Rivera Group Interview
Touring and Recording with Peter Gabriel
David Rhodes has been playing guitar on album and on tour with Peter Gabriel
for more than two decades. His tasty guitar work can be heard on Gabriel's 2002
release, Up, as well as on previous Gabriel albums dating back to the late 1970s. We caught
up with David on the current Up tour, where he's accompanied by two Rivera Knucklehead Reverb 100-watt heads
and a 412 cabinet fitted with Vintage 30 speakers, and a 100-watt Sedona with
a 15. The KnuckleHead Reverbs have been part of his touring rig for the past
year, although he's been using Rivera amps for more than five years, including
for all the electric guitar parts on Up. Want more info? Visit http://www.petergabriel.com.
David first tried a Rivera when a friend suggested he should try one while recording
in Italy a few years ago. "I had been using Matchless combos for a long time
and wanted to work with something different," he recalls. "In fact, it was the
first time I had used a separate amp and cabinet. I had always used combos before --
Roland and Boogie before the Matchless. It was a revelation to me that I could
have the head next to me, and the cab off in another room. It made my working
methods very different. It made me use the amplifier a lot more, rather than
just leaving a combo on my favorite all-purpose settings. The Rivera amp that
I used for recording was so good that I wanted to use a Rivera setup for the shows."
"On the last leg of the tour I ended up using one 4x12 stereo cabinet for reasons
of space below the stage," he explains. "We perform in the round, on as clean
a stage as we can get it. I would prefer to have two cabinets and play louder.
However, our sound man suggested that I was perhaps too loud, early on in the
tour, for his work. In the studio, but also live, the tone control is wonderful.
You can be playing with a sound and there may be a suggestion that the low end
or top end is a little proud; it's easy to dial the offending qualities out, without
losing all the other frequencies that make up the sound. They have great definition.
I also think they look great. You have to enjoy looking at the equipment you're
Throughout a typical show, David uses a number of guitars. His main instrument
is one that was built for him by an Italian maker called Frudua. "It is a very
simple guitar," he explains, "with one pickup and no volume or tone controls;
as direct a signal as can be managed, with no loss or damping down of sound.
He is currently building me a second sparkly instrument." [ed. - which David can
be seen playing on "Red Rain" on the GUL DVD], this time with two pickups, but again no controls. I'm also playing a Jerry
Jones baritone, which sounds fabulous, a Les Paul Gold Top, a Trussart Les Paul,
an old Fender Jazzmaster, and a Steinberger 12-string."
For more information on Rivera products, please visit their website.
More information on David's guitars is available here.
Copyright 2004-2012 Stacey Drucker & David Rhodes