Steel Guitar Strings
Strings & instruction for lap steel, Hawaiian & pedal steel guitars
http://SteelGuitarShopper.com
Ray Price Shuffles
Classic country shuffle styles for Band-in-a-Box, by BIAB guru Jim Baron.
http://steelguitarmusic.com

This Forum is CLOSED.
Go to bb.steelguitarforum.com to read and post new messages.



Note: This is an archived topic. It is read-only.
  The Steel Guitar Forum
  Bar Chatter Archive
  Does Demola Adepoju belong in the SG HOF?

UBBFriend: Email This Page to Someone!

profile | register | preferences | faq | search



This topic was originally posted in this forum: Wanted To Buy
Author Topic:   Does Demola Adepoju belong in the SG HOF?
Mike Perlowin
Member

Posts: 6731
From: Los Angeles CA
Registered:

posted 07 February 2001 07:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Perlowin     
For those of you who don't know, Demola is the guy who played steel for King Sunny Ade.

I know most people here are only marginally aware of Juju music, but here is what Demola has accomplished in his native country. (Nigeria.)

In the early 70's Demola heard a Hawaiian steel guitar in the radio and became determined to play the instrument. At first he practiced on a standard guitar with a raised nut. He went to the docks in his native city of Lagos, which is a shipping city on the coast, and asked sailors off the ships if any of them had a Hawaiian guitar they would be willing to sell. Finally he was able to get his hands on a 6 string lap steel. (Remember there were no such things in Nigeria at the time.)

After teaching himself to play, he, as a complete amateur, managed to join the band of the most popular singer in the country, King Sunny Ade, who at that time had already made 20 albums. He became the band's featured instrumentalist. After a short stint on the lap steel, he went to England and bought pedal steels, an Emmons D-10, an Emmons S-12, and a Sho-Bud LDG.

Then WITH NO INSTRUCTION BOOKS OR REFERENCE MATERIAL OF ANY KIND, he taught himself to play by figuring everything out. And because he played with the most popular singer in the country, other singers wanted that same sound, and pretty soon other steel players started cropping up in Africa.

Today there are (I'm told) about 150 pedal steel players in Nigeria and the instrument is spreading into the music of neighboring countries.

Demola doesn't just play the steel, he single handedly started a steel guitar movement in Africa that is still growing.

Steel guitarists generally don't know much about him, but perhaps they should.

[This message was edited by Mike Perlowin on 07 February 2001 at 07:38 PM.]



Lee Baucum
Member

Posts: 3201
From: McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) - The Final Frontier
Registered: APR 99

posted 07 February 2001 07:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Baucum     
Mike - The only recordings I've heard are on the tape you sent me a few years ago. That style of music is absolutely beautiful, even without steel guitar. The steel guitar really does fit in quite well. Are there other styles of music in Africa that are now using steel guitar? Every now and then I run across a King Sunny Ade CD at Best Buy, but I've never bought one, for fear that Demola wouldn't be on it. Could you give us some titles to watch for?

Lee, from South Texas

Lee Baucum
Member

Posts: 3201
From: McAllen, Texas (Extreme South) - The Final Frontier
Registered: APR 99

posted 07 February 2001 07:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lee Baucum     
Oh yeah. In answer to your question....yes!

Lee

Michael Johnstone
Member

Posts: 2535
From: Sylmar,Ca. USA
Registered: OCT 98

posted 07 February 2001 08:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael Johnstone     
I don't know if he belongs in the HOF,but when I was in Nigeria in 1980 doing some research for a music film project,the radio airwaves were FILLED with steel guitar.Mostly lap and a simple melodic style but steel nonetheless.The music was a sort of reggae but not as heavy on the upbeat w/vocal harmonies similar to South African vocal groups like Ladysmith,etc.
BTW,I also got to see the late Fela Kuti at his nightclub there in Lagos and it was damn spooky(he was a sort of motherland prototype of James Brown with a voodoo/jazzy edge)...I dug it. -MJ-


Doug Beaumier
Member

Posts: 2346
From: Northampton, MA
Registered:

posted 07 February 2001 08:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Doug Beaumier     
Mike,

Interesting idea. It's also worth mentioning that Demola created his own tuning for pedal steel. I read an interview years ago where he said that his first Emmons pedal steel arrived "untuned"... so he devised a tuning to suit the music that they were playing. Innovative guy. Maybe someday he'll be invited to play at Scotty's convention.

