GE Smith signed my GE Smith signature Tele

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by patl, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. patl

    patl Member

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    Over on the Telecaster forum, one of the members said that he'd gone to a Moonalice show and GE signed his Tele. I thought I'd seen another similar thread around here, but couldn't find it. In any case, I thought TGP'ers might enjoy my story.

    I brought my GE Smith tele to the Moonalice show in Seattle and was hoping to catch GE. I've been to quite a few shows at the venue they planed (the High Dive), a little club that seats perhaps 125 so I knew that I could bring my good camera and get up close, but I have to confess I felt like a dweeb packing my guitar with me too, as if I was expecting to jam with the band or something :)

    My wife and I were having dinner at a little Thai restaurant a few doors down an hour or so before the doors opened, and a ginormous tour bus pulled up and GE was in the door and hopped out. He's a pretty easy to recognize guy, nobody bothered him as he wandered around a bit. he sat down by the movnig van that had the band's gear in it and was chatting with the band and their roadies - The Legendary Red Dog (of Allman Brothers Band fame) and Steve Parish of Grateful Dead fame - I had no idea these icons were touring with Moonalice, but it shows that the band is focused on touring for the long haul. Roger McNamee who leads the band, and John John Molo the drummer hung out close by, and Roger took pictures for me. He's a good techie geek.

    I approached GE and nervously introduced myself and asked if he'd be willing to sign a guitar for me. He was very cool, and when I opened up my tweed case and handed him my Tele, he grinned wide. "A red one! How do you like it?" I told him I'd looked for a red one for a few months, and that I'd found this one on The Gear Page (which he hadn't heard of).

    He looked it over briefly, grabbed a pick that i had in the strings, hit a chord and made a face. I instantly thought maybe it was badly out of tune or something, but he said earnestly, "wow, this is a really good one!". I lit up. I imagine he may say this to all the guys who show up with his signature guitars, but who knows :)

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    He played it for a minute and then checked it out carefully. He asked me how I liked it, and I told him that I really like it, love the neck, though I'm a hack. He smiled and said "So am I!" Right, dude. You're one of the masters of this instrument :)


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    He looked at the number plate, and said the number is a pretty early one, but he said he's seen them assemble these. They have a bucket of parts including neck plates, and they just pull neck plates out at random, so it's not really a good indicator of when it was built. I mentioned that this is like old Italian bikes.

    He played the neck a bit more, and really liked that the neck edges down low were sanded in a bit, and said that he's proud of how they hand-tweak these. He was checking it out really carefully, and said he wants to see how the Fender guys do making these. He was really happy with the results.

    I was curious how he liked the setup. he said he liked it a lot, and wouldn't change it. I mentioned that the strings felt like 9's to me, and he agreed, though he said they told him they put 10s on it. I'm not sure if my previous owner changed them out, but I suspect these are original strings.

    He signed the back of the headstock, I shook his hand to thank him, and he asked me if I lived around here, what I did for work, how I liked Seattle. He was a really easygoing guy.

    [​IMG]

    I didn't want to overstay my welcome, so I thanked him again, took the guitar back to my car and then got back in line for the doors and paid the ridiculously cheap covercharge for this all-star band: $12.

    This lineup is outstanding, if you're into the hippy rock scene.
    [​IMG]

    The show was fantastic. My wife joined me even though she's not much into trippy jambands and she had a blast. I set up directly at GE's feet - well, between GE and Pete Sears on keys. I took about 3x the number of pictures I expected to take (the High Dive has totally crappy lighting, and it's hard to get anything good there even at high "film speeds"), but Moonalice brought their own lights.

    The place was packed out, which was great to see. The band played 2 sets over 3 hours or so. GE played this Les Paul for all but 2 or 3 songs.
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    He did, however, break out his Tele for a couple:
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    I got a couple keeper shots of Pete Sears also.
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    And more of the whole band, but nothing as striking as what I stuck up here.

