Jump to content

Bugeras, Ricks, Thunderbirds, Martin Turner and Wishbone Ash


King Tut

Recommended Posts

A bit of a ramble, but last Saturday we played at Alfold Rock and Blues Festival. We had a great slot at 8.05 pm - the last band before Martin Turner’s incarnation of Wishbone Ash. It was our second post lockdown gig, the previous being four or five weeks prior. Sadly we couldn’t rehearse - our drummer’s daughter had been isolating with Covid, then I had Norovirus, then the drummer had to go abroad for work for a week - so we blagged it!

 

I’d been looking forward to gigging my lockdown acquired Peavey VB-2 for a second time but was uncomfortable because I’d not really got to know it at volume. Also I’m recovering from a screwed up back and although we have roadies, I still had to manoeuvre it into its case and get it to the door and was really worried about putting my back out again, so I decided to use my Bugera Veyron - the one with the valve pre.

 

I’ve never seen Wishbone Ash before, but I have the Argus Album and it’s one of my top albums, love Martin’s bass on it and how much it contributes to the songs. Del had promised to introduce me to Martin, and true to his word, prior to our set, he introduced us and what a lovely bloke he is. We talked about his Rickenbacker which turned out to be a rare one with the extra fret. I asked why he changed to a Thunderbird. Apparently, the neck on the Rick got broken and he needed a bass desperately so he borrowed a Thunderbird from the bass player of Mott The Hoople. The Rick stayed at the record label offices from where it was stolen and he’s never seen it since!

 

Anyway, we played our set and played a bit of a stonker. Big ups to the monitor engineer, he quietly asked each of us what we wanted in the monitors and set them (no sound check) and off we went - none of us had to ask for anything to be changed. My little Bugera? Well I think I got the best sound I’ve had yet with Stray, so if any one’s looking for a Peavey . . . . . No just kidding - I’m going to spend some more time with it yet!

 

I really enjoyed Wishbone Ash. There were a couple of Jazz moment but it was lovely hearing most of the Argus album played live. And Martin’s tone? Wow - awesome. It looked like he was using an Ashdown ABM head through a couple of maybe 2x10 or 2x12 cabs - hard to see. Really solid sound.

 

All in all it was a fabulous day. To top it off it was my final official day of employment before retiring from the railway after 42 years of service, so a fabulous way to bow out!!

Edited by King Tut
  • Like 21
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • King Tut changed the title to Bugeras, Ricks, Thunderbirds, Martin Turner and Wishbone Ash

Well done Col. One of my old guitarists is one of Stray's biggest fans (bordering on stalking), so if you have a small, white haired weirdo called Patrick coming up to you or hanging outside your house just call me.


He's absolutely fine and doesn't bite. Just don't feed him after midnight!

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my band played at The Acoustic Festival of Britain the other year we were on immediately before Martin, which came as a bit of a shock to me at the time! Spoke to him at length before and after, helped him on stage with his gear and checked out his ‘72 Ric - he was a bit surprised that I had 2 (sadly didn’t take them with me, used my Warwick Alien) and was even more surprised that I’d also had a rare 21 fret Rick like his original. Have to say he was an absolute gent, warm, very funny and very kind about the band. I’m also pleased to say that his set was awesome and his Rick sounded great. 

 

He was using a Hartke head with an Ashdown Mag cabinet:

 

 

 

3EAA1648-7195-4B78-9048-4C55C8A3BB11.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Old Horse Murphy said:

Well done Col. One of my old guitarists is one of Stray's biggest fans (bordering on stalking), so if you have a small, white haired weirdo called Patrick coming up to you or hanging outside your house just call me.


He's absolutely fine and doesn't bite. Just don't feed him after midnight!

Please tell him to come say hello!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Neither the official Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) or Martin Turner ‘plays’ Wishbone Ash (a very acrimonious court case said that MT can’t call his band WA) are as good as the tribute band, Ashbone U Wish, IMO. Both of the ‘name’ bands are missing something and that something is each other, but that’ll never happen now. I’ve seen both the AP & MT incarnations (probably more than any other band) numerous times and I’ve always been disappointed sadly. AUW we’re always spot on and their bass player, who is a member here, even depped for Bob Skeat on one the tours.

 

Sorry to just drop in widdle over the OP’s fireworks, if anyone enjoys either incarnation, I’m genuinely happy for you and a little envious too. Argus and New England are my favourite WA albums.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have to admit to some envy here. MT was always my favourite bass player because he was able to create such variety in his basslines and never sound flash. His tone on some songs is awesome - Master of Disguise, Surface to Air, Come in from the rain, etc.

I think he used an old Ric 4000 with a Dimarzio EBO pickup at the neck for some of these as well as the usual Thunderbird. His Hamer Explorer was always a great looking bass too.

Thanks for posting this.

Cheers

Paul

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in the 6th Form at school in 1971-73 and we  were lucky to have a 6th Form Centre away from the main school which had a Garrad deck and a decent hi fi system. All the cool kids used to bring in LP's ( remember them?) and I absorbed Argus, Led Zep 2 and 3, various Rory Gallagher and Groundhogs in my free periods. Whilst not into that stuff ( more Bowie, Lou Reed, Crusaders) those tunes have stuck in my ears over the last 50 years. Listened to Argus on YT a couple of years ago and it all came tumbling back.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, yorks5stringer said:

All the cool kids used to bring in LP's ( remember them?) and I absorbed Argus, Led Zep 2 and 3, various Rory Gallagher and Groundhogs in my free periods.

