in (his best stuff of course!).

Another Strat is the Schecter Strat as seen on the cover of Timelapse and hanging from John Hackett in the late 70s and early 80s. This was the main guitar used on the GTR sessions with Steve Howe and on tour in the mid 80s and was heavily modded to incorporate a Kahler trem and controllers for the Roland GR-300 guitar synth.

Photo by Paul Baldwin

I have a couple of wonderful Fernandes Les Pauls. A Black with Floyd Rose and sustainer is one of my favourites and a Gold which runs the black Burney a close second. Another great guitar.

I now have an additional Fernandes Gold Top, which used to belong to Gary Moore. His guitar tech Graham Lilley offered it to me as he knew I shared an interest in these fabulous sustaining guitars. It plays like a dream and soars like a golden eagle. It’s now my main live instrument.

I also have an Ovation UK2 which was my guitar of choice on Highly Strung. Twinned with a Marshall or two it’s a mighty sound. And for bass I have a Fender Precision Bass which is one of the great classic rock stalwarts. Stick it through the right gear and it’ll blow your head off – Rock weaponry at its finest.

I have a number of Yairi guitars. One is an acoustic classical guitar which was built in 1973. I bought it because of its projection – it’s almost pianistic in its sound especially in the bass strings. Heard to good effect on Blood on the Rooftops from Wind and Wuthering. I also have several Yairi cutaway nylon strings with piezo pickups, primarily for live use. Great for recording too. With light guage Pro Arte d’Addario strings they double as fine flamenco guitars for that snappy sound.

Photo by Michael Aarons

Steve Hackett: Tour Dates:
Friday 28th July – AUCKLAND, Town Hall (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Wednesday 2nd August – BRISBANE, Tivoli (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Friday 4th August – SYDNEY, Enmore (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Saturday 5th August – MELBOURNE, Palais (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Sunday 6th August  (midday) – MELBOURNE, Melbourne Guitar Show, Caulfield Racecourse (Exclusive acoustic-based trio) www.oztix.com.au
Sunday 6th August (evening) – MELBOURNE, 170 Russell St. (Wind and Wuthering 40th anniversary celebration show)

Steve Hackett, as the powerhouse guitarist for inarguably one of the most important progressive rock bands ever, has been a guiding influence for musicians and guitarists for over 40 years.

Genesis, only ever made it to Australia once, in 1986 – years after Steve and singer Peter Gabriel left the band, so Steve is making it up to fans by bringing some Genesis magic to our shores. Genesis classics‘’Dance On A Volcano’’ and ‘’Eleventh Earl Of Mar’’ have never been performed here, and Steve’ s incendiary guitar work on a magnum opus such as ‘’Dancing With The Moonlit Knight’’ will have jaws dropping.

In this special Australian only show, Steve will also perform a couple of songs from his forthcoming album,The Night Siren before whetting the appetite for a grand finale that will leave fans ecstatic. I’m thrilled to bring my Genesis Revisited tour to Australia & NZ.

Watch the tour trailer below:

 http://img.youtube.com/vi/JMndD9vMLfQ/0.jpg

 

‘’I’ll be playing there for the first time and I’m hugely looking forward to it! It’ll be great to meet fans and friends, and I know it’s an incredibly beautiful country. I’m bringing a special set, including big favourites like ‘’Supper’s Ready’’, ‘’The Musical Box’’ and ‘’Firth of Fifth’’ amongst many other stellar Genesis numbers and some solo. I can’t wait!’’

— Steve Hackett

Steve is renowned for his dazzling guitar playing but his world class band is equal to the task, presenting extraordinarily proficient performances, sensitive to the original recordings yet adding very clear nuances and personality to the music. It’s in no way an understatement to say that fans of exceptional music are in for the concert of a lifetime.

Media Quotes: ‘’I’d never seen Hackett live before, and was absolutely floored by his guitar pyrotechnics. Hackett’s two-and-a-half-hour performance had the very enthusiastic crowd roaring and giving numerous standing ovations.”

— Goldmine Magazine

“It has been a long time since I felt as exhilarated after a concert. I urge everyone with a slightly daring taste in music to experience this music live. It’s unlikely to leave you indifferent.”

