Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 22
Music, Books, and Bookings
Brian Tarquin is thriving in "steady as ya' go"
mode. Since his VG interview in February '15,
he has released two CDs and compiled a book
on guitar amplifiers.
The first of two new discs, Orlando In Heaven
is a team effort with other guitarists and raises
money for Catholic Charities to support families
of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting
"When that happened, I was starting to write
songs for a jazz album, but I decided the best
way to celebrate the lives lost was an album
dedicated to them. I learned about Catholic
Charities and thought it was a great charity."
One of the guest players was Larry Coryell
in one of his last appearances.
"We had a really good session and he played
on two cuts," Tarquin said. "He stayed a while
and we talked; he was a wealth of information
and it was such a pleasure."
Other players included Mike Stern, Hal
Lindes, and Chris Poland.
While Tarquin usually focuses on instrumentals, there were vocals on Orlando, and
they increased with his other current project,
Band of Brothers.
WITH ZAC CHILDS
Chris Johnson's Premier Model 66.
I have a Premier Model 66 combo
amp and would like to know more
about it. - Chris Johnson
We asked VG contributor Michael Wright, who has spent
decades researching brands like
Premier. Here's what he said.
"Premier was the brand sold by
Peter Sorkin, a jobber originally from
Philadelphia who moved to New
York City in 1935. In the mid '40s, he
began manufacturing, and started
the Multivox amplifier company,
which debuted its first Premier-brand
electric guitars and amps in '46. Their
guitars were made by United Guitar,
in Jersey City (successor to Fretted
Instruments, the successor to Oscar
Schmidt). Your amp is the 66 Tremolo
Amplifier. Its early wooden cabinet
has a lyre design over the grillecloth,
which became the brand symbol. It
has electronic tremolo, seven tubes,
17 watts output, a 12" extra-heavy/
cushion-mounted speaker, three
inputs, and four controls. It sold
new for $135 and was made from
1947 until '55; it does not appear
in Premier's '56 catalog. Yours
may have been made circa 1950.
Multivox made amps were available through the '70s and actually
survived as a brand until 1984."
Zac Childs is a guitar tech in Nashville. If
you have a question about guitars, anything
from nuts and bolts to historical or celebrityrelated inquiries, drop a line to him at zac@
askzac.com or visit facebook.com/askzac.
Brian Tarquin: Michael Howard.
"It was meant to
but when I met Phil
Naro, he wanted to
to this one. So, it
turned into a hardrock /progressive
kind of record with
vocals. Plus, vocals
can make things
and it's an avenue I
haven't gone down
much, so it was exciting."
list of guests on the
disc includes guitarists Steve Morse,
Jeff Watson, and
Gary Hoey, along
with bassists Tony
Franklin and Trey
Gunn, and cellist
Tina Guo. Part of
the proceeds raised
by its sale go to
the Fisher House
offers housing to
families of hospitalized veterans.
coffee-table book is Guitar Amplifier Encyclopedia.
"I love amps and wanted it to be friendly to
the reader. A lot of amp books are too technical. I wanted it to be easy to understand. It has
boutique along with well-known amps; there
are so many boutique amps, you would need an
encyclopedia-sized book to get all of them in."
Not expecting to slow down in the near
future, Tarquin, who has won multiple Emmys
for music production for television and was a
huge hitmaker during the heyday of smooth
jazz, has a unique project in the works.
"I'm working on a Christmas album. I always
wanted to do one. It's going to be vocals with
Phil singing. We don't want it to be cheesy. Half
will be public domain songs people know, the
other half originals."
While being the quintessential studio rat,
Tarquin has gotten out to play lately.
"We played the Jacksonville Jazz Festival; I
put a band together and we had a great time. We
liked it so much, in fact, that we've started to
gig. I like the immediacy. It supplies something
I've kind of missed from all the years in the
studio." - John Heidt