Q&A Scene: Guitarists’ Special ~ Dave Leslie

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

Baby animals is working on new material and has just recorded a ball-tearing version of Linda Ronstadt’s “How Do I Make You” which has been going over great in the live set. We are looking forward to playing it and a few other newies when we hit the road again next Summer.

How long have you been playing guitar?

I have been practicing guitar for 44 years and still trying to get it right.

I’ll get there eventually…

Why did you first start playing?

My parents always listened to music and I fell in love with the sound of the electric guitar at a young age.

Watching ‘70s TV programs where long-haired rockers cut-sick on electric guitars in front of stacks of big amplifiers greatly influenced me as well.

Which guitarist most influenced your playing?

Many guitar players have influenced me but the one that still gives me goosebumps is Jimi Hendrix.

When a kid at school lent me his big brother’s cassette of Axis: Bold As Love, my whole world changed.

His beautiful chord voicings and technique still take me to the same place it took me when I first heard it.

I still have the cassette..

Describe your favourite guitar.

Being a Hendrix devotee, I’m a sucker for Fender Stratocasters and I happen to have a beautiful 1964 example in my possession at present.

It doesn’t leave the house much anymore.

My workhorse guitars are Grubisa Merlins which I’ve been playing for over 20 years.

How do you prepare for a show?

I like to get to the venue with enough time to have a bit of a play/warm-up before we go on. I’ll usually go up on stage when my gear is set and have a couple of nice, loud “squanks” over my rig to make sure everything works the way it should. If I can feel the air from the speaker boxes making my pants flap, I know that it is..

Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.

I once had the opportunity to spend an afternoon playing the burned Fender Strat that Jimi Hendrix gave Frank Zappa.

I licked the back of it when no-one was looking..

What, or who, inspires you?

Great songs, played by amazing musicians inspire me. I still love listening to well produced albums in headphones.

Great photographs, great food, thought-provoking movies..

Oh, and my family and loved ones. They inspire me each and every day..

Which song do you wish you wrote?

The Shadowlands- Ryan Adams.

The first time I heard it, it made me weep.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

Crispy shell taco made with Kingfish ceviche and Jalapeños.

I like my sound to be nice and tangy on the top end so it’s nice and present when it’s clean… but then, when you wind up the volume all the other complex flavours come to the fore. The Kingfish is still the hero, but it’s not prepared in the usual manner. The Jalapeños (FX) are spicy but don’t detract from the main sound.

It’s a feast for your ears, it’s light yet filling and it’s good for you. :-)

What’s next for you?

Baby Animals is having a short hiatus during which time I’m concentrating on getting a solo recording off the ground. Playing with others also keeps you fresh. Performing a bunch of cool guitar tunes at Melbourne Guitar Show as well..

What’s your scene?

My scene is going out with my awesome girlfriend somewhere nice to eat, perhaps Lee Ho Fook in the city then catching a live act or movie of some sort and finishing up at Madame Brussel’s for a night cap.


Dave is a professional guitar player/songwriter who currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. He first picked up a guitar in 1973 and has been learning ever since. Dave has toured the world several times, has met and jammed with a lot of his childhood heroes and has had many “rock ‘n’ roll dreams” come true. The recipient of three ARIA Awards and numerous nominations, Dave continues to write, play and record with Baby Animals and many others, and still finds playing small, sweaty venues as satisfying and exciting as playing the “big gigs”.

Catch Dave at the Melbourne Guitar Show at 1:30pm on Sunday 5th August at Caulfield Racecourse for a UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL SESSION

Tickets are on sale NOW!

Online ticket prices when pre-ordered:: Adult day pass $20, adult weekend pass $30, family day pass $35, concession day pass $10, concession weekend pass $15, premium ticket** $40




Australian Music Association announced the 2018 return of the Melbourne Guitar Show, set to rock Caulfield Racecourse on August 4 and 5 – and this year, it’ll be bigger than ever.

Proudly presented by Triple M and Australian Musician, the lineup boasts an impressive haul of both local and international artists, and featuring amongst the bunch is none other than UK guitar legend Albert Lee.

In addition to some killer performances from the artists on this massive lineup, #MGS2018 will also hold a monster exhibition that will feature a gigantic variety of electric and acoustic guitars, effects pedals, amps and more state-of-the-art guitar technology, both home-grown and from around the world.  It will continue to be Australia’s biggest guitar pop-up shop, and that’s not all.  The Melbourne Guitar Show will host information seminars, demonstrations, and live performances from Australia’s most talented guitarists.

