master of melodic grunge, a cult hero for 45 years, the
Neil Young of the instro rock world, and a charter member
of the Rock Instrumental hall of fame, guitar icon Davie Allan is
one of Americas great musical heroes and he more than lives
up to his enormous legacy on his 2009 CD Retrophonic. A mix
of 2009 recordings interwoven with recollected tracks recorded back
in the 1960s that fell by the wayside, Retrophonic features
a batch of new recordings featuring Davie with Dusty Watson (drums)
and Sam Bolle (bass). In addition to displaying Allans
legendary instrumental rock sound, the 17 cut Retrophonic
features singer Russ Viot. Viot, backed up by Allans
fuzzed tinged guitar, rips through covers of You Really Got
A Hold On Me (a fine cover in the Beatles tradition) as well
as a take on the Mamas & the Papas classic Straight Shooterboth
recorded by Allan and company in 1966! Allans Retrophonic
approach yields some interesting results here. For instance, Allan
and company recorded the rock instro William Tell 1967
back in the 60s, adding more tracks to the song in 1970 and
finally in April 2009, Allan added lead guitar along with fresh keyboard
parts by Adam Marsland. Gerry Goffins Will You
Still Love Me Tomorrowrecorded by Allan & Co. in 1967
with the late Wayne Allwine, who sadly passed away on May 18,
2009 on vocalsadds fuel to Allans Retrophonic
concept. After reading this MWE3.com CD review of Retrophonic,
Allan was quick to point out that Wayne, starting in 1977 became the
3rd official voice of "Mickey Mouse" and, as if to pay tribute
to his old friend, in the CD booklet Allan dedicates Retrophonic
to the memory of Wayne Allwine. Whether backing up fine singers
or blazing new ground on a fresh batch of fuzzed up, guitar instro
rockers, Allans guitar comes through loud and clear on the always
entertaining Retrophonic. Very much as significant as household
names such as The Ventures and Duane Eddy, on Retrophonic
Allan lives up to his reputation as a veritable world wide guitar
hero. But why stop there? Fans of Allans hard hitting guitar
rock sound will also no doubt want to hear a pair of CDs Allan released
on the Spinout Records imprint. Recorded by Davie Allan And The Arrows,
the 14 cut Moving Right Along, from 2008,
has Allan backed up by some great instro rock players like
David Winogrond (drums) and features a mix of instrumental
tracks along with some well paced Allan vocals. Heartache,
one of Allans vocal cuts, is a fantastic track but its
Allan's instro guitar workouts that will always pin you to the wall.
Even though Christmas 2009 is over a month old, lets not forget
Davie Allan And The Arrows recorded a second volume of fuzzed out
Christmas instro rockers from 2007 entitled Fuzz For The Holidays
2, thats also released on the Spinout label.
Rock on Santa Claws! www.DavieAllan.com
MWE3.COM SPEAKS WITH
GUITAR LEGEND DAVIE ALLAN!
(the following interview took place on Friday February
Did you ever think you'd be doing an album of Christmas songs back
in the '60s? How did the idea of Fuzz For The Holidays spring
to mind and why did it take so long?
DA: I never considered it although I did a medley titled "Stoked
On Christmas" in '84. In 2003, after hearing that Steven Van
Zandt was closing his "Underground Garage" radio show with
"Blues Theme", I contacted him and we immediately hit it
off. He suggested that I do a Christmas album and that he would pay
for it. So, I picked and arranged all the tunes, recorded them and
he said I should add keyboards. He came out to California to be in
on the keyboard sessions and then I proceeded to mix the album and
sent it to him. The title was mine too. He did pay for it and put
his name as producer (I did get a token credit inside the booklet
that states "additional producing". Aaaarrrggghhh!!!). No
volume 3, especially since I basically only make money from my writing
and publishing. I did volume 2 as a surprise for Steven and he turned
it down. No need to say how I felt about that!
MWE3: How do you approach the idea of making recordings these days
compared with your mindset back in the '60s?
DA: Except for mixing in Pro Tools, I do about the same as I did in
the 60's. I've produced all my albums since '03 so the only minor
hassles are with engineers and musicians.
MWE3: Do you still keep in touch with Mike Curb and do you still get
along with him?
DA: We keep in touch only because of the Sundazed reissues. Unfortunately,
he owns all my 60's recordings.
MWE3: How did your experience go with Bob Irwin at Sundazed? Do you
keep in touch with Bob?
Bob and I got along fine. He asked my thoughts on which tunes for
the anthology but all the legal stuff was with Curb. Along with the
Devil's Rumble 2-CD anthology in 2004, Bob also released three
of my albums (Apache '65, Blues Theme and Cycle-Delic Sounds)
with bonus tracks on CD in 2005 and a comp (Cycle Breed) in
'06. He is in negotiations with Curb again to release many of the
60's soundtrack albums on CD.
MWE3: What guitars are you playing on the Fuzz For The Holidays
DA: I used my 1965 Fender Jazzmaster that I still use today and I
did a few overdubs on my '67 Mosrite 12-string.
MWE3: How has your guitar arsenal changed since the '60s?
DA: The guitar is the same although I used a Mosrite doubleneck in
'67 and a Mosrite fuzz pedal. Today I use a Pro Co "Rat"
MWE3: Is there a trademark guitar you feel you're associated with
and why and how about Davie Allan signature guitars?
DA: Just the Fender. I did try to get an endorsement with Fender for
a new one but I never got an answer. I even had letters going to Fender
from Mike Curb, Bob Irwin, Steven Van Zandt and many fans and friends.
Great letters but no response.
MWE3: Is there a cool story behind your conceiving the Retrophonic
DA: The special thing about the concept was that I had some unreleased
tracks from the 60's that deserved to be heard plus I wanted to do
some new tunes in the raw style of the 60's. The album is about half
and half on old and new tracks.
I had finished transferring the old tracks and tried to reach Wayne
Allwine to make sure he was okay with his version of "Will You
Love Me Tomorrow" being included and I couldn't understand why
there was no reply. Sadly and devastatingly, I found out he had passed
away on May 19th. I dedicated the album to him. His wife, Russi "Minnie
Mouse" Taylor was thrilled and asked me to speak at a tribute
to him at the Disney studios in Burbank on July 27th. The next day
I received this from Russi: "I don't know if Wayne told you that
he was so happy to know you continued your life in music and never
gave it up. And honestly, the whole night long, even in my dreams
last night, I heard Wayne singing "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow".
And of course, I will. I think that was my favorite part of the night
last night, and I thank you for that."
MWE3: How did you meet Wayne Allwine and how did you start recording
DA: Larry Brown (who quit playing to engineer) and my replacement
drummer, Don Manning knew Wayne and wanted me to meet him and maybe
add him to the group. I added him right away! We soon went on tour
for Blues Theme and after that month long tour in 1967, we
came home to record the ultimate Arrows' album of the 60's Cycle-Delic
MWE3: Can you tell us more album Wayne being the 3rd voice of Mickey
DA: Wayne was working in the Disney mailroom when he joined the band.
Ten years after his stint as an "Arrow", he auditioned for
the gig of a lifetime and got it. He did "Mickey's" voice
for 32 years. Walt Disney did it first from 1928 to 1946, the 2nd
was Jim McDonald from 1946 to 1977. Wayne was "Mickey's"
voice in movies, TV and at the theme parks.
MWE3: What are you future plans following the Retrophonic CD?
DA: Nothing planned at the moment although "Retrophonic 2"
would be a possibility.