"As most people in Downtown Nashville were finishing up lunch and scurrying back to their offices to resume the rat race, two legendary rock 'n' roll guitarists were just sitting down together to talk shop at a Lower Broadway eatery. Nokie Edwards of The Ventures and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Duane Eddy are quiet unassuming gentlemen, so you may have passed them on the way out of The Merchants and not known that such a historic meeting was taking place. But in serius music circles, a meeting between two of the most respected and successful instrumental artists in rock & roll history is quite a big deal. And though the two men have been acquaintances for years, this was the first time they had ever been interviewd together."
"Eddy, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, has been a resident of Nashville for some time now. His string of instrumental rock & roll hits throughout the late 1950s and 1960s is unanimously credited for helping to popularise the rock & roll guitar sound during the infancy of the genre. Songs like Movin' 'N' Groovin,' Cannonball, Forty Miles Of Bad Road, Peter Gunn and his signature tune Rebel 'Rouser made fans of popular music keenly aware of Eddy's unmistakeable low-end "twang" sound. In recent years, music fans have known Eddy's work through numerous film soundtracks. Most notably, he scored the John Travolta movie "Broken Arrow" and Rebel Rouser was featured prominetly in "Forrest Gump." Between his albums and singles, and the soundtracks and compilations that have included his work, it is estimated that Eddy has been part of the sale of over 100 million records;" the following is an edited report of their conversation:
In Review: Let's start off by asking how long the two of you have known each other?
Duane: We haven't played together, but I first met Nokie in a studio in Hollywood back in 1971 - we just got to shake hands and speak briefly like ships in the night. We didn't see each other again for several years, but I've always known who he is and what he sounded like.
In Review: Duane, How long have you lived in Nashville & what prompted the move?
Duane: For fifteen years now. I just got to looking at my phone book and realized that I knew more people in Nashville than anywhere else. At the time I was living in Lake Tahoe and people were calling me a recluse, so I came down here and ran into some friends. I saw Jimmy Bowen and Emmylou Harris, and everyone was having a great time down here. So I called my wife and asked her if she would like to move to Nashville.
In Review: Is it a good hometown?
Duane: It's great, and everybody started being able to find me again; nobody was really looking for me at Lake Tahoe.
In Review: You got your start playing live in the 1950s. Did you cover songs?
Duane: We played Top 40 country songs. I was in a country band when I started. You didn't do originals in those days if you wanted to survive. Later on, I was able to go out and play my hits.
In Review: What would a band make for an average show?
Duane: In the clubs, you might make $10 a night. Sometimes, in a real important place like a dance hall, you might make $25 or so.
In Review: Back in those days, before the big PA systyms, did you ever have trouble with blowing amplifiers?
Nokie: We had alot of trouble with frozen cones (everyone laughs); we were in New York and it was so cold - we were on the road with a station wagon with a trailor.
Duane: Wow, you had a trailer. We had to get it all in a station wagon (all at the table laugh).
Nokie: But we'd start playing and the speaker cone would be frozen - you would just have to hit the bass string to get the ice to break off!