Repost from Manifesto Records: "Manifesto is proud to announce that December 7th marks the first release from the Allan Holdsworth Live Archive series, ALLAN HOLDSWORTH I.O.U. LIVE IN JAPAN 1984. LIVE IN JAPAN 1984 is the final live set by Allan Holdsworth’s I.O.U band, featuring live versions of material from his first three solo albums; I.O.U., the Grammy nominated Road Games and Metal Fatigue." Order Now: goo.gl/bVugxp
Steve Hunt Reminisces On Playing “Distance Vs Desire” Live https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q7eeiwhGmo Comments by Steve Hunt on the Unreal Allan Holdsworth, Nov 2, 2018: Amazing to hear. Allan runs through those changes and scales like butter. So many and so freakin’ hard too. I'm just glad he didn't ask me to take a go at it. Ha. Allan would play the "head" and then I would take over for the solo section. So I never learned what the exact chords were for the head, although I could hear it's along the same ideas that are in the solo section. I still have my cheat sheets that I made for this back then. Quite emotional hearing this live again. I guess I just didn't realize back then how rare this would be playing this out live. Once he stopped taking out the SynthAxe we never played [it] again, for obvious reasons. So maybe just the 87, 88 and possibly 89 tours this was played. During those tours Allan loaned me his 2nd Oberheim Matrix 12, (basically two Xpanders in one, with a keyboard). The one he used he had sawed off the keyboard part of it. (I think Chad may have that one still.) So I was able to use the same patches he used on the record. I think the fact that it sounds different live here between when he plays the chords and when I play them is because his synth was going through the same rig as his chordal guitar did. So he had all the "Holdsworth" chorusing and delays that his Matrix 12 went through. Massive beautiful sound. I had some stuff in my rack that Allan helped me with to try to get that huge stereo sound he's so good at getting. He had those massive double racks of gear full of delays and chorusing units and who knows what else!! Haha. So, the story on the backing track is this. In 86 Allan was touring with the trio and using the SynthAxe. On the tunes he played with SynthAxe he would use a backing track for the solo sections. I'm thinking because it's much stranger to have the chordal sound of the synth drop out and then solo with synth sound than it is to have the chordal sound of the guitar drop out and then solo on guitar. So on tunes like Non Brewed and Looking Glass he would have the chords play on a cassette that Chad ran. Chad told me that on one track there was a tambourine click track and then on the other track would be the chords on SynthAxe that would run into Allan's rig. They hated that. Chad told me it was awful, constantly having to hear tambourine click for the entire tune. And they couldn't change anything from night to night. So when Allan was opening up on the Stanley tour that I was on playing with Stanley, he asked me to take over for the cassette. Haha. I was more than happy to accommodate!!! So basically I got the Holdsworth gig because they hated playing with a cassette. :) :) Ok, what ever it takes, I was good with it. I don't remember Distance vs Desire being on the set list of that tour, or the 86 tour. (I saw the 86 tour when he opened for Chick, and I remember hearing Synth Chords during the solos and having no idea how they were being played.) Anyway, that's the story on that. I'm just glad they didn't like playing with a cassette!! Lol! Comments found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/361803263942657/permalink/1819999408123028/ The comments were edited together and slightly proofread for clarity by The Allan Holdsworth Archives.
Next year it's 50 years since Allan's recording debut came out. The Archives is lucky to be in possession of an original 1969 Deram pressing of Igginbottom. We also bring the following liner notes written by Ronnie Scott and producer Mick Jackson: --- I first heard "Igginbottom" a couple of months ago in the "Upstairs" room at the club. It was before the regular evening session had started and I was there at the request of a pop group called "Love Affair' who had heard Igginbottom in Bradford and asked me for my opinion of them. To say that I was impressed would be understating the case. Since the "pop revolution" started some twelve or sơ years ago it had seemed inevitable that out of the countless numbers of aspiring young guitarists involved in the music there was bound to appear, sooner or later, musicians possessing not only youthful enthusiasm and revolutionary ideas, but the technique and talent that is necessary to produce any art worthy of the name. "Igginbottom" is one of the very few groups I have heard that fulfils that hope. Yet Igginbottom is an enigma. They are not a pop group. They do not equate volume with excitement or electronic noises and psychedelic light shows with musical progress. Their music is not designed to cater to an audience of fifteen year old girls, neither is it aimed at the vast majority of pop audiences who are intoxicated by the pretentious euphemistic nonsense churned out by the press, in which every performance by their particular favourites seems to have had the effect of a gigantic orgasm or the coming of the Messiah. Neither is Igginbottom a jazz group in the accepted sense of the term, although have played the tapes of the group to some of the most diehard jazz musicians I knowand all