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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cliff Gallup

One of my favorite guitarists from the 50s...way ahead of his time.

Did he play a Tele or Esquire?? I was just looking on the cover of a Gene Vincent CD and he's got one for the photo...but I always thought he was a Gretsch man...

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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You may be looking at one of the different incarnations of the Blue Caps. I'm no expert, but as far as I know, Cliff Gallup (my absolute fave player of all time) played his Duo Jet. I think Johnny Meeks played a Tele or Strat. I think the Caps got a Fender endorsement early on, so there were Tele's and Strats falling from the skies.

For me, Cliff and his Duo Jet is as good as it gets. But he only really played on the first year or so of recordings.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Cliff played a Duo Jet.

There may have been a Blue Cap guitarist between Cliff and Johnny, first name "Howard"(?), that I seem to remember using a Tele and/or a Gretsch hollowbody.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weemikey
I think the Caps got a Fender endorsement early on, so there were Tele's and Strats falling from the skies.

.
*gets bucket ready to catch falling Fenders*
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Jeff Beck's "tribute"...

Has anyone heard Jeff Beck's "tribute" to Cliff Gallup. It's called "Crazy Legs' and it's great! I'm a big Beck fan, so I was intro'd to Gallup by way of Beck!
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Old February 1st, 2005, 02:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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If it's that picture with a guy with either a Tele or Esquire then yer seeing Blue Caps short-timer Russell Willaford. Johnny Meeks always played a (too bright IMHO) Strat.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 03:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Jeff Beck's "tribute"...

Beck KILLS on that stuff!
The whole band is really tight and the singer does a fine job copping GV's attitude.
Their version of "Who Slapped John" is so close to the original it will make you double take! Quite a few on there are pretty close to what Gene and the Blue Caps laid down in the 50's.

Man, I wish Jeff would do more of this kind of thing...
He just nails the whole vibe and licks for sure! I think it was done "Live Room" with 1st or 2nd takes being used for the record. You can definately feel the fun that was had in those sessions coming through your speakers!

Too bad Cliff Gallup couldn't deal with the whole scene for longer than he did. Certainly, as raw talented as he was there could have been more innovation come out from his amazing fingers! Cliff was THE MAN...

LONG LIVE THE BLUE CAPS!
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Old February 1st, 2005, 03:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Jeff Beck's "tribute"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokin' Joe Picante
Has anyone heard Jeff Beck's "tribute" to Cliff Gallup. It's called "Crazy Legs' and it's great! I'm a big Beck fan, so I was intro'd to Gallup by way of Beck!
Excellent CD...probably my favorite Jeff disc of all of them...and that's saying something.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 04:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Best Beck album... yeah, I hear ya!

From cover to cover it's probably the most consistent album of his in many ways. You CAN hear the fun they must have had cutting that stuff.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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OK, help a dummy out, which Beck album are you guys talking about? thanks!
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Old February 1st, 2005, 07:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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OK, help a dummy out, which Beck album are you guys talking about? thanks!
'Crazy Legs'. An album he did in the 90s with a band called 'The Big Town Playboys' (I think). It's all covers of Gene Vincent songs and he used as authentic gear as possible. Mid 50s Duo Jet and whatever amp. He did his best to nail the playing techniques as well. Cliff Gallup was one of his early guitar heroes and alot of his early guitar solos were note-for-note Gallup licks (much the same way early George Harrison solos were Carl Perkins licks). He even got some of Gallups original fingerpicks to use on it.
He also used a telecaster on a few tracks to do the Johnny Meeks stuff.

Funny thing is, they didn't do BeBopALula. Probably figured it would be sacrilige to try.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 10:06 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks TG. I'll have to check it out. I listened to "Blow By Blow" last night for the first time in a couple of decades and had forgotten what a player he is. I will definately go pick "Crazy Legs" up. Thanks again.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 10:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Cliff Gallup's legend will live on forever. He's truly one of the greatest ever. The Rockabilly Hall of Fame has a good tribute page here:

http://www.rockabillyhall.com/gvCliffGallup.html

It includes a few words from Jeff Beck.

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Old February 2nd, 2005, 02:25 PM   #14 (permalink)
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By coincidence I borrowed a CD today from someone at work that has Vincent's first two albums on it. The liner notes say Gallup left during touring for the first record and returned to work on the second (he has songwriting credits for a couple of tunes).

But the cover shot of the second record shows someone with a Tele/Esq. The first cover shows someone with a Duo Jet. The pics are too small to really identify anyone. It mentions something like 6 different incarnations of the Blue Caps in just a few years. So it looks like he was only around for recording.

Does Gallup show up anywhere post-Blue Caps?

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Old February 2nd, 2005, 04:17 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Post-Blue Caps Gallup

He turns up here:

http://www.endlessgroove.com/issue4/cliffg.htm

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Old February 2nd, 2005, 06:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Jeff Beck's "tribute"...

Fans of Jeff Beck must also check out The Jan Hammer Group Live and his playing on Roger Waters "Amused to Death". On both CDs, he plays the guitar to within an inch of his life.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 02:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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fellas...

cliff gallup played a duo-jet on all the recordings he did with gene... after cliff there was johnny meeks ( say mama era... ) and then howard reed ( who was the owner of the first officially ordered custom colored strat... black BTW at a 15% extra charge through famed dallas store mccords... howard played on several cool dallas rockabilly records... ) other guitarists that did stints with gene were ronnie dawson and jerry merrit...

the post gallup blue caps had endorsements with both gretsch and fender... they were probably the first "rock" group with a fender endorsement... both meeks and merrit have been pictured with strats and 6120s...

the guy with the esquire that has mistakenly been identified as cliff gallup in many publications was a dude named russel willaford that only appeared with gene on a couple of gigs and in the movie the girl can't help it where the gene and the band lip sync/play along to the 45 version of be-bop-a-lula featuring gallup...

this was between the 1st and 2nd vincent album when gallup had quit the band... gallup never re-joined he only came back to do the 2nd album supposedly after gene begged him to do it... and we can all hear why... one of the greatest... tj
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Old February 8th, 2005, 02:55 AM   #18 (permalink)
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todd...

gallup did an instrumental album in 66 that shows nothing of his prior fury but still features good but very standard playing... not really worth seeking out... there is a live blue caps recording from one of the alan freed radio shows that features gene with cliff and the boys doing be-bop-a-lula and hound dog... as far as other post-vincent recordings he supposedly was on a lot of jingles and commercials for radio stations in the late 60s in the virginia area... there is however some pre-vincent stuff that recently surfaced featuring cliff with the phelps brothers at the radio station were cliff was the house guitarist in the 50s... hard to find but very cool... his style already much in place... in my opinion an amalgam of les paul's early stuff and arthur smith's early stuff... it's all mid tempo very pleasant country and country boogie stuff... very cool... tj
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