The first seismic explosion of rock 'n' roll back in the 1950s certainly had its share of flamboyant figures. Clifton Elwood Gallup, 1930-1988, was not one of them. Big, tall, affably good natured, and several years older than Vincent and the rest of the Blue Caps, Gallup was anything but a 50s rock 'n' roll wild man or slouching, sneering hipster.
Between that first session in May 1956 and his departure from the band the following October, he played on 36 recordings by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps. These include classics such as "Be-Bop-a-Lula," "Crazy Legs," "Who Slapped John," "Blue Jean Bop," "Cat Man," "Double Talkin' Baby," Cruisin'," and of course, the magnificent "Race With the Devil." All together, however, Gallup's short stint as a Blue Cap constitutes a veritable education in dazzling rockabilly guitar. Even when he wasn't soloing, his guitar parts showed an advanced understanding of composition, and he routinely tossed off speedily intricate passages with seeming effortlessness.
And yet he's hardly a household name. Indeed, most have never heard of him (including a lot of guitar players), and his tenure as a Blue Cap was, as noted, exceedingly brief--not even one year. But make no mistake--Cliff Gallup is unquestionably one of the greatest guitar heroes of the 1950s. Just ask Jeff Beck, Brian Setzer, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Albert Lee or any other among numerous acknowledged guitar greats who routinely adopt a tone of hushed reverence at the mention of Gallup's name.
Learn more about Gallup on the Gretsch Guitars website along with information on the new Gretsch G6128T-CLFG Cliff Gallup Signature Duo Jet™.
Michael Miley started playing drums when he was just four. In the 8th grade, he tried to join the jazz band but was beaten to the punch by his best friend. Mid way through high school, however, Miley decided to quit football to join the jazz band. He eventually became obsessed with world music, namely Brazilian (samba Batucada, Bossa Nova, Frevo, Folklorico, etc). He studied with Chalo Eduardo and eventually began working with him, playing with Santana, Ricky Martin, Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussein, Babatunde Olatunji, David Garibaldi, Giovanni Hidalgo, Los Lobos, and Bruce Hornsby, as well as the procession for Jerry Garcia's memorial in Golden Gate Park.
After college, Miley began playing in local Long Beach bands and it's there that he learned to Rock! Moving to Hollywood to pursue music full-time, he met Bernardo "Bird" Targett and along with Greg Coates, formed Bird3. They were signed and made a record. Around this time Miley also met Jay Buchanan and then began a 5-year stint playing with Joe Firstman. They toured extensively for two years and then Joe got the musical director position for Last Call with Carson Daly on NBC. Miley did that for a few years while also touring with Veruca Salt.
Around 2005 Miley met Scott Holiday and not long after, Rival Sons was born. Band members include Jay Buchanan (vocals), Scott Holiday (guitar), Michael Miley (drums), and Dave Beste (bass). Miley and Rival Sons have been going nonstop for the past seven years. They've been traveling the world, touring, and opening for Black Sabbath on their The End tour.
Make sure to visit their website for upcoming tour dates and follow them on Twitter and Instagram. Photo: Jmor Rockutography.
EVENTS & MORE:
THE NAMM SHOW - January 19-22, 2017
You'll find Gretsch Guitars, Gretsch Drums, and Bigsby at The NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA from January 19 to 22. According to NAMM, last year a record 101,726 attendees explored products from more than 1,700 exhibitors showcasing over 6,000 brands. We're looking forward to a great show with some exciting new products being unveiled. For those who can't attend, make sure to stay tuned to our social media channels for news and photos from the show!
During the show, Gretsch Guitars will be honoring two guitar legends: Duane Eddy & Cliff Gallup.
Sixty years ago, Twang was born when Duane Eddy purchased his first Gretsch 6120 guitar from Ziggie's in Phoenix. Eddy will forever be revered as an original guitar hero who put a deep and resounding twang into rock ‘n’ roll. Learn more about Eddy and two stunning new limited edition Duane Eddy signature guitar finishes recently introduced.
Learn more about Cliff Gallup in our feature above.
For everyone attending the NAMM Show or who will be in the Anaheim area, make note! On Saturday night, January 21, you'll want to head on out to The Juke Joint at 735 N. Anaheim Boulevard for a Gretsch Guitars Twang-O-Rama Event! The show will start at 8:30 p.m. and will feature: ONOFF, Seatbelt, The Hot Rod Trio with special guests, and The Altar Billies! No cover or special ticket required! Open to the public. Join us to celebrate That Great Gretsch Sound!!
Find More Gretsch Community Events HERE.
Guitar Legend Duane Eddy
Learn how a simple introduction by a Beatle 25 years ago led to two Gretsch signature models, and a long friendship with “The King of Twang.” Included is an exclusive interview with Duane wherein he shares many memories and colorful stories about his nearly 60-year career in music.
Great Gretsch Educator: Mark Guiliana
We’ve featured Mark Guiliana before, as one of the Gretsch Greatest Hits…and Hitters. He is indisputably a superstar on the jazz scene. And on the fusion scene. And, frankly, on just about any scene he cares to take part in. Recently, he added the “education scene” to his resume. Now let's take a look at the educator side of this Great Gretsch drummer.
IN OTHER GRETSCH NEWS!
Happy New Year to all the Gretsch guitar fans, owners, artists, and dealers worldwide. We wish you a happy and healthy 2017! Check out our 2016 review video highlighting some of the artists and events we featured here last year!
German Guitar Heroes
Read Fred Gretsch's examination of an important part of history not properly being represented.
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