Biografia Elton John

Biografia Elton John
A trajetória da carreira de Elton John em capitulos

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segunda-feira, 21 de março de 2011

Caleb Quaye Former Guitarist for Elton John Heard God's Voice; Now Serves the Lord

Caleb Quaye Former Guitarist for Elton John Heard God's Voice; Now Serves the Lord

Former Guitarist for Elton John Heard God's Voice; Now Serves the Lord

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Caleb Quaye, who has played guitar for the likes of Elton John and Hall & Oates, will be in Moncton this weekend to give a guitar seminar and a free concert Saturday night at the Moncton Wesleyan Celebration Centre.

Teresa Neumann (March 21, 2011)
The title of his autobiography is, "A Voice Louder Than Rock & Roll."
(Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada)—Caleb Quaye played guitar for music legends Elton John, Mick Jagger, Hall and Oates, and other music legends before he found Christ and his life was transformed. Today, Quaye resides in California. Scheduled to conduct some guitar workshops and perform a free concert in Moncton, he was interviewed by Alan Cochrane of the Times and Transcript.

In the interview, Quaye—whose autobiography is titled "A Voice Louder Than Rock & Roll"—talks about being saved after a party he attended when he heard a voice tell him his life was going to change.

"Music and the arts are a gift from God, and there is a purpose to it. So why do so many people go off the deep end? God gives this gift for the purpose of blessing people. When God gives a gift, He doesn't switch it off and He's not sorry that He gave the gift, but it's up to us what we do with it, and in order to keep that gift in its proper perspective, we have to simply be in a relationship with the Giver of that gift. And if we're not in a relationship with the Giver of that gift, the very gift and all the adulation that comes along with it becomes a curse and there is no peace. That's why musicians and creative people often turn to drugs in a futalistic [sic] attempt to try and find some peace, because you can't switch it off."
He is quoted as saying the magic of being onstage performing is intoxicating, but performers need to learn how to control it. "Otherwise," he said, "you think it's you, and it's not."
Read more about British-born Quaye and how he loves to help youth improve their guitar skills and avoid a path of moral destruction, follow the link provided.

From: London, England

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Caleb was actually Caleb Quaye backed by a group of Fontana studio musicians, including David Hynes (drums, vocals) of the Mirage and Elton John (then Reginald Dwight) on keyboards. One classic single ('Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad' b/w 'Woman Of Distinction') was issued in the summer of 1967 under the Caleb moniker and, although it never charted, it is considered by many to be one of the best 60s psychedelic 45s ever released.

Quaye, an accomplished guitarist, was born in London, England in 1948 and started his professional music career in the early 60s as a member of Long John Baldry's backup band, Bluesology. It was when this band broke up in 1967 that he wrote and released the Caleb single.

In early 1968, he appeared as a session player on Nicky James outstanding song 'Silver Butterfly' and late that year produced Apple's outstanding sole and self-titled LP. In 1969 he became a member of the short-lived band Argosy, which also included Elton John and then pre-Supertramp member Roger Hodgson. This band split after releasing only one single at which time Quaye then formed the group Hookfoot in the spring of 1970.

In the early-mid 70s, Quaye played in Elton John's backup band and appeared on several of his LPs. In the late 70s he went on to play with Hall & Oats and then in 1982 joined a Christian ministry and now runs New World Ministries, Inc.


Quaye spent his early years as a member of Long John Baldry's backing band, Bluesology, which also featured a keyboard player named Reg Dwight, who would soon become known as Elton John. When Bluesology disbanded in 1967, Quaye released a single under the name Caleb called "Baby Your Phrasing is Bad" b/w "Woman of Distinction" (1967, Philips Records). Both sides can be found on the Rubble series, with "Woman of Distinction" of Volume One, and "Baby Your Phrasing is Bad" on Volume Four. "Baby Your Phrasing Is Bad" can also be found on Nuggets II, Chocolate Soup, and many other obscure psychedelic compilations.
Starting in 1969, Quaye played guitar supporting Elton John at live concerts around the local London area, first with Boots Slade (bass) and Malcolm Tomlinson (drums), and then later on with what eventually became the nucleus of Hookfoot for sporadic shows. The live support work continued until Elton formed his original touring band in the spring of 1970, the trio featuring Dee Murray and Nigel Olsson.
In April 1970, Quaye formed the band Hookfoot with Ian Duck, Roger Pope and David Glover, all of whom were DJM Records house musicians and had backed Elton's earliest live performances. The group's self-titled debut album was a mix of rock and jazz and included songs by Quaye and Duck, in addition to Stephen Stills and Neil Young covers. Quaye played guitar and keyboards on this album. The group's follow up record Good Times a-Comin' was a more straight-ahead rock album. A third album was Communication and the last album titled Roarin' . A live album called Hookfoot Live In Memphis, recorded in 1973 was released later. The group disbanded in 1974 and Quaye stayed in the United States to work as a session musician.

