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Crossroads – The Movie That Rocked My World

In need of soul food, I decided to eat my lunch in front of the famous guitar dual scene in a movie called Crossroads. This film has a huge music cult following and a major influence on me back when I was a kid forming a sacred bond with the guitar.

The clock might as well have turned back to when I was six-years-old, eating my Rice Bubbles before school in front of the TV watching the exact same scene. I can even tell you where the tape started to show signs of age from being replayed over and over again! After all of my years on the road and recording, I’m still just as blown away by the musicality as I was back then. I have to also take my hat off to Ralph Maccio for doing an amazing job at miming the monster parts! Even today, it still had me hooked just the same. The only difference being the player I identified with.

As a kid growing up in the late 80’s early 90’s pre-grunge, I was always fascinated with the shredders! Blues moved my insides, but the energy, aggression and flamboyancy of the Steve Vai’s, Eddie Van Halen’s and Joe Satriani’s of the world excited me. Thus giving birth to the dual occupancy in my musical mind of blues and rock. Later, it was Soundgarden, Rage and Nirvana. So watching the dual as a kid had me most identified with Steve Vai. Dirty tones, speed picking, slanting toward classical roots, and of course the super red shiny guitar with the black head stock and Floyd Rose whammy – which I later found out to be the biggest pain in the fucking ass ever! I saw Ralph’s (Ry’s) playing as thin and a little weak, with Steve Vai being the power figure.

Now, it’s flipped. I hear Ry’s parts as dirty and mean with an overloaded dose of swagger. Layered with all the attributes that make up my favourite country blues rock guitarists. Sound wise, I use to be hooked on the Vai sound, but now I’m blown away by the crispness yet dirty Fender Tele sound mixed in with the slide. Driven amp in a way that keeps it crispy and creamy at the same time. When I hear the sound of an amp about to blow, it does exactly that to me!

I’m not paying out Steve Vai, I think he is one of the most incredible guitarists ever. I was originally going to describe Ry’s parts as soulful, but that would be saying Vai’s aren’t, which is not the case. The emotion oozing out of Vai’s parts is undeniable, which is something rare in that style of guitar soloing.

My favourite guitar part as a kid was the hero scene. The finish off! Where Ralph channels his classical roots to knock the wind out of Steve Vai. It’s the most obvious example of the origins of Heavy Metal guitar from that era. Now, it’s a dirty hard but relaxed swamp groove played down low by Ry in answer to Steve Vai’s first call. Whoooooo I could listen to that all day. It actually made me realise how much of that groove is embedded in most things I do today. Half time, straight but swung with a slight swagger. Thank god my guitar isn’t a woman. Yum!

Question… What guitar solos or parts have had the biggest impact on you?

Links:

Blues club scene. Low, slow, sleazy and a deep roomy mix. Instantly transported.

“Cuttin heads” dual final scene.


For those who are new to the site, hit up my introduction post and the about tab to understand what inspired this website as well as what’s to come. 

8 Comments

  1. Mal Gully27/03/2017

    Oh that’s easy! Rickie Haven’s strumming power and unconventional fretting in Woodstock s opening clips, and Johnny Winter’s mean town blues floating on the stage playing a six strung 12 string. I was 9 years old when I saw that. Throw in Pete Townshend wind milling and smashing his guitar and the Hendrix set left handed on a right hand guitar oh and why not Alvin Lee? Yes folks Woodstock! To a 9 year old that was enough to point the way. Never really got on the bus til much later, oh and did I say Carlos Santana? Same movie! Nothing much compares to that start.

    Reply
  2. Daniel Smith27/03/2017

    Nice article. I was very similar in that I started out learning (trying to) Metallica solos. Then I moved to classic rock, then blues rock then straight ahead blues. Some of my most memorable guitar experiences would have to be Gilmour’s solos on Time and Money. Just when he’s nailed some awesome bends, he goes and finds some more that make it sound like his guitar has an extra 10 frets. There are a lot people that feel tough by hating on guitarists, yet as simple as Dave’s playing can be he never attracts any such comments. He is just so damn good!!!

    Reply
  3. Michael Connolly27/03/2017

    Hummmm…great question ! Personally i had a trad, folk, roots, blues family background and I loved Rory Gallagher like the guitar god he was, followed him round the pub scene when I shouldn’t have been there!
    Later when I discovered BB and the notes you don’t play coupled with Ry Cooders “chicken skin music” I fell in love with the combo of sound and phrase of which they were/are the masters. Had the pleasure of seeing Ry’s “rig”. Two little juniors, one fender one probably custom something. He mixes the sound between them to get that indescribable sound. Fret rattle and all. Yum!

    Keep well all

    Mick

    Reply
  4. Glenn27/03/2017

    Nice post mate. Never been much into the “shred” thing myself, that’s why Johnny Marr from the Smiths has pretty much been my guitar inspiration. Some of the guitar parts he has come up with still blow my mind! If I had to choose a classic Aussie blues/rock guitarist, I think Ian Moss would be hard to beat!

    Reply
  5. Andrew Tierney27/03/2017

    Answer: Jo Partridge, who on Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The war of the Worlds, had the strings on his Guitar tuned to the same note, featuring a fuzzy sound when he played, this was to represent the Martian’s Heat Ray.

    On the same album, Herbie Flowers had the lowest string on his Bass Guitar tuned and with the use of a Harmoniser, played a lower than normal Bass sound.

    Like with you and many others, I have heard the maestro Guitar player of well known Musicians such as Steve Vai and Eddie Van Halen and Ace Frehley and Vinnie Vincent, and Vinnie Moore.

    Scottish Alternative Rock band Big Country had their Guitars sounding like Bagpipes.

    We recently mourned the passing of Chuck Berry, who was described by many as the father of Rock and Roll, was he an influence to you too?

    Reply
  6. Roddy.27/03/2017

    In the world of guitar soloing the only one that has some guitar solos that I can’t even memorize or whistle for that matter, is Gilberto Puente a Mexican guitarist who is member of Los Tres Reyes.
    He plays a Requinto which is like a small classical guitar tuned to A- D- G- C- E – A.

    If you put a Capo on the fifth fret of any guitar in standard tuning you get that tuning of the Requinto.

    He is definitely the hero of all Latin American guitar slingers wanna be, including ME.

    Reply
  7. Brett Jack29/03/2017

    Tough question.
    Like asking for 5 favourite albums.
    A small selection:
    Page’s solo on Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You.
    Eddie VH -Eruption
    Roy Buchanan – Ramon’s Blues (maybe my fave blues solo)
    Duane Allman on Whipping Post
    SRV – Testify
    Derek Trucks on Midnight In Harlem (best slide player ever IMHO)

    Reply
  8. Brentyn Irvine31/03/2017

    Definitely my favourite guitar movie still watch it now 🙂

    Reply

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