Pete B. wrote:
You might be right on Rob Eaton but I'm not 100% convinced it's a conscious (sp) thing as much as it's just who he is. Their mannerism never really stood out to me as much as the spot on vocals and playing
I thought I read on this board somewhere that he was an award winning actor. Anyone???
Again, I have no problem with DSO in any way. I love Dead Tribute Bands and Jerry guys in general.
I go to see as many Jerry guys as I can, and pretty much always learn some new take on something that I can work into my own playing. I even stole a Rob Eaton lick once
Award winning music producer if I'm not mistaken... Won a grammy, engineer, etc...
Let's also not forget he was a great taper for many years. And many years was seen up front.
I can only imagine if you attend hundreds of shows, sober enough to tape, up front often, you will pick up some mannerisms subconsciously.
Code: Select all
Rob Eaton was a Deadhead in good standing.
"I probably saw about 400 shows. I didn't necessarily want to go to them all, but I didn't want to miss the one where it all came together," says the rhythm guitarist. "Everyone was there for the same reason. The music wasn't based on negativity or angst. It was positive in its message and approach, it felt good to go. You got a sense of community you didn't get anywhere else."
These days, as a member of the Dark Star Orchestra, he's bringing a taste of that experience to new and old fans of the Grateful Dead, including those coming to the Lancaster Host Resort and Conference Center on Friday.
"We don't recreate a Grateful Dead show," Eaton explains. "You can't recreate improvisational music. You can play in the same style or mindset, but you can't recreate it and you wouldn't want to. I wouldn't be here if that is what we were doing."
* Steve Winwood's many m...
* MUSIC REVIEW: Crooked ...
* NOW PLAYING | Regional...
* Another Top 10, closer...
* Some breakup: Slimfit ...
Eaton had been a studio producer and engineer for about 20 years before joining the Dark Star Orchestra in 1999. (He worked with a lot of big names, including George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Pat Methany and Jimmy Buffet.)
The band got its start in Chicago at a club called Martyr's. Guitarist John Kadlecik and keyboardist Scott Larned (who passed away in 2005) had the idea of performing the setlists of Grateful Dead shows from history and capturing their spirit.
Only 78 people showed up for the first show on Nov. 11, 1997, but word soon spread and Tuesday nights at Martyr's soon became sold-out affairs.
The band had asked Eaton a number of times to join, but he was making good money as a recording engineer/producer and he wasn't interested in performing. Playing music was for fun.
"I was very comfortable behind the glass," he says.
But the music industry changed and Eaton didn't like what was happening.
"I had just worked with Ricky Martin and it was an arduous task, I wasn't enjoying it," he says. "There was a high level of politics and BS. The band kept calling, wanting me to play. I decided to go try it. I could see the music was shifting away from music. It was all about marketing. The craft of records, of songs — people didn't really care about that anymore."
The Grateful Dead has always represented an ideal for Eaton, who grew up in Vermont. He first heard the Dead when his stepbrother gave him the album "Europe," for Christmas in 1972.
"I wasn't a guitar player at the time," he recalls. "Whatever the guitar player was doing made me want to play. It turned out to be Bob Weir. It moved me, inspired me. So I taught myself to play." (He "plays" Weir in the Dark Star Orchestra.)
He saw his first Dead show on August 6, 1974.
Meanwhile, his career got started. At 19 he moved to New York and got a job in a studio. He worked his way up to the Power Station where he became the staff engineer. Then he went independent and started traveling the world.
He won three Grammys during his career and left, he says, at the top of his game.
"It was a big deal for me," he says. "It meant cutting my salary 60 to 70 percent from what I normally made. I had to downsize, but you know, I'm much happier. It satisfies my soul."
Dark Star isn't just any old cover band. Rolling Stone calls them "Quite possibly the most talented and accomplished tribute band out there...they've definitely mastered their inspiration's vagabond nature."
And even Dead members like the band. Ryhthm guitarist Bob Weir, who has played with them several times, was quoted as saying "A couple of times when I had my back to John (Kadlecik) onstage and he started to sing, I had this weird sense that it was Jerry (Garcia)."
Their audiences include everyone from young kids to grandparents and of course, plenty of Deadheads.
"We've been playing together for many years and that is showing in the quality of the shows," Eaton says. "We play music from out heart and soul, not anything else. That's what it's all about. A pure form of joy. The energy, the emotion, it's very powerful. If you could bottle it, you'd be a zillionaire."