Elton John Band

He played off and on for more than 10 years with John, both as a session player and later full band member, appearing on all of his earliest recordings and albums as a session player until the beginning of 1972, as well as being a member of Bluesology during 1967/68. He finally fully joined the Elton John Band in May 1975 for the Rock of the Westies and Blue Moves albums, as well as subsequent 1975/76 Elton tours.

Kenny Passarelli (bass), Roger Pope (drums), John Oates, Caleb Quaye (guitar), David Kent (keyb.), Daryl Hall, Charlie DeChant (keyb., sax.),

Caleb Quaye, former guitarist for Elton John and other rock legends, brings musical ministry to Moncton this weekend

Musical talent is a gift from God: guitarist

Published Wednesday March 16th, 2011
The history of rock and roll is littered with tales of musicians who died in the trap of drug addiction, and veteran rock guitarist Caleb Quaye thanks God every day that he's not one of them.

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Caleb Quaye, who has played guitar for the likes of Elton John and Hall & Oates, will be in Moncton this weekend to give a guitar seminar and a free concert Saturday night at the Moncton Wesleyan Celebration Centre.
The British-born Quaye played guitar for Elton John, Mick Jagger, Hall & Oates and many other music legends in a career that started in the heady days of the mid-60s. He has said he smoked his first marijuana while playing with Jagger and that led him down the road of drug and alcohol abuse until the late 1970s, when a spiritual experience turned his life around. Since 1982, he has embraced faith as a musician/evangelist.
This weekend, he will be in Moncton to conduct guitar workshops and perform a free concert at the Moncton Wesleyan Celebration Centre Saturday night. On Sunday, he will speak to the church's congregation about his life experiences.
In a telephone interview with the Times & Transcript, Quaye said he nearly ended in a pit of self-destruction like such well-known entertainers as Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain and even Elvis Presley. He says musicians, artists and other creative people are often drawn into a life of abuse because they lose control of their own creativity and direction.
"Music and the arts are a gift from God, and there is a purpose to it. So why do so many people go off the deep end? God gives this gift for the purpose of blessing people. When God gives a gift, he doesn't switch it off and he's not sorry that he gave the gift, but it's up to us what we do with it, and in order to keep that gift in its proper perspective, we have to simply be in a relationship with the giver of that gift. And if we're not in a relationship with the giver of that gift, the very gift and all the adulation that comes along with it becomes a curse and there is no peace. That's why musicians and creative people often turn to drugs in an a futilistic attempt to try and find some peace, because you can't switch it off."
He says the magic of being onstage performing is intoxicating in itself but performers need to learn how to control it.
"Otherwise, you think it's you, and it's not."
Born in London in 1948, Quaye grew up in a family of jazz musicians and was surrounded by creative people who had drug and alcohol problems. He started playing piano at the age of four, and started on guitar at 12. By the age of 15, he left high school and was working in a recording studio and record publishing company at the height of Beatlemania. He got in trouble for giving an unknown singer named Reg Dwight free time in the studio. The boss was about to fire him until Caleb played demo tapes by the piano player who would late be known as Elton John. Quaye later toured with Elton John and worked on many of the singer's albums. His guitar playing can be heard on such big hits as Island Girl and Tiny Dancer.
In an interview with Christian Musician magazine, Quaye said he first got involved with drugs in 1966, when Mick Jagger handed him a big joint and said: "you must smoke some of this."
From there, he continued to live the rock and roll lifestyle until 1978. He was on tour with Hall & Oates, it was 5 a.m. after a wild party when a voice told him his life was going to change. His life did change for the worse as his marriage fell apart and he fell into financial ruin. In 1982, he found help and turned to religion.
Later, the mysterious voice became the basis for his autobiography, which is suitably titled: "A Voice Louder Than Rock & Roll."
Today, Quaye makes his home in California and travels around spreading his word to adults and youth. He especially likes working with young people who want to improve their guitar skills and avoid the path to destruction.
On Saturday morning, he will offer a two-hour guitar players' workshop from 10 a.m. to noon at the Moncton Wesleyan's Life Centre auditorium. This workshop is free to Guitar Church registrants and open to the general public for a one-time fee of $10. On Saturday at 7 p.m., he will perform a free concert in the Life Centre. On Sunday morning he will share his unique life story during Moncton Wesleyan's regular Sunday morning service beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Moncton Wesleyan Celebration Centre. All events are open to the general public and everyone is welcome and invited to attend.
"We are very excited to have a legend like Caleb Quaye here with us this weekend to kick off our Guitar Church program and share his powerful life story in our Sunday service. His reputation both as a guitar player and a Christ-follower is second to none and I'm really looking forward to learning from him myself," says Jason Muir, Moncton Wesleyan's pastor of worship arts and director of Guitar Church Moncton.
The Wesleyan Church is kicking off its new Guitar Church Christian guitar club program this weekend. This eight-week series of clinics and lessons has already enjoyed great success in other parts of the country and is open to the benefit of anyone in the Moncton area, of all faiths, backgrounds, ages and skill levels. Classes are offered at the beginner, intermediate and advanced skill level each Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon beginning with Quaye's two-hour workshop March 19. Interested individuals can still register at Moncton Wesleyan's reception desk Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by calling 857-2293. The cost for the eight-week series of clinics and lessons is $150.


