Talking in the treestand is never a good idea but daydreaming in the stand got me thinking. Of all of the talk box guitar god rockers out there, who did it best? Read on for Yankee Hunter’s completely unsolicited opinions.
Yankee Hunter’s Top Talk Box Picks From The Treestand
For those that don’t know, a talk box is an apparatus whereby the guitarist mouths words into a tube and forces the harmonic content of these vocalizations through a speaker and shapes the sound of the guitar cords being played. The talk box was classic rock’s perfectly utilized accessory. By that, I mean thankfully, it was not over utilized. When done correctly by the right axe wielder, the talk box can take a guitar to the next level. And the winners are…
David Gilmour is neither a laugh, or cry when he rocks out with a talk box on the longplay track “Pigs (Three Different One’s)”.
#6 Joe’s Sweet Emotion
Joe Perry probably got more than his fair share of talk box back in the day. Joe rips it up on “Sweet Emotion” where the talk box is clearly part of his repertoire. Sammy Hagar once said that, when it came to guitar skills, Joe Perry was “a notch above him”. Ummm, yeah, sure, if that’s what you wanna think, Sammy.
#5 Those Shoes
Joe Walsh expertly plies the talk box on this track. “Those Shoes” was cleverly and expertly sampled by the Beastie Boys “High Plains Drifter” track.
#4 The Big Apple
Scorpions guitarist Matthias Jabs worked a talk box on “The Zoo”, a song about New York City.
#3 Tommy Used To Work On The Docks
Bon Jovi guitarist Ritchie Sambora once tried out for the band KISS. Thankfully, for all parties involved he got hooked up with Jon Bon Jovi and mastered the talk box. And then there was Denise Richards… “Livin’ On a Prayer” and the Slippery When Wet cassette saw heavy rotation in my 1983 Honda Civic wagon (which, by the way, made an awesome hunting vehicle) circa 1987.
#2 Rocky Mountain Way
When Joe Walsh talk boxes, people listen. Here’s an understatement: Joe is a fantastic musician. Joe told Howard Stern how he got his signature sound by plugging his Fender Stratocaster into an small Fender FM15 amp. Used in tandem with a Heil High Powered Talk Box, “Rocky Mountain Way” is a fantastic voyage.
#1 Do You Feel Like I Do?
The OG of the talk box. The crowd master. The reigning crown of the talk box, Petey Frampton. Frampton came alive (pun) with his talk box and made the crowd go nuts . In no other track in history does the artist control the crowd like Peter Frampton on the live track “Do You Feel Like I Do”.