Q&A Scene: Guitarists’ Special ~ Ed Bates

Ahead of his appearance at the Melbourne Guitar Show, legendary guitarist Ed Bates answers a few of our questions, and states he’s “looking forward to playing at the Melbourne Guitar Show”.

How long have you been playing guitar?

I’ve been playing guitar professionally for 55 years and steel guitar for about 45.

Why did you first start playing?

Originally I played Clarinet and sax, and moved to guitar in my early teens, right in the middle of the 60’s Guitar explosion! Guitar was the focus of modern music then, and all I wanted were those sounds!

Which guitarist most influenced your playing?

James Burton, Wes Montgomery, Julian Bream, Lonnie Mack, Ry Cooder, Charlie Christian….they all influenced my guitar sound. Then listening to recordings of steel players like Curly Chalker, Buddy Emmons and Doug Jernigan, were a major influence on my style.

Rick Dempster and Peter Lyndon, were two Melbourne steel players that I was fortunate enough to watch when I was first moving to steel and they had a great influence on me – and became close friends.

Describe your favourite guitar. 

My double neck Emmons Pedal steel.

How do you prepare for a show?

Make sure I don’t leave anything important at home!  But seriously, I always put a lot of time into the preparation of the material – writing charts, listening to the arrangements and so on – so that when I get to a show; I don’t have to think about it too much, it just flows.

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

There’ve been many, but I’m probably too old (or too polite) to remember.

What, or who, inspires you?

Playing with talented people. Rhythm. Hearing new sounds.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

Sleep Walk

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

Like a nice bowl of warm vegetable soup with a hidden zing of chilli that gets you when you least expect it!

What’s next for you?

I have some sessions booked to play, some masterclasses to present and just continuing to gig around Melbourne with various bands.

What’s your scene?

The corner coffee shops in the back streets of Northcote – catching up with musical mates and talking rubbish!

Catch Ed @ Melbourne Guitar Show: AON MEZZANINE STAGE Level 1 Escalator West SATURDAY 3.30pm

NICK CHARLES BLUES & ROOTS SHOW Some of our best blues exponents will talk about their approach, plus there’ll be finger-picking good solos and “all-in” jams. Nick Charles hosts Fiona Boyes, Justin Bernasconi, Charlie Bedford, Phil Manning, Ed Bates.

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




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About Mary Boukouvalas 1593 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.