Bit of an unusual one, this, as the article wasn't originally published in The Ptolemaic Terrascope.

However - I did originally research and write it for the Terrascope, but as publication of the first issue, in 1989,was delayed I decided instead to submit it to Bucketfull of Brains magazine (which I'd been writing for for the previous six or seven years). The feature duly appeared in Bucketfulls 29 and 30 in 1989.

Scouting around the internet in search of something or another recently I realised though that there was actually very little information out there about Hookfoot, and what there was was largely incorrect (for the record, former Kiss member Bob Kulick, an American, wasn't a pivotal member of the later line-ups of Hookfoot - he actually appears only on one song, 'Sweet Sweet Funky Music', playing second lead guitar; and there are no Hookfoot recordings featuring former Cochise member Mick Grabham)

Part of the problem is that Hookfoot were, as you'll read, very much a band of "musician's musicians". All of them were in great demand as session players, both individually and collectively. As well as backing Elton John on many of his early albums they also perform en masse on Mick Grabham's 'Mick The Lad' solo LP (possibly it was this which led to the misinformation that Grabham was himself a Hookfoot member) and on Steve Swindell's solo LP from 1974 (the astute amongst you may recognise Swindell's name as a former Hawkwind member). The band also backed Harry Pitch and Zack Laurence on the chart-topping one-hit wonder 'Groovin' With Mr Bloe'; and although his voice is perhaps an acquired taste, Long John Baldry's 'It Ain't Easy' LP from 1971 also featured bassist Dave Glover, drummer Roger Pope and guitarist Caleb Quaye throughout, some of the songs sounding distinctly Hoofoot-esque.

Another part of the problem was, quite frankly, their music. Great songwriters, great musicians, but their tastes strayed too far towards bluesy country funk for the heads to ever fully embrace them. A bit like Steve Stills, in some ways: you kinda dug the way he did it, but not always what he actually did. Thing is though, Caleb Quaye was undeniably one of THE finest guitar players the UK has ever produced - not for nothing did Eric Clapton surprise David Letterman a lttle while ago by informing him "I'm not the world's best guitar player. Caleb Quaye is." - and I can't help wondering, if Hookfoot had played hard rock and psychedelia, whether their albums might not today be held in the same kind of reverential, big-dollar high esteem by collectors as, say, Little Free Rock, Ashkan, Aunt Mary, Blonde on Blonde and especially I suppose Black Cat Bones (who likewise featured a stellar guitar player in the shape of a young Paul Kossoff). I still challenge any fan of the above not to go into a toe-curling trance of guitar-fuelled ecstasy on hearing Hookfoot blister through 'Nature Changes' on the 'Live in Memphis' album though, or to goggle in awe at the pyrotechnics on display on all twelve minutes of 'Shoe Shine Boy', one of the otherwise unreleased songs on the 'Headlines' compilation album.

