I’ve had the pleasure of trying out some of the most talked about pedals on the net, – Skreddy Pedals. They’ve caught the Gilmour enthusiast’s attention with nicknames like “Pinkmour”, claiming to catch the very essence of Gilmour’s tone. I just had to check this out…
You might only know him from playing with Pink Floyd, but Tim Renwick has played with them all. His résumé is a long list of top selling bands and artists and his reputation among fellow musicians is right up there with Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and David Gilmour. I’m very proud to share this interview I recently did with Tim Renwick.
Reverb can make a dry toneless guitar sound like something an angel played in a huge cathedral. It’s the tool of every producer making the music sound alive on record. Yet, reverb can also kill your tone and make every effort of producing the greatest tone on earth seem like a complete waste. In this article I’ll try to share some views on a topic that often cause a lot of debate.
Although David is mostly associated with the Stratocaster, he has always been a big fan of Telecasters. His very first “Floyd” guitar was a Telecaster and over the years, David has recorded and performed numerous songs with this classic guitar.
The article takes a look at all of David’s Telecasters, from the blonde he used when joining Floyd to the Custom Shop model seen on his latest tour. You will also learn more about David’s more famous Telecasters, like the 1959 Custom used on Dogs and the legendary 1955 Esquire, seen on the About Face album cover. Crank Run Like Hell on your iPod and enjoy!
We all know the story about how Gilmour used a custom designed guitar to reach the high tones on the Money solo from Dark Side of the Moon and most of us has also seen the guitar in action on the studio footage from Live at Pompeii. The Bill Lewis guitar is one of the most talked about in David’s collection; still the details about its origins are rarely documented.
David visited Bill Lewis and tried one of his guitars when Pink Floyd played in Vancouver, Canada, on October 9th 1970. Later that same month, Bill’s wife met Gilmour (and Bill) at the airport in San Fransisco where he got the guitar. The earliest footage of David using the Lewis is from Copenhagen, Denmark, November 12th 1970. It’s seen in action on several performances throughout November and December, notably on a French TV-show at ORTF-TV Studios in Paris 4. and 5. of December.The guitar made its studio debut during spring/summer 1971 when David used it to record the solo on Echoes and of course he used it to record the last part of the solo on Money in 1973. The Lewis is still in David’s possession and was last seen on the BBC Classic Albums Dark Side of the Moon documenray (2003) and at the Pink Floyd Interstellar Exhibition in Paris, France, in 2004.
I’m very pleased to share the following article written exclusively for Gilmourish.Com by former Bill Lewis’ colleague, Mark Fornataro.
“The Lewis custom guitar, designed by Bill Lewis of Vancouver, played a significant role in the recording of Dark Side of the Moon. David Gilmour’s Lewis, built for him in 1970, has the very rare 24 accessible frets. The fret spacing was worked out with the use of a computer, which back in the late 60s, when the guitar had its debut – was also rare. This allowed for better accuracy than usual, in terms of pitch, and of course the full 2 octaves on the high E string allowed Gilmour to reach notes unattainable on his Strat. The extra wide fingerboard which flattened out by the 24th fret is also a great advantage for bending notes.
Jimmy Page, who has a Lewis guitar, wrote me 1992, referring to the guitar as “quite revolutionary”. Not the least of these revolutionary features were Lewis’ own humbucking pick-ups which were cast in resin using a vacuum system, the first time pick-ups were designed in such a way; they are capable of a very clean sound with great sustain (David’s guitar also had switches on each pickup for humbucker and single coil options. – Bjorn). Another first, a trade secret at the time, was the neck design through the incorporation of two parallel rectangular steel bars running the length of the neck and epoxied beneath the fretboard for stability. This allowed for a very fast neck; much thinner than guitars of its time. Gilmour’s guitar is built of a single piece of Honduras mahogany, an ebony fingerboard and Schaller heads. The snap-off back made for easy accessibility to the electronic components.”
“The Lewis guitar first gained notoriety in Vancouver on August 9 1969 when Eric Clapton used one for an entire Blind Faith concert. The Vancouver Sun published a picture of him using it on August 11. After Bill Lewis started getting more orders for it luthier Mark Wilson and I were the only two working full-time handbuilding them. Wilson had suggested approaching Clapton. I started working with Lewis in October 1969 and got on the promotion bandwagon, suggesting approaching Gilmour and was thrilled to see him trying one out in the store in 1970. I remember he had his little finger hooked around the volume control, rocking it back and forth, thus producing an amazingly even vibrato. Mark Wilson died very young in the early 70s and the guitar which had always been a special labour of love, never mass-produced, went out of production. Bill Lewis, a master luthier who also made great acoustic guitars and had given a keynote address at a luthier’s convention, died in 1996 at age 61, leaving a legacy to be proud of.” (by Mark Fornataro © 2007)
Please join me in congratulating David Gilmour with his birthday! Put on your favourite guitar solo and eat some cake!
It’s strange to think about that it’s a year to this date that David released On an Island and some of us even had some tickets for a concert on the tour. What a fantastic year from a fantastic artist! Happy birthday David!
David’s long relationship with Pete Cornish dates to early 1976. Pink Floyd was just returning to the studio to record Animals and David needed a new board for his increasing amount of effects. Also, the shows had grown bigger and the music more complex. This demanded a board that could sustain the signal with a minimum tone loss and not least, provide Gilmour with an easy access setup without all kinds of messy cables and dying batteries.
Although the board has been well documented over the years, some of the info is conflicting and sometimes even plain wrong. In this article I will try to document the different versions of the board and hopefully put some rumours to rest.
The article is devided into three parts…
- “The Board”: Covering all the different stages of the board from 1976 recording sessions, through the Animals and Wall tours to present. Fully illustrated with exclusive pictures!
- “Analyzing the Effects”: A runthrough of all the different pedals built into the board, – when and how they were used.
- “Setups and Settings”: Breaking down each song performed on the tour, listing the equipment used complete with settings for each effect. You can also listen to some clips from the Animals tour to illustrate the different setups!
Put on Animals or your favourite bootleg from the era and dig in! Please let me know if you find any faults or if you’re sitting on info I haven’t included.