Ken Pustelneck's Groundhogs were playing before us. We toured with them just before lockdown and had an absolute blast. Made some great friends right there!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ezbass said:

Sorry to just drop in widdle over the OP’s fireworks, if anyone enjoys either incarnation, I’m genuinely happy for you and a little envious too.

Not at all mate. I've seen neither AP's version or the tribute band so can't comment. Just because I enjoyed them doesn't make them the best version. It all contributed to being a memorable and enjoyable day which was just what I needed after a particularly shite six or seven months earlier this year!

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ezbass said:

Neither the official Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) or Martin Turner ‘plays’ Wishbone Ash (a very acrimonious court case said that MT can’t call his band WA) are as good as the tribute band, Ashbone U Wish, IMO. Both of the ‘name’ bands are missing something and that something is each other, but that’ll never happen now. I’ve seen both the AP & MT incarnations (probably more than any other band) numerous times and I’ve always been disappointed sadly. AUW we’re always spot on and their bass player, who is a member here, even depped for Bob Skeat on one the tours.

 

Sorry to just drop in widdle over the OP’s fireworks, if anyone enjoys either incarnation, I’m genuinely happy for you and a little envious too. Argus and New England are my favourite WA albums.

For me, Martin’s tone and playing are absolutely essential to my enjoyment of the WA sound. YMMV. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, yorks5stringer said:

I was in the 6th Form at school in 1971-73 and we  were lucky to have a 6th Form Centre away from the main school which had a Garrad deck and a decent hi fi system. All the cool kids used to bring in LP's ( remember them?) and I absorbed Argus, Led Zep 2 and 3, various Rory Gallagher and Groundhogs in my free periods. Whilst not into that stuff ( more Bowie, Lou Reed, Crusaders) those tunes have stuck in my ears over the last 50 years. Listened to Argus on YT a couple of years ago and it all came tumbling back.

Oh Man, this could have been me, we did exactly the same in our school in the early seventies, same bands except the Ash album we played to bits was Pilgrimage, my best pal Giz was also seriously into Stray.

One highlight of my life is that the band I was in, played support to the Andy Powell Wishbone Ash.👍👍

Edited by steantval
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw the original WA line up several times over the years, initially when Ted Turner was still with them. Met Martin Turner a couple of times more recently and had a good chat with him about bass guitars etc. Top man in my book.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, ezbass said:

Neither the official Wishbone Ash (Andy Powell) or Martin Turner ‘plays’ Wishbone Ash (a very acrimonious court case said that MT can’t call his band WA) are as good as the tribute band, Ashbone U Wish, IMO. Both of the ‘name’ bands are missing something and that something is each other, but that’ll never happen now. I’ve seen both the AP & MT incarnations (probably more than any other band) numerous times and I’ve always been disappointed sadly. AUW we’re always spot on and their bass player, who is a member here, even depped for Bob Skeat on one the tours.

 

Sorry to just drop in widdle over the OP’s fireworks, if anyone enjoys either incarnation, I’m genuinely happy for you and a little envious too. Argus and New England are my favourite WA albums.

I went to one of these shows with dep bass player. Went to speak to him after the show as he was largely ignored when they came out. Really nice guy. Great gig, have seen them several times and supported them once. Would love to see MTs band

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen Wishbone Ash more times than any other band, and far more times than I can remember. Always loved Martin Turner's melodic lines and killer tone. He does have a unique and rather unorthodox upward picking style.

MT was a major early influence on my playing and the main reason I have owned 5 Thunderbirds over the years (3 Gibsons and 2 Epiphones). The recent Classic series Epiphones with neck thru body, chrome hardware and chrome pickup covers are excellent value, with similar slim necks and growl and thump tone of the triple price Gibsons.  

 

Recently acquired a Hartke LX8500 head, great tone and punch for a relatively affordable amp.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is a great tale to have in the bank, nice one!

 

I saw them back in the day around the same time as 'Live Dates' came out.  That remains one of my all time favourite albums.  I later saw the Andy Powell version but as said above it did seem to lose something somehow.   Currently have 'Blind Eye' lined up to include in my blues/rock trio's set, love the timing of the stops and I can see that workiing with just one guitar.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great post. First gig was Wishbone Ash in December ‘72 as a snotty-nosed 14-year old. Won tickets and a copy of Argus in an NME competition. 

 

Saw the band loads of times in the 70s and very early 80s. Saw the AP variant a few times since, most recently on their 50th Anniversary tour. Awful, left after the first half of their set.

 

Have only seen MT’s band 3 times and will be seeing them again in December. No bloated noodling and as close to the original band as my fading memory allows me to recall. 
 

Met Martin after a gig in Pocklington a couple of years ago and asked him about his Thunderbird; Epiphone with replacement pickups. Coupled with his Ashdown rig he gets a great tone. Lovely chap. He was one of the reasons I picked up a bass in the first place. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...