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The "Early" Years Guitar Amps...





"Ibanez" 2 Pickup

Solid Body Electric Guitar


My mom bought me my first electric guitar at

the local music school where I was taking piano lessons...

 - Accordion Studios of Long Island.

It was a used Ibanez (yes) and it came with this amp...

...all for the amazing low price of $50.00 !



"TEMPO" Open Back Combo Amp

Photo courtesy of Chris Caissie - Jefferson, MA






            I couldn't exclude this from the list...




My dad bought a Webcor reel-to-reel sometime in the very early 60's.

It was used to record the whole family singing and playing the piano.

My dad and my two uncles on my mom's side were opera singers.

My mom sang and played piano. There are actually some existing recordings of me singing opera at 6 years old with my Uncle John accompanying me on the piano.




Anyway, when I was a little older, I accidentally discovered

that by plugging my electric guitar directly into the mic input

of the recorder, then hitting the record/pause button and turning the recording level all the way up, I could get an amazing fuzztone/tube distortion out of the built-in speakers. This thing had tubes!!! I remember the Cathode-ray recording level indicator giving off this eerie green glow that looked really cool. (See it at the bottom of the picture?)







One of the amazing things about this reel-to-reel unit, was that it

sounded just like Martin Barre's guitar on Jethro Tull's "Aqualung"

album. I used to blast for hours learning those solos. My dad would sometimes yell and tell me I was going to break it. There's even a guy

named Dr. Zee who makes a killer looking Guitar Tube Amp Head out

of these old Webcor parts...he even uses the cool green glowing thingy...












This was actually my first "real" amplifier. I remember my dad taking me down to 48th St.

in New York City by train and buying it for me at Terminal Music. It cost about $500

at the time and we even carried it home on the train. It was 50 watts rms and had two

12" Eminence speakers. I used it for the first time to play a teen dance at St. Brigid's

Auditorium in Brooklyn with a Sam Ash Fuzz-ola that I borrowed from Joe Fuoco.





One of my most prized possessions

as a teen was this Univox Amps

promo poster from 1972.

(I still have it)





Jeff Beck, Tim Bogart & Carmine Appice (aka Beck, Bogart and Appice or BBA)

also used the Univox gear and did some promo ads.

In the center photo, Beck is using Sunn Coliseum heads with the Univox cabs.









I think this was actually a bass head...

I also think I can remember buying it at

We Buy Guitars on 48th St. in NYC



You can see it on the left side of this photo

sitting on top of a Fender 2 x 12 cabinet.





1960's Fender Concert Amp



40 or 60 watts rms

4 x 10" speakers

If I remember correctly, I bought this amp from someone for $60.00. Of course, back in those days, once you blew the fuse in an amp, you'd replace it

with a piece of tin foil to keep it from blowing again.

Smart, right?


I think we were rehearsing "Smoke On The Water"

when we noticed the amp was on fire.







1973 Marshall JMP MKII 50 watt head



My first Marshall was a 50 watt head

that I bought from Joe Fuoco.

I didn't have a speaker cabinet at

the time so Charlie Gozzer

(who played bass in our band)

gave me a loan of his

Traynor 2 x 15 cabinet.




I later used it with the 4 x 10

speaker cabinet from the

Fender Concert Amp

(notice the head has been removed).








Another shot of the 50 watt Marshall head driving

the 4 x 10 speakers of the Fender Concert amp

...this time, with the addition of a

Fender 2 x 12 bottom as well.

Onstage at Christ The King High School

with Charlie Gozzer on bass, 1974.

(check out the Gibson EB-3 bass)




100 Watt Marshall Head



Somewhere in the beginning of 1975, I sold the 50 watt Marshall head to Robert Tietse,

the other guitarist in my band...and upgraded to a 100 watt Marshall head.


The Alexis band's stage setup at the Coventry in 1975. From left to right:

Robert Tietse's Gibson Les Paul Deluxe and 50 watt Marshall head & Vox Super Beatle cabinet.

Charlie Gozzer's Ampeg SVT bass amp and a Sound City 6 channel PA head.

My '62 Fender Strat & 100 watt Marshall head & a generic 2 x 12 cab and Fender 2 x 12 cab.

Oh, and that's Maryanne Ristagno & Donna Imbriani guarding the stage.


My first original band, Alexis...onstage at Forest Park bandshell, Summer 1975.









For some reason, (probably my heavy influence from The Who at this time)

I'd decided I needed a Hiwatt half stack. It was way too clean for the

type of music I was playing...(ESPECIALLY WITH A STRAT)

...hence, the addition of distortion devices.

The four 12" speakers in the cabinet were FANE which were also

a lot punchier and cleaner than the Celestions that I was used to.

As a result, this setup lasted briefly and I soon went back to Marshall.




Acoustic 134 Solid State Guitar Combo



125 watts rms

4 x 10" Eminence speakers


I don't remember where I got

this amp and why...


In this photo to the right,

I'm using it stacked in line

with my Hiwatt head and cabinet.



That's a Sound City 6 Channel PA head

sitting on the table to the right.










In 1977, we lost a great friend and amazing guitarist named Sal Caruso.

I had met him in 1974 when I bought my '62 Strat at Alex's Music where he worked.

Coincidentally, we became good friends and continued to associate together as he

ended up being the guitarist in "Magpie" which was Joe Ventimiglia's band that

we often played with at the Coventry. At one point, we split the rent with them at

their rehearsal space and shared it. When he passed away, his parents sold most

of his guitars and gear and I was honored to be fortunate enough to end up

with his Marshall 100 watt head and 4 x 12 cabinet.

God Bless You, Sal...









I traded my Marshall half stack to my buddy, Lenny Campanelli at Gracin's Music in Long Island

for a pair of these 50 watt combo amps. I didn't mind letting go of it because Lenny was a very close

friend of Sal's and it was staying in the family. The other guitarist in the band, Vinny Kalman didn't have

an amp at the time. They really had a great "Marshall" sound and were loud as hell too. They also

went well with my "wicker" furniture.





                1988 - 1995..........

Fender Super 60 Combo



One of those hundreds of gigs with

the Super 60 and Quadraverb...


This amp was amazing...All tubes, master volume, channel switching, effects loop...

With 60 watts and a single 12" speaker, it was the perfect combo amp.

I must have used it at least 5 nights a week for about 7 years along with an

Alesis Quadraverb effects processor.


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