As it is though, Hookfoot's albums are scarce, but not really worth that much when it comes down to it. I'd definitely implore you to move Heaven and Earth to track down at the very least 'Communication' and 'Good Times a' Comin', my own two personal favourites; but don't sweat too much if you never find the others. I'm not even sure they've even been released on CD - I'd certainly be very surprised if 'Headlines' has, and I don't think I've ever seen a copy of 'Roarin'' on sale legitimately either. Live in Memphis 1972', being a more recent release (and one which I should confess up front I had a hand in putting out), is probably a bit easier to track down.

So anyway, I thought it was about time I gathered together all my Hookfoot ephemera in one place and published it here on Terrascope Online. By all means get in touch if you have any questions or anything to add to it. Just don't bother hurling abuse. I know they weren't the greatest band in the world. I just happened to love them very, very much indeed...

Phil McMullen

Editor, Terrascope Online - April 2010

contact: editor (at)

(above) Caleb Quaye's 'Baby Your Phasing is Bad' 45, much beloved of psych compilations

'The Opener' 45 (non-album B-side of 'Sweet Sweet Funky Music').

'Heart to Heart Talking' / 'Red Man' 45, with 'Freedom (Nobody's Shoes) on the flip. All cuts otherwise unreleased.

An earlier 45, 'Hookfoot' / 'The Way of The Musician' on Page One, has come to light since I originally compiled this in 1998. I have a feeling it was released only in France.

The Memphis 1972 live CD (below) was released after this discog was published.

Promo photo of The Soul Agents, with Roger Pope on the right

1st edition 'Communication' cover with title sticker on the front. These were later omitted.

U.S cover of 'Roaring' (their 4th album, hence the number 4). Presumably the American Civil War scenes found on the UK cover were judged to be inappropriate.

(above) Debut 45 on Page One Records

(Left) First edition UK cover of the 'Roaring' LP. Copies like this are extremely scarce - I've only ever seen a couple in a lifetime of digging around in second-hand record shops.

Front cover of 'Headlines', the double LP compilation put out by DJM a year or so after Hookfoot's demise. Interestingly, it includes 4 non-album cuts, but no live material and none of the band's singles!

Liner notes for the ultra-rare 1984 Caleb Quaye solo album 'From Darkness Unto Light'

Cutting from Ptolemaic Terrascope magazine
Cover for the Live in Memphis 1972 album, released by SPM Records in Germany in 1990. Fred Gandy had got hold of and kept the master tapes at his house, and after I interviewed him (in 1989, see above) I shopped around a few labels I knew might be interested in doing something with them.

My original liner notes for the release are shown below, though I claim no credit for the title or indeed the cover (the live photo is taken from the inside sleeve of the 'Headlines' double compilation album)

Review of Japanese reissues from Terrascope, September 2010:


(CDs from

The Japanese reissues of revered 1970s rockers Hookfoot’s four albums, plus the previously unreleased collection of early recordings ‘A Piece of Pye’, are not exactly easy to get hold of – but oh, my goodness do they ever repay your investment of time, money and effort with rich rewards.

The band’s four albums, listed above in chronological order beginning with their 1971 self-titled debut and closing with their hard to find 1973 swansong collection ‘Roaring’, are all padded out with additional recordings that date from around the same time as each release. The die-hard fan (and there must be another one out there somewhere!) will probably have all the extra songs as they each appeared in 1975 on the posthumous Hookfoot double LP compilation ‘Headlines’: a cover of Stephen Stills’ ‘Bluebird’ on ‘Hookfoot’, the Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’ on ‘Good Times a’ Comin’’, James Taylor’s ‘Fire & Rain’ on ‘Communication’ (for my money the band’s strongest album overall) and the Byrds’ ‘So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star’ on ‘Roaring’.

