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The NAMM Show 2017 Interviews – Caleb Quaye of The Elton John Band and The Faculty

The NAMM Show 2017 Interviews – Caleb Quaye of The Elton John Band and The Faculty

Caleb Quaye & The Faculty made their way to this year’s edition of The NAMM Show for a very special live performance at The Anaheim Marriott Hotel.  A world class guitarist best known for his work with The Elton John Band from the late 60’s and well into the 70’s, Quaye has appeared on classic albums such as Captain Fantastic and The Brown Dirt Cowboy, Rock Of The Westies, Blue Moves and a whole more!

Quaye is also the subject of the forthcoming feature film, A Voice Louder Than Rock,” revealing the inspirational personal journey of the world renowned guitarist. GloRoc Productions has reignited a crowd-funding campaign for the completion of the film. Fans are encouraged to lend their support by visiting gofundme.com/voicelouderthanr-r.   We caught up with Caleb Quaye just right before his set at the Anaheim Marriott to find out more about the past, present, and glororious future of a truly brilliant career.  Read on…

What are you looking forward to the most about NAMM this year?
Oh boy, you know I always enjoy playing here. We’ve been doing it for like about ten years now. So it’s always fun to meet some new people and fans of my work from all over through the years. They pop up out of the woodwork, you know, so I was signing autographs earlier today and I was doing a guitar demo for a Brazilian guitar company called Tacoma Guitars. That was fun.

When you play live, what is your weapon of choice?
Mostly a Fender Strat. I play a Gretsch hollow body sometimes and a Telecaster, but mostly I would say my Strat.

There’s a documentary called Voice Louder Than Rock. How did that come about and what was your involvement in that?
Well, it’s based on my autobiography of the same name and it was something that my manager– Valerie Tucker– she also is the producer and director of it. She has a history with Fox TV producing documentaries. She’s won nine Emmys and so she thought it would be great to put the story into a movie context, into a documentary because it’s an unusual story with my situation with Elton John and everything going back to the beginning. So that’s really how it came about. I’ve never been involved in making movies or anything before, so it was quite an education to see how long it takes. It’s very different to making records. Very different. But we’re almost to the finish line and we’re just looking for some funding to get it finished. We have on the web page– there’s a webpage for the movie (avoicelouderthanrock.com)– and there’s a link there to a Go Fund Me page if anybody wants to help us get it finished.

In these interviews in the documentary, when you see all of these people saying all these nice things about you, are you kind of surprised?
You know, it’s very gratifying. I’ve always been proud of the work that I’ve done in the past. Most notably the work that I’ve done with Elton John in the past. We never thought when we were doing it that fifty years later we’d become part of history and now there’s the first album, the Elton John album is now in the Grammy Museum. Stuff like that. So that’s like wow. It’s just amazing. So it is really gratifying because you just never know how your work is going to influence people and not only influence people, but whether or not it’s going to stand the test of time. So it’s been very gratifying now some fifty whatever years later to see that that music has held up — stood the test of time. They’re still playing it in the grocery store and all kinds of things. [laughs]

When you first met Reginald Dwight, what did you think?
Funny. Funny. He was a funny guy and a great sense of humor. When we first met, the first thing he did was make me a cup of tea, which I thought was great. He was cracking jokes.

Out of all those albums you did with Sir Elton, what is the one you’re most fond of, your favorite in some way. And why?
Wow – most probably for me, personally – there’s some gems on different albums but most probably Tumbleweed Connection.

Any particular reason?
One of the reasons was, some of those songs were done with my band at the time, Hookfoot. We were the rhythm section. We already knew those songs because Elton used to come to our gigs and sit in with us to work out his tunes. So there were a few songs in that period, Take Me To The Pilot which was one of them, on the first album. But there was something about “Ballad of a Well-Known Gun” that – it’s the funky a