An Anaheim All-Star Influenced Guitar Legend Duane Eddy
|Guitar legend Duane Eddy will twang up Anaheim Saturday.|
Eddy and producer Lee Hazlewood concocted the guitarist's signature twangy, bass-heavy, reverberating sound in an Arizona studio in the 1950s to represent the noise of revved-up hot rods, with an echo of the Wild West frontier. You might expect a similar sound coming from the guitar of the musician who first influenced Eddy when he was growing up in Corning, New York. That expectation is wrong.
In fact, it's fitting Eddy is coming to Anaheim to play because his biggest influence is strongly associated with the town. No, it's not Mickey Mouse. It's Gene Autry.
|Gene Autry made an indelible impression on young Duane Eddy.|
"He was one of my heroes," Eddy said of Autry. "His was one of the first records I ever heard when I was 3 years old. I just remember having a little record player and playing his 78 over and over, dropping the needle on it and hearing marvelous music. I went to all his movies . . . Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Hoppy (Hopalong Cassidy). I loved the musical parts. The other kids would go get popcorn during those parts, but I'd be there glued to the screen."
It's not the guitar playing Eddy took from Autry, but the way The Singing Cowboy carried himself.
"He and Hank Williams made indelible impressions on me," said Eddy, who wanted to make it clear to the Weekly's younger readers he was talking about Hank Williams Sr. "I learned from him. I learned the thing was to be honest about your music and just put it all out there and do it with authority. And get your own style. Above all, I attempted to get my own style and sound and do it with authority."
Eddy was looking for a U.S. distributor of his new record Artifacts of Twang when we spoke. It was produced by Nashville producer-songwriter Monroe Jones, who Eddy branded "a young genius."
"Monroe was influenced by Paul McCartney and the Beatles," Eddy says. "So it's like one big cycle. They were influenced by me, he was influenced by them and here I came."