— The Rocktologist

“By the time Steve Hackett and the band had reached minute 120 of the lengthy set and after the essential version of Los Endos, I heard a fan nearby say, “Well how do you follow that?” Fair comment mate”

— Classic Rock Magazine

“This was truly an incredible show filled with great musicians and timeless songs. For 2 and a half hours the audience was transported to another place and time and I was lucky enough to be one of those people. Don’t waste an opportunity to see this man and his band perform if they come to your city.”

— The Prog Report

“The music was mesmerising, the musicianship world class and I didn’t want it to end.”

— Buzzmag

 

 Steve Hackett: Tour Dates:
Friday 28th July – AUCKLAND, Town Hall (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Wednesday 2nd August – BRISBANE, Tivoli (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Friday 4th August – SYDNEY, Enmore (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Saturday 5th August – MELBOURNE, Palais (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Sunday 6th August  (midday) – MELBOURNE, Melbourne Guitar Show, Caulfield Racecourse (Exclusive acoustic-based trio) www.oztix.com.au
Sunday 6th August (evening) – MELBOURNE, 170 Russell St. (Wind and Wuthering 40th anniversary celebration show)

Tickets:

http://davidroywilliams.com/tours/steve-hackett/

 

Steve Hackett Biography

Steve Hackett has had a remarkable musical career and is renowned as one of the most innovative rock musicians of our time.  Steve has released more than 30 solo albums as well as the seven albums he recorded with Genesis.  In 2010, Steve was inducted into the Rock Hall Of Fame.  As lead guitarist with Genesis he was part of the classic Peter Gabriel era line up which produced acclaimed albums such as The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Foxtrot and Selling England by the Pound (a favourite of John Lennon). Steve’s compositional prowess and extraordinary versatility in both his electric & acoustic guitar playing, is influenced by Rock, Jazz, World Music and Blues. With Genesis, Steve’s guitar playing produced some of their most memorable moments, from the sensitivity of his acoustic sound on Horizons and Blood on the Rooftops to the dramatic rock guitar solos of Firth of Fifth and Fountain of Salmacis.

Pushing musical boundaries into exciting new areas, Steve created sounds and techniques such as ‘tapping’, later developed by the likes of Eddie Van Halen, and leading directly to instruments such as the Chapman Stick. As well as a flourishing solo career throughout the 80’s and 90’s, Steve also joined Yes guitarist Steve Howe in the highly successful GTR. Steve also worked with renowned musicians such as Paul Carrick, Bonny Tyler, John Wetton and Brian May, who has credited Steve as an early influence.

Throughout the 2000’s Steve has created a succession of sophisticated albums, from the opaque atmospherics of Darktown to the colourful voyage through time and space of To Watch the Storms. 2009’s Out Of The Tunnel’s Mouth was proclaimed by fans and reviewers alike as his best ever, and follow up album Beyond the Shrouded Horizon received an equally enthusiastic response. In 2012 Steve collaborated with Chris Squire of Yes on the “Squackett” album A Life Within a Day. Hackett’s latest albums Wolflight and the exciting new album The Night Siren both featured in the UK Top 40 and continue Steve’s trailblazing excursions through a myriad of musical styles and his optimistic world view. Genesis’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame in March 2010 stands as a testament to the enduring qualities of their music. Steve has always held a torch for the classic Genesis music and his Genesis Revisited 2013 Hammersmith Odeon show took out Event of the Year at the prestigious Progressive Music Awards. Steve is also the most recent recipient of the FIM Legend of Rock Award. Steve’s live electric gigs take his fans on an extraordinary journey drawn from a rich musical heritage. Perennial Genesis favourites such as the mighty Firth Of Fifth sit alongside solo classics, while more recent material demonstrates that Steve is an artist still very much at the top of his game. Supported by some of the best musicians on the planet, Steve’s unique guitar work remains the fulcrum on which this challenging and exhilarating show is balanced.

Steve Hackett: Tour Dates:
Friday 28th July – AUCKLAND, Town Hall (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Wednesday 2nd August – BRISBANE, Tivoli (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Friday 4th August – SYDNEY, Enmore (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Saturday 5th August – MELBOURNE, Palais (Genesis Revisited extended show)
Sunday 6th August  (midday) – MELBOURNE, Melbourne Guitar Show, Caulfield Racecourse (Exclusive acoustic-based trio) www.oztix.com.au
Sunday 6th August (evening) – MELBOURNE, 170 Russell St. (Wind and Wuthering 40th anniversary celebration show)

About Mary Boukouvalas 656 Articles
Mary is a music photographer and reviewer.

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