David Rhodes Archive
Rivera Group Interview
Summer 2003

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David Rhodes
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 working with!"

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