Remembering Red Rhodes

Hello fellow players,

Going along with my last newsletter there are a lot of different reasons for people to play steel guitar also, just there are many different styles and ways to play steel guitar. We all have our favorite styles. Probably the most common is slow and beautiful country E9th.

Playing steel guitar is something that many of us do to derive pleasure from this fabulous instrument. This is why I myself at Steel Guitar Nashville sell so many different learning aids, like tracks, CDs, instructional videos and tab books. This is what makes steel guitar what it is to many folks.

I learned to play by listening to many other players as about all of us have to do in order to stay on the right path. No sense in learning something on our own that no one else will enjoy.

In talking to the greatest professionals in Nashville every week or so I realize that they also study each other very closely. So if they are studying each other, why don’t we all study them to stay on course and keep the style where the majority of listeners are going to get what they expect.

A stylist from the West Coast that I remember being knocked out by is the great Red Rhodes. My first experience with hearing the great Red Rhodes play was on the smash hit tune called Games People Play in the late sixties.

This guy had a very similar tone and execution to the great Ralph Mooney. Red, Ralph, Sneaky Pete, Jay McDonald and Fuzzy Owens along with a few others created what is very well known now as the West Coast style.

Red also had a great sense of humor which was displayed in my first meeting with him. I was playing with the Opry artist Claude Gray and we were booked into Disneyland in Orange County. I was asleep on the bus when we pulled in, but I started waking up when I felt the bus gosling into the parking space.

I heard an unfamiliar voice from outside the bus yell inside, “Hey, ya’ll have a steel player on the bus?”

Claude Gray was driving a 4104 GM coach himself and answered, “Yeah we have one. Just a second and I’ll send him out.”

By the time Claude got back to the bunk to send me out I was already dressed and on my way down the aisle. I walked off the bus and said, “Who’s looking for the steel player?”

A guy walks up and sticks his hands out and I’m looking at him and he says, “Who are you?”

I said “I’m Bobbe Seymour. Who are you?”

He said, “I’m Red Rhodes.”

I then exclaimed, “Well I’ve certainly heard of you and I’m looking forward to talking with you.”

He asked me, “What kind of steel guitar are you playing.”

I answered him by saying, “A Mickey Mouse Emmons.”

He said with a grin, “Oh no. Don’t say that. We’re not allowed to say things like that here in Disneyland.”

That was my first encounter with his great sense of humor. It wasn’t long until we were good friends. I never did realize how renowned he was a steel player until I read his discography. This guy had recorded with everybody and was extremely successful as an L.A. steel guitarist. Anything I’ve ever heard him play on has set a standard of great taste.

Check out his discography by searching for him on google. You’ll find a ton of links.

Red is also known for his work in guitar electronics. I know when I saw him play at Disneyland he was playing through a Fender Deluxe Reverb that he had hot-rodded to put out nearly a hundred watts.

Rumor has it that he started building a custom amplifier that it seems like everybody in L.A. was getting in line to buy. It was called Mesa Boogie. His knack for modifying Fenders also earned him much notoriety.

His personality was what really stuck with me.

I’m hoping everybody had a wonderful Christmas and you’re looking forward to a fabulous New Year.

See our monthly specials at … www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html.

The friend to all bar holders,
Bobbe Seymour
www.steelguitar.net
sales@steelguitar.net
www.youtube.com/bobbeseymour

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Steel Guitar Nashville
123 Mid Town Court
Hendersonville, TN. 37075
(615) 822-5555
Open 9AM – 4PM Monday – Friday
Closed Saturday and Sunday

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