------------------
www.dougbsteel.com




Michael ODriscoll
Member

Posts: 52
From: Waunakee, Wisconsin USA
Registered: SEP 2000

posted 07 February 2001 09:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Michael ODriscoll     
No, absolutely not!

Not that dirty drug using, steel-guitar playing hippie? After all, he brought attention to an obscure and stereotyped instrument to perhaps hundreds in this country. So what if he didnít have all of the fingers on his right hand! Big deal, and Iím sure even Buddy Emmons didnít have the benefit of Winnie Winstonís book when he started.

Oh, wait. Sorry, I got this mixed up with another topic on the forum. Howíd that happen!

------------------
::: I used to be disgusted, and now I try to be amused. :::




Mike Perlowin
Member

Posts: 6731
From: Los Angeles CA
Registered:

posted 08 February 2001 12:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Perlowin     
Demola created his own tuning at first, but he now plays a standard E9 with 3 pedals and f knee levers, just like the rest of us.

Lee, the tape I sent you is the only one worth having. None of the others feature the steel as heavily.

For those interested in picking up a copy, the name of the album is "Juju Music" by King Sunnt Ade and his African Beats. It's on the Mango label. Here is a link to the CD http://www.songsearch.net/scripts/song.taf?BAR=0162539712


Bobby Lee
Sysop

Posts: 14849
From: Cloverdale, North California, USA
Registered:

posted 08 February 2001 01:01 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bobby Lee     
Have you nominated him yet, Mike?

I'm not a fan of juju music. It sounds monotonous to me. It doesn't change chords very much and hardly ever changes key signatures. It sounds mostly like dance music to me, and I'm a listener not a dancer.

While the steel is out front, the nuances of the instrument tend to get lost in such a large band. I never get the sense that I am listening to the player's hands. Maybe if there were some recordings of Demola in a more intimate combo I would appreciate his art more.


Iain
Member

Posts: 158
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Registered: OCT 98

posted 08 February 2001 03:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Iain     
I remember seeing him on tv here (in Britain) years back and really liked the sound; this was LONG before I played steel.
I like steel in odd contexts eg. whoever it was that played with Billie Ray Martin in tv's "Later" afew years back.
Not a bad idea, to put wild cards into the H of Fame


Jack Stoner
Sysop

Posts: 8119
From: Inverness, Florida
Registered: DEC 99

posted 08 February 2001 04:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jack Stoner     
I've seen part of Mike's tape (I got about half way through and couldn't take any more). Although he is an innovator and has taken the pedal steel into a different venue I don't think he is an innovator, who is widely copied, such as Emmons, Byrd, etc and for that reason do not think he belongs in the Steel Guitar Hall of fame.


P Gleespen
Member

Posts: 751
From: Lakewood, OH USA (I miss Boston!)
Registered: APR 99

posted 08 February 2001 04:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for P Gleespen     
quote:
I don't think he is an innovator, who is widely copied, such as Emmons, Byrd, etc and for that reason do not think he belongs in the Steel Guitar Hall of fame.

Actually, he is exactly that, a widely copied innovator. He's just not widley copied in the U.S.
I don't know if he belongs in the SGHoF or not, but his influence on modern African music is HUGE.


Mike Perlowin
Member

Posts: 6731
From: Los Angeles CA
Registered:

posted 08 February 2001 04:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Perlowin     
Jack, Demola is not widely known by the mainstream steel guitar community, but in his native country, he is as influential among the steel guitarists there as Buddy Emmons is among people like us.

Now I understand that Juju music may not be everybody's cup of tea but there's no denying that it has embraced the steel, and it's all because of Demola and his love of the instrument.

BTW, Demola is not the steel guitarist on the video I sent you, he had already left the band when that was shot. The steel player is named Abodin Fatouka. He is Demola's replacement. The fact that Demola could be replaced tells us that there are other steel guitarists in Nigeria, and that is directly attributable to him.

Like I said before, he didn't just discover the instrument and learn to play it himself, he started a whole steel guitar movement over there. The fact that many of us in the mainstream steel guitar community are unaware of it, just like the fact that none of us knew about the Sacred Steel tradition till recently, or the fact that some people don't care for the music does not negate it's existence, or the historical signifgance of the steel guitar migrating to Africa and finding a new home in the native music there. And Demola's role in that cannot be overstated. It happened soley and entirely because of him. Pure and simple.