This year will be extra special as the Melbourne Guitar Show welcomes UK guitar legend Albert Lee.  Lee’s work with The Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris and The Crickets is renowned within the music world and cemented his place as one of the most respected and renowned guitarists in history.  Speaking on Lee’s talent, Eric Clapton enthuses, “(He is) the ultimate virtuoso.  His skill is extraordinary and he’s gifted on just about every level,” while Emmylou Harris says, “(Albert Lee) is a brilliant guitar player…his sound is unmistakable, never qualled.”  The British-born country-rock artist started his long and illustrious career during the emerging rock ‘n’ roll scene of ‘60s London, when he played in bands with the likes of Jimmy Page and Chris Farlowe.  He has received countless accolades for his work, and has been named Guitar Player Magazine’s Best Country Guitarist five times in a row.

The first lineup announcement for #MGS2018 is a big one.  Joining Albert Lee is Daniel Champagne, a prolific young guitar virtuoso with the world at his feet, and Jeff Lang, who has been described by Rolling Stone as “Australia’s best roots music artisan.”  Melbourne Guitar Show favourites Nick Charles and Shannon Bourne will also be returning this year, alongside some seriously talented women Fiona Boyes, Alison Ferrier, Cat Canteri, Nat Allison and upcoming punk rockers Rackett.  Not to mention a whole host of additional artists are set to be announced over the coming weeks.

Drawing over 5,500 guitar lovers and enthusiasts to last year’s exhibit, the Melbourne Guitar Show is growing year on year and is gearing up for the biggest event yet.  The voice of the Australian music products industry, the Australian Music Association (AMA) will be teaming up with australianmusician.com.au and presenting sponsors Triple M, 3PBS and Aon to present this year’s guitar-centric weekend.  At last year’s MGS, punters not only enjoyed scheduled performances and demos from the awesome artists on the lineup, but also witnessed surprise on-stand appearances from some of Australia’s finest artists, including Ian Moss, Darren Middleton (Powderfinger), Paul Dempsey, Oscar Dawson and Ali Barter.  Both the promoters of the show and the exhibitors are constantly wrangling acts right up until the very last minute – and who will be joining the all-star jam this year? Come on down and find out!

Thrilled to present #MGS2018 once again, AMA executive officer and MGS organiser, Rob Walker says, After an awesome show last year, we’re looking forward to continuing the tradition the show is creating.  We’re very pleased to present Albert Lee on his 75th birthday tour, as well as the usual host of wonderful players we present.”

Not only will the 2018 MGS provide a hands-on chance to see, hear and play a broad range of the world’s favourite brands, it will also see exhibitors offering great show deals, plus an opportunity to get close to some hand-crafted, locally made instruments and epic guitar and gear collections.  Describing the exciting developments, Rob continues, “Our exhibition welcomes back some big names this year and the learning opportunities are plentiful.  If you’re in the market for guitars and gear, great live music from some of the best players. the Melbourne Guitar Show is the place to be.”

The first artist line up announcement includes: Albert Lee, Daniel Champagne, Jeff Lang, Nick Charles, Shannon Bourne, Fiona Boyes, James Ryan, Phil Manning, Nat Allison, Brett Kingman, Alison Ferrier, Cat Canteri, Scott Darlow, Rackett, Van Larkins, Justin Bernasconi, Rohan Stevenson, and more to be announced over the coming weeks.

The Melbourne Guitar Show will be held at Caulfield Racecourse on August 4 and 5.

Tickets are on sale NOW!

Online ticket prices when pre-ordered:: Adult day pass $20, adult weekend pass $30, family day pass $35, concession day pass $10, concession weekend pass $15, premium ticket** $40




WEBSITE                 FACEBOOK              #MGS2018            TWITTER                 INSTAGRAM

About Mary Boukouvalas 1612 Articles
Mary is a photographer and a writer, specialising in music. She runs Rocklust.com where she endeavours to capture the passion of music in her photos whether it's live music photography, promotional band photos or portraits. She has photographed The Rolling Stones, KISS, Iggy Pop, AC/DC, Patti Smith, Joe Strummer, PULP, The Cult, The Damned, The Cure, Ian Brown, Interpol, MUDHONEY, The MELVINS, The Living End, Foo Fighters, Smashing Pumpkins, Rage Against The Machine, The Stone Roses –just to name a few - in Australia, USA, Europe and the Middle East. Her work has been published in Beat magazine, Rolling Stone magazine, Triple J magazine, The Age Newspaper, The Herald Sun, The Australian, Neos Kosmos, blistering.com, theaureview.com, noise11.com, music-news.com. She has a permanent photographic exhibition at The Corner Hotel in Richmond, Victoria Australia.