of them expressed unqualified enthusiasm. "Igginbottom" are unique and completely original and although they love jazz music and Coltrane in particular I can't detect allegiance to any particular jazz musician in their work. They may well be the first group that has, completely naturally and unselfconsciously, evolved out of the ever converging directions of good pop and jazz. Their compositions (mainly by Allan Holdsworth) are fantastic and strangely moving full of unexpected harmonic twists and difficult intervals, sung, again mostly by Holdsworth, with amazingly precise intonation. These are not tunes to hum after a first or second or even a third hearing, but the more you listen the more you'll hear. And the standard of musicianship is phenomenally high by any standards. The interplay between the two solo guitarists gives the group a totally individual sound, rich with beautifully executed filigree runs and unusual voicings, completely free of cliches. The bass guitar and drums complement each other and the front line excellently, coping with the changes in metre with rare expertise. That four young men from Bradford who have been together for only a few months can produce music like this, performed with complete sincerity and lack of pretentiousness, is little short of amazing. "Igginbottom" are ready for you. The point is - are you ready for "Igginbottom?" RONNIE SCOTT This L.P. is a story. It is a story of a musical progression that four people have lived through. The first track representing the beginning of their career together; The second depicting the period of unrest and confusion they went through trying to find themselves; The third is their first achievement after having found themselves and the rest is just straightforward progression. 'Igginbottom are a group of young men from Bradford in Yorkshire who's collective and individual musical talents are nothing short of profound. Indeed Dave Freeman, Alan Holdsworth, Mick Skelly and Steven Robinson, whose ages are only 21, 21, 20 and 20 respectively are capable of holding their own in the company of such outstanding musicians as Barney Kessel, John Williams and, their friend and mine, Ronnie Scott. • Their musical routes lie in the abundance of young groups that sprang up all over the north with the advent of Beat music six or so years ago, although 'Igginbottom as a group have only been together for three months. It will be interesting to see how far they will have progressed in three years when this album is the result of those three months. I would like to be able to define or categorize their music, but the words elude me, as I find their style of playing and composing original, and perhaps even unique, although some clue is provided in the fact that Alan and Steve, the two guitarists, have been influenced to some extent by saxophonist John Coltrane, All this seems too good to be true, I know, but in answer to any sceptic, listen to the album and then decide. In summing up I'll stick my neck out. 'igginbottom are the only group of musicians to authentically fuse Jazz and Pop. MICK JACKSON.
Amazon is now taking preorders on this album. The first 1000 will receive a bonus DVD of the concert. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HSLVBJW/?tag=imwan-20&fbclid=IwAR3lPbu7MOW355DrT_R8OD8T0QMRztUt3gNsJ6noUMhmMH1YlYRq4GbeYxI
Two beautiful hi-res shots by Peter Figen, posted April 2017. (Next in comments.) Here are his words: "We lost another really great musician last week. Allen Holdsworth died in Southern California. He was a guitar player's guitar player. Look up some of his youtube instructional vids and be blown away at his total mastery of the instrument. I shot these around twenty-five years ago, more or less, for Guitar Player Magazine. In both shots he's holding the famous Synthaxe guitar synth and you can see the incredible reach of those fingers allowing him to play chords others can only imagine. These are two that hold up over time. Both shot on RZ67 on Fuji RFP. Drum scanned on a Howtek." ❤️
Some items from Allan's home studio are up for sale on ebay. The Archives has word from good authority that these are authentic and that the sale is approved by the estate. See comments for more items. Items are added at the dealer's discretion. Apart from that, we have no more information, and we are not involved in this operation.
Here's a rare little treat: Allan talks about recording with a speaker isolation box, from Guitar World in 1992: “I often used to record guitar in my garage, because I didn't have a room for it," says Allan. “So I designed a cabinet with a speaker and a microphone on a stand. The speaker was positioned in the middle of the box so that the air space in front of it was equal to the air space behind it. The box was pretty big-it looked like a coffin for a 10-foot-tall guy. The baffles slid out, so I could put in a different speaker in a matter of seconds, without moving the mic.”
Here's little nugget that came to light recently. It's an interview in Sounds with Bill Bruford, in the early days of U.K. It takes places during a band rehearsal. About Allan's role in the band, he said, rather prophetically: "Allan is very much a free-range flight man on guitar and if you want Allan in your band then you have to team him up with worthwhile musical arrangements for him to free-flight in, as it were. Allan might feel that some of the compositions are a bit too tight for him and he'll be looking to open them out a bit. But maybe for Eddie they're not tight enough yet."