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    (L to R: Ge Smith; Roger McNamee; Ann McNamee; Pete Sears; Barry Sless; not pictured is drummer John Molo, who was astounding)

    The guy played through a Voodoo-1 pedal ONLY (and a tuner), and sounded amazing. He has a real gift for listening, and then just filling in pieces. Phenomenal style, very tasteful. His vocals were excellent all night; the band shares lead vocal duties and when Jack Cassady is unable to be at the show, everybody but the drummer plays the bass sometime throughout the night.

    [​IMG]


    So - thumbs up to Moonalice as a band. And double thumbs up to GE Smith as a good guy, very approachable, and who loves guitars.
     
  2. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    Tres Cool

    Congrats!
     
  3. mocaster

    mocaster Silver Supporting Member

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    Pat....

    Told you it was a good one!!!!

    Yep, Fender .010's (250R).....

    Played it out live and always sounded good...

    Glad you like it and killer that GE signed it...

    Regards,

    Mike
     
  4. TMock

    TMock Supporting Member

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    Cool story, cool guitar, cool band, great photos!
     
  5. parker

    parker Member

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    Excellent story! I'm dying to try out a G.E Tele.... cool pics too, thanks!
     
  6. patl

    patl Member

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    Thanks mocaster! Those 10s are slinky :)
     
  7. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    looks like a B5 with a Vibramate on there! Slinky!
     
  8. patl

    patl Member

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    I don't know my Gibsons at all, but here's a couple more shots to give you color and a bit more detail:

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. greggorypeccary

    greggorypeccary Member

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    Great pictures!

    I agree, GE is a great guy & player. Funny to see him playing a Les Paul though. Was he playing through his old Tweed Deluxe?
     
  10. Grant Ferstat

    Grant Ferstat Some guy in obscure bands in a far away place... Silver Supporting Member

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    Man they are GREAT pictures. Mind me asking what you were shooting with?

    Great that GE was so cool and most importantly great that you have a guitar that makes you want to play.
     
  11. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    Cool story.

    Fantastic pics.

    Are you wearing a skirt in that pic?
     
  12. Mondoslug

    Mondoslug Supporting Member

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    Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Great story & pix.
     
  13. Zelmo

    Zelmo Member

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    Pic #5 and the last one are REALLY excellent!
     
  14. Deacon

    Deacon Member

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    Very cool story.

    The photos from the performance are really fantastic. Man, great work and a great eye for composition. Really remarkable work!
     
  15. prs1999

    prs1999 Silver Supporting Member

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    :rolleyes:
    G.E.'s band used to play at the Cleveland Browns stadium(well,at least the one time I was there they did) off to the side in a little tent type hut.
    Anyone out there know if this was a regular gig for him.....this was about 4/5 yrs. ago.
     
  16. rmconner80

    rmconner80 Cantankerous Luddite Silver Supporting Member

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    Awesome story> I've heard he's not approachable, but this is certainly testimony to the contrary. Pulling out a sig guitar probably doesn't hurt!! The guy has always been one of my "guitar heros" from even before when I played guitar, starting way back when I'd catch him playing all kinds of old guitars in front of a stack of tweed and blonde fenders on SNL right before commercial breaks, tone cranking and awash in fender reverb...
     
  17. 5E3

    5E3 Member

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    Great story, congrats! :aok

    BTW, those are some of the best quality pictures I have ever seen posted here at TGP. Well done!


    p.s. Visit the Moonalice web site music page http://www.moonaliceband.com/music and you can download three discs worth of MP3s for free.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2009
  18. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    Nice pix!

    S.
    j
     
  19. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

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    Remember the Hall & Oates videos? That's what I remember him from first. :)
     
  20. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    No man it's a Kilt ;)

    Glad to see G.E. has come back down to earth.

    He was a piece of work for quite the while

    Always extremely talented and into Vintage gear way way back

    Glad you had fun too
     

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