Matt Dawson
Member

Posts: 226
From: Luxembourg, Europe
Registered: NOV 2000

posted 08 February 2001 05:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Matt Dawson     
Many years ago in the in the wilds of western Europe in an unknown country called Luxembourg I started playing pedal steel guitar. Back then there were only a handful of bands that didnt use steel, but now there are over ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY bands who dont use steel guitar IN LUXEMBOURG ALONE!!! This is entirely due to my influence.
Can I be in the SGHOF?
Just kidding...

To be serious for a minute, I fail to see the point of the SGHOF. The only people who care who is recognised are other steel players (many, if not most of whom are on this list) WE know who the greats are, and we keep their memory alive by playing and listening to their music (not to mention discussing it) I'm sure the greats would prefer to be honoured this way.
Matt


Steve Feldman
Member

Posts: 2983
From: Millbury, MA USA
Registered: DEC 99

posted 08 February 2001 06:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Steve Feldman     
Sorry...I thought he played for the Sixers.


b0b
Sysop

Posts: 8084
From: Cloverdale, California, USA
Registered:

posted 08 February 2001 08:38 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for b0b     
For newcomers here, I want to stress that the Steel Guitar Forum is not connected to the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in any way. The SGHOF's web page is at www.scottysmusic.com/hofplq.htm.

------------------

-b0b- quasar@b0b.com
-System Administrator


Sage
Member

Posts: 525
From: Boulder, Colorado
Registered: DEC 2000

posted 08 February 2001 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sage     
Oh Mike, you rabble rouser. Yes, I think that he definitely belongs on the list of the greats (who may or may not get HOF recognition) because of his contributions. He's probably still a little young in his career to get that honor, even in an "ideal" HOF. What is he doing these days? BTW- he is not the only steeler to influence the African continent. Glenn Taylor of Denver is a very fine and long-time steel player. He fell in love with African dance pop and formed the band Monkey Siren. He led this large, very cool band while playing pedal steel! I think he is one of steel's finest rhythm players. He planned a trip to Africa to play with different musicians in the late 80's. He built a PSG from scratch that was light and compact enough to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane! He went over there (Zimbabwe?) and spent many weeks traveling around, playing with different folks. He brought back some ebony which was given to him, and made another steel from scratch with it when he got home. He still plays in Denver, and his latest PSG is an archtop jazz model! Just wanted you to know that Demola wasn't the only one.


Jim Cohen
Member

Posts: 8715
From: Philadelphia, PA
Registered: NOV 99

posted 08 February 2001 10:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim Cohen     
quote:
his latest PSG is an archtop jazz model
Oh, I'd love to see a photo of that posted here. Any chance you can procure one for us, Sage?

------------------
www.jimcohen.com


jay thompson
Member

Posts: 291
From: east peoria, il USA
Registered:

posted 08 February 2001 03:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jay thompson     
No!


Sage
Member

Posts: 525
From: Boulder, Colorado
Registered: DEC 2000

posted 09 February 2001 09:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Sage     
Hi Jim- I'll ask Glenn if he's cool with that. It's black with white binding. We talked long ago about putting the changer and the tuners all together on the nut side, and he's beat me to building one that way. It gives the instrument a much more natural body tone. And again- Demola... Yes!


Donny Hinson
Member

Posts: 9192
From: Balto., Md. U.S.A.
Registered: FEB 99

posted 09 February 2001 05:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Donny Hinson     
I think it's way to soon to make a decision on Demola. If JuJu music continues to be popular for another 10 or 20 years, and if the steel remains prominent in it, then maybe it should be "considered".

In the meantime, maybe we should try to get the people who did the same thing for steel guitar in THIS country into the HOF. (None of them are in there yet!)

Don't you think THAT would be a better idea?

Vern Kendrick
Member

Posts: 442
From: Earth
Registered:

posted 09 February 2001 07:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Vern Kendrick     
I don't know......is Superman a transvestite???


All times are Pacific (US)

This is an ARCHIVED topic. You may not reply to it!
Hop to:

Contact Us | Catalog of Pedal Steel Music Products

Note: Messages not explicitly copyrighted are in the Public Domain.


Ultimate Bulletin Board 5.46

Our mailing address is:
The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support the Forum