Here's a bit of a treat: A 1973 interview with Jon Hiseman on his band Tempest. Here's what he had to say about Allan: "Alan Holdsworth, our guitarist, is limitless. He's got it all there. I heard about him on the grapevine, and apparently when he played at the guitar festival at Ronnie Scott's, the other guitarists couldn't take it. Barney Kessell kept investigating the guitar to see if he had special strings. Alan couldn't understand it either - he just does it." “The emotional range of the guitar is colossal, and that's why it's so popular. But Alan is outside the normal range of standard electric guitarists."
INTERVIEW FROM FUZZ MAGAZINE IN SWEDEN, 2000 Recently a Xerox copy of a story from Swedish magazine FUZZ from May 2000 surfaced. The original story was published in Swedish, but The Archives has made a provisional translation. If anybody is fluent in English AND Swedish, please feel free to improve the translation. The author’s name was unintelligible on the source, so any help is appreciated in identifying him.
The Allan Holdsworth Archives is dedicated to preserving Allan's legacy. Part of this means seeing how Allan influenced younger musicians. One of these musicians is Juan Dhas from Colombia, who is an outspoken Allan fan, and even plays a Holdsworth model. You can hear the influence, but Juan has used this to forge his own distinctive style. Listen to this beautiful tune from Juan's new solo album "Catharsis". The Archives can't speak for Allan, but we would like to think this would have brought his approval.
Allan at The Bottom Line, NYC, June 16th 1982. Pictures by Robert Artese. Robert Artese has supplied these pictures he took of the IOU band back in 1982. The Archives did a quick retouch job, and is posting the pictures here with Robert’s permission. The lineup was Allan, Paul Williams, Gary Husband and Paul Carmichael. The setlist (also provided by Robert) was: "Where Is One", "Water On The Brain", "The Things You See", "Letters Of Marque", "White Line", "Song For My Father", "Out From Under", "Material Real (intro)" / "Gattox (The Blues)" / "Material Real (Ending)", "Checking Out", "Was There (Something)?". Thanks, Robert!
Today, August 6, we raise our glasses and cheer to commemorate Allan's birthday. He would have been 72 this year. Thanks to photographer Rick Gould for this lovely photo. Don't forget to vote to induct Allan in the Downbeat Hall Of Fame: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/83readersdb
Here are the five video parts from Allan's memorial in a playlist, along with a message from creator Greg Beaton: "Here's the 5-part video series I just completed for the public memorial of my favorite musician of all time, Allan Holdsworth; an extraordinary musical genius and warm-hearted person for whom I am honored to be able to tell part of his story. A sincere thank you to the Holdsworth family, his musicians, friends, colleagues & fans for all of their assistance. They gave me much of their time and energy...their memories & emotional sincerity. Many opened their homes to me for hours, allowing me to invade their lives, ruin their schedules, eat their food, bring a bunch of scary equipment into their homes, raid their music, photo & video collections and trust someone they barely knew to try to share it in such a way so that we could all better resonate in the grief, the celebration, and the understanding...of Allan Holdsworth."
In the words of director Greg Beaton: "FAMILY," the fourth of 5 memorial videos from "A Celebration of the Life of Allan Holdsworth." This one contains a tribute from Bill Buford, as well as some very special content. It is also quite heavy emotionally, and I suggest making sure you're in a private or comfortable place before viewing. Many thanks and all of my love to Allan's family members and close friends.
THE RECORDING OF ZARABETH By Eric Paulos With permission from Eric, we post this story about the recording of Zarabeth: -My friend and I arrived at Allan's house and Claire showed us in. I walked in and was immediately enveloped by a sonorous tone that sounded like nothing I ever heard before. Allan was still mixing Zarabeth and I was hearing the clean section of the tune over his studio monitors. I don't know if anyone before Allan ever constructed as wide and beautiful-sounding of a chorus as the one Allan used throughout Wardenclyffe Tower. The same night, he had just recorded his final take for the guitar solo. He seemed particularly pleased with this take, and played it for my friend and I. I was overwhelmed with how Allan could negotiate all those chord changes. Allan really liked that one discordant two-tone chord at the end of the solo. -About a year and a half later, when I went to Allan's round house in north San Diego County. I went there to pick up my guitar that Allan had borrowed (and originally sold to me), he was just in the throes of completion of the UD-Stomp pedal. Allan told me how he worked with Yamaha and how the unit worked with eight delays. The information soared straight over my head! He must have used his rack gear to create this sound, then put it all into a pedal. It was not only the effect that gave Allan his sound, but he recorded many tracks from WTC on a baritone guitar that Bill Delap had built for him, and this just made his tone that much better. -When Allan was talking about his latest take, which was the final take, he said something like "People are going to know that the old man still has some rock and roll!" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDktQzgdI4k