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Review Zoo catch up with Guitar Tech Dave (Slouch) Vaughan. (Napalm Death, The Verve, The Vaccines)

What got you into Guitar Teching?

As most roadies of my age. Semi accident. I was always interested in music , playing records etc. in the late 1960’s when I was a kid. I converted the family Danssette into a stereo ! Hung the speakers out the windows of our flat into the yard and played records for my mates etc. then made a little light show thing for it. Of course it all ended as not everyone was completely into Elvis and Ska in the evening while trying to eat their tea and listening to the Archers. I started helping out a mates band playing youth clubs, church halls etc. Got a little PA and spotlights and stuff. Must have been around 1972. Then tried to play drums. Was so shite it still hurts. Did one gig and decided the shadows of stage right was my place. What does your average day look like as a Guitar Tech?

I am first and foremost a backline roadie. And will turn my hand to most things gig related. But I am best at doing guitars. (Perhaps) Not so sure there is an Average day for me. Entirely down to the act I am working for. As an instance , last year I was doing Stiff Little Fingers. Which entailed me doing all the backline. Looking after the soft goods and driving the van with the backline and monitor system in it. Loading into the club at 2:00 pm for set up. Then the next tour was with Roxy Music 50th anniversary arena tour. In the US and UK. Where I was looking after the stage left guitar player Tom. And Neal Jason the Bass player. We would unload our truck at 10:00am onto the Arena floor. Then fork lift it up and set up on the stage as the video/lights and PA were being set up. When all that rubbish was finally up in the air we would roll the stage into place. For bits of video wall to go up and down for the next hour or so , getting in our way . What fun it was. Which bands/Artists have you teched for?

Quite a few, so let’s see. In no particular order or preference. Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bernie Torme, Super Furry Animals, Napalm Death, The Orb, The Voice of the Beehive, The Damned, Rush, Bryan Ferry, Johnny Marr, Chuck Berry. Franz Ferdinand, Patti Smith, The Corrs, Mick Ronson/Ian Hunter . The Libertines, The Shamen. Spiritualized, Lucy Silvas, EMF . The Secret Machines. Mercury Rev, Beth Orton, The Anti Nowhere League, P J Harvey, Iggy Pop and sometimes the Stooges, The Vaccines, Public Image Ltd, Westworld, Duffy, The Verve, Paolo Nutini. Squeeze . And erm lots and lots more that I cannot remember, or care too . What do you enjoy most about being a Guitar Tech?

Not doing Drums

What does accommodation look like when you’re on tour? Is a tour bus your home for the tour or do you stay in hotels, and how is tour life?

Once again completely dependent on what the tour is. With Bryan Ferry we do not have a tour bus anymore , just stay in hotels every night. And either Fly/ train or get a day bus to the next town. As he never does back to back gigs. And once on a Franz tour we had our own plane for a couple of weeks, which was pretty good as it happens. But have done 60 odd days on the bus with no hotels! around Euroland. Which was quite grim. Well we had one hotel, but it was so horrid we stayed on the Bus anyway. Do you get to see much of the countries you visit while touring?

I try too, but to be honest there are only so many times you can visit places and pretend to be interested. I still get me fat arse out to visit gallery’s etc. But I am completely happy in my own company sitting in a park with a book on modern politics.( finding a pub and getting poleaxed)

Where do you look forward to visiting for the cuisine?

Glasgow My Kitchen at home. What do meal times look like when you’re out on tour? Do you have catering?

First off , I am a stupidly fussy eater. Not at all keen . Simmy excepted !! If there is catering I am not bothered with it. I would sooner go out and find a pub, get away from the venue. Of course if it’s an arena tour or ( in the US ) a shed tour. There is nothing around. So have to eat. On one shed tour of the US we had tour catering which was so dreadful I didn’t eat a single meal. But we just got provisions for the bus and made our own meals. But as there were only 3 crew !! On the Bus it was easy. Favourite Guitar you’ve played?

In the Late 70’s I got to play Rory Gallagher’s Stratocaster !!!! At Morgan Studios in Barnes. Not that I can play of course. But it was a thrill for me. Favourite amp you’ve played through?

Any Amp that does not break down after line check at changeover. As a Guitar Tech, do you have input on equipment the artist might use in the future?

I can suggest, but I don’t expect any artist to listen. I am a great fan of Laney amps. They have been very good to me over the years. Any funny tour stories you can share with us? Not really. Funny is best served hot.

What do you look forward to most when you get back from tour?

Going to my Pub (The Cock) Going off in my campervan with her Loveliness What are you currently listening to?

Warminster Community Radio 105:5 fm it’s the tops Pop pickers.

What’s your favorite album of all time?

Gosh that’s hard Tommy , probably. Or The Ramones first LP. Any Beatles record of course. Hawkwind live. West Side Story !!! Too hard to choose. What hobbies do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I build FX pedals, just for fun. Guitars! Just for fun as they are mostly shite. Repair things mostly. Walking in the countryside with Max and Banksy. Pub. And playing with my Motobikes. Do you have any of your own bands/projects you’d like to mention?


Do you play any instruments in your own time?


Please can you tell us about the Guitars and Amps etc you own personally?

I have a few, I had to get rid of most of my equipment when I moved a couple of years ago. As I remember amp wise it’s . A Laney Super Group 60 (1969) the best sounding amp. A Laney VC30 which is in doors. A Quilter Head,amazing bit of kit. A Laney acoustic compo. A Gallien Krueger 400b bass amp. Early 80’s,whips an SVT into submission. A Dark Glass bass amp. And a little valve combo that I made, my Son used to use it for gigs. It’s my amp in the workshop now. For testing out failed experiments of mine. I probably have more but cannot think of any right now. I have quite a few guitars. For some unknown reason as I cannot play. Gibson LP which was customised for me by Gibson. Gibson SG special 2 P90’s. Gibson Melody Maker with lace pickups that Lace gave me. Gibson SG Bass guitar with a custom made Lace pickup. 2 x Hofner Galaxie guitars (1964) a Hofner 169 (1970) . Hofner Colorama single pu. 1961. Hofner Ambassador 1954. Hofner Western Acoustic. Hoyer Esquire (1959). Hofner Artist Bass (1963). Hofner lap steel (1950).Hagstrom Viking (1967) Egmond Thunder Bass(1964) which I completely rebuilt this year. Watkins Rapier 33 ( 1963) rebuilt it a couple of years ago. Fender Prodigy (1998) completely customised by me a few years ago. Fender Bass customised by me. Kawai Sleekline Bass Guitar don’t see many of them (80’s) Teisco Spectrum 4 all original strap and cardboard case. CMI Marauder . A few Strats and Telecasters. A couple of Levin Classical guitars very old and lovely. And probably others in the loft. Is there anything you’d like to mention? It’s a young man’s / women’s caper this roadieing lark. But you are never too old to learn and listen to others.


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