Other, earlier, songs from ‘Headlines’ also appear on the ‘A Piece of Pye’ collection: the bluesy filler ‘S.B.W.’ [Sonny Bow Williamson] and the guitar heroics tour-de-force jamthat is ‘Shoeshine Boy’ – oh, dear Lord how well I remember that one blowing my socks off when I first heard it as a teenager! The remaining material on ‘A Piece of Pye’ was completely new to me – early recordings by the sound of it, all of them credited to guitarist Caleb Quaye, and sadly none of them with the possible exception of ‘You Better Get On’, a showcase bluesy groover that sounds like it might’ve been the highlight of their live set at the time, up to the standard of the stunning ‘The Way of the Musician’ debut 45 released on Page One in France which unfortunately remains un-re-released to this day. It’s must be a contender for some future late 60s compilation, surely, just as Caleb Quaye's 'Baby Your Phasing is Bad' recorded immediately pre-Hookfoot is a something of a staple requirement.

There's a fair bit of other un-re-released still languishing on 'B' sides of various singles as well, including 'Heart to Heart Talking', 'Red Man', 'Freedom (Nobody's Shoes), 'Hookfoot' (the song the band became named after, apparently due to drummer Roger Pope's habit of hooking his wayward kit back towards him while playing) and 'The Opener' (original B-side of 'Sweet Sweet Funky Music' from Good Times a' Comin'). Plus, the live album that I must confess had a hand in releasing via the SPM label in Germany back in the early 1990s is also overdue for some reissue attention.

None of this detracts however from the superb quality of these reissues. The covers are exact, detailed reproductions of the originals in miniature, right down to - get this - the dimpled card stock used on original copies of the first two Hookfoot LPs. Even the title sticker on the 'Communication' album is an actual piece of paper pasted on top of the Rizla packet lettering, again as it was on the original - later reissues didn't have this, and as it was hand-done every one is in a slightly different place, or sometimes at a different angle. The 'Piece of Pye' album also includes some liner notes by Caleb Quaye himself, which is a really nice touch.

Seriously, if I had unlimited funds I'd seek to replace every CD in my collection with one of these Japanese paper sleeve reissues! I notice this is already Vol. 69 in the "British Legends" series so I've got some serious digging ahead of me it seems. More on the mighty Hookfoot meanwhile can be read in our feature on the band from a while back: Hookfoot (Phil McMullen)

January 2009 Brazen Guitars at the NAMM Show with Caleb Quaye

Caleb Quaye and the Faculty   
Caleb Quaye - Lead Guitar
Charles Williams - Keyboard
Doug Mathews - Drums
Robert "Pee Wee" Hill - Bass
Caleb Quaye has a worldwide reputation as a signature lead guitar player since the late 60’s and early 70’s. He is known most notably as Elton John’s original lead guitarist having played on all the “early stuff”, as well as numerous studio sessions for many other name artists, such as Harry Nillson, Beach Boys, Joan Baez, Al Kooper, David Foster, John Klemmer, Eddie Henderson, Dusty Springfield, Liza Minnelli, Brenda Russell, Joan Baez, Ralph McTell, Pete Townsend, The Troggs, Hall & Oates.
Charles Williams:  Has performed or recorded with such artists as Philip Bailey, Andrae Crouch, Billy Davis and Marilyn McCoo, Stephanie Mills, Deniece Williams, The Midniters, Ry Cooder and Los Lobos, to name but a few. Charles continues to perform, write, arrange and produce across various genres of music while serving as pastor of Grace Chapel in Inglewood, California for over 17 years.
Robert “Pee Wee” Hill: an outstanding bass player and longtime friend of Caleb’s has performed or recorded with Billy Preston, Sly Stone, Jimmy Smith, Rufus, Chaka Kahn, Bob Dylan, T-Bone Burnett. He and his wife Michiko, herself an accomplished keyboard player own and run Masters Crib recording studio in Pasadena, CA.
Doug Mathews: an accomplished drummer in a diversity of styles has played with Phil Keaggy, Howard Roberