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Hall & Oates Live Concert Fan Reviews

 

04/30/2004, Bodle's Opera House, Chester NY - G.E.Smith

Okay, first off I discovered G.E. Smith when he was in Hall & Oates' band in 1985. I saw him playing for the first time on a concert aired on HBO when i was 3 years old! His playing was soulful and wonderful as well as the awesome classic guitars he plays! this was my first exposure to electric guitar and seeing a great blues player like that changed my life forever! Ever since all I wanted to do was be a guitarist like that and meet the guy himself!

April 30, 2004 I finally get to see him live and in person at a cafe in Chester NY- Bodle's Opera House! Had anyone tell me what was gonna happen that night i would think they were pulling my leg!

I showed up at the cafe about 6:15 PM (est time) As I was walking thru the parking lot, I heard this awesome tribal, folk music playing. I was thinkin "is that wo I think it is"? Sure enough i walk thru the door and G.E. looks up and smiles at me as he's playing some great acoustic guitar. his wife Taylor was singing as well and it was amzing! I go to the checkout area ad tell the lady i'm here for the show. She says "I'm sorry but GE & Taylor are doin a soundcheck. would u mind coming back in alittle while?" I said no problem so i went back to my car and listened to some music. It was after 6:30 so I decided to go on the other side of the street so I can check out the other storefronts before i made my way in. As i was walking down the street, I notices a guy in dark shoulder-length hair taking pictures of a car or somethin.... As i get closer it was, you guessed it, GE Smith!!!! First i just brushed on by cause I didn't want to draw any unwanted attention and make a scene or something cause i have alot of respect for him. So I loooked around the corner then turned around and he gave me that grin we've all seen a million times! I asked him what time I could go in, right? He asked me for the time and i told him it was like 6:40 at that point. So he says "yeah you can go in anytime now." I told him i couldn't wait to see the show and he smiled again and i told him i'd be in in alittle bit.

I went in and got a table. I was reading the flyers and menu and i noticed that he was in charge of all his gear, no roadies! There's a real musician for ya, hehe! I noticed him walkin around. when he came my way I asked him about his amps. "He thought i was talkin about his friend's amp and he told me his were really old" he walked outside for a minute. In the meantime i was in a daze kind of just thinkin "well geez what's gonna happen next and stuff" I couldn't believe i was seeing my idol! Anyway i was snapped out of all this when someone taps me on the shoulder and starts talkin to me. I was like 'wait a minute!" i turn around, it's GE, again!!! He apologized cause he didn't realize i was talkin about his amps. and he told me they were definitely Fender deluxes. then he says "Oh so you know somethin about old gear, huh?" with that grin on his face. so i told him yeah cause i play myself and stuff and he smiled and was gonna say somethin but a fellow started talkin to him and he got into that. he apologized for the diversion and told me he'll see me around! i couldn't believe he actually approaced me! that was great!

The weird thing was alot of people who went had no idea who he was! I had to shut out "Hall & Oates" hehe!!! Then a guy at the cafe told me that Daryl and John might play there one night but it wasn't too certain. i guess for obvious reasons cause the place would be jam packed! they'd have to do it unannounced for sure! But if they do that would be great! he was saying something about he knows the manager of "Average white Band" and they were trying to book H&O one night but that'd probably have to take careful planning on their part.

Okay it's 8:00 and G.E. and his wife Taylor Barton take the stage. he is playing acoustic with her for this set. for guitar-heads out there, he was playing an old 1930s sunburst Gibson acoustic! you don't see these everywhere! Taylor is a wonderful folk singer who was very friendly and she had alot of neat stories to tell. Toward the end of her set she did a tune called "Haley" named after their 2 -yr old daughter that was really cool and not many people know that GE has entered fatherhood.

After taylor's set G.E. went up there with his bassist and longtime friend Paul Ossola (he was in the Scratch Band with Smith in the 70s and joined him on SNL several occasions when T-Bone wasn't present) as well as a funny younger fella named Marko on drums! He has a nice collection of classic guitars but he only brought one for this show- a Cherry 1962 Gibson ES-335 (as shown in the photos) he's had for a long time. It looked brand new when he used it back with Hall & Oates (see and hear it's great sound on the Method Of Modern Love live video clip!) and still looks in great condition for being one of his main axes for several years! G.E.'s performance was nothing short of AMAZING. If you thought he was great in Hall & Oates he's that much better now! He played alot of obscure blues material by Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters and other songs he performed with the SNL band. he even made up a tune off the hook for a girl who was celebrating her 21st birthday! Yeah actually i don't think he even had a setlist either! He plays purely on soul and feel and was "mah-velous" considering he was feeling under the weather he said. About that he was saying that he's heard that classical performers and musicians often play better when they're ill cause a part of your brain shuts off or something and he said "well, sometimes, my brain isn't workin all the time anyway, hehe." He was very funny and friendly up there and had some neat stuff to say. He even said how he cut his long pony tail, shoulder length and donated his locks to "Locks Of love" (they make wigs out of cut hair for kids with lieukemia)That all started with a dream his mom had that he cut his hair cause i guess he hadn't in a long time. Then to make a long story short he thought it would be a good idea so he did and then his stylist asked him if he wanted to donate it and he surely accepted aand that was awesome. He closed off his set by playing some "Purple Haze" by the one and only Jimi hendrix. It didn't dawn on me until i was listening that that's what it was but Jimi couldn't have done it better himself! This was a truly unforgettable night.

Afterwards I went up there and shook his hand and said "damn good show tonight" and he smiled and told me thanks for bein here and stuff. then I asked him about more of his gear cause i noticed he didn't play with any effects pedals but he had this box that looked like a standard reverb unit. He told me his desist friend Caesar Diaz (The amp doctor) built him with fender reverb and tremolo so you have both. plus the amps he had had no effects so that's what it's for basically. A little later on I was talking to a guy who saw him last time and asked me if I wanted a picture with him. i told him sure but i had no camera. He said I'll take care of it! can u believe that? so I asked him for the shot and he gladly accepted so I got a pic with him as well as those two of him you see on the website! The folks down in this neat cafe are really nice people and it was nice to go somewhere, unknown, and have people be cool like that, as well as someone you've grown up with looked up to as a musician practically since you were born!

It's been a few months now and I still feel elated about the whole thing! That was probably the best night of my life and will remain that way until I see G.E. again which should be very soon!

 

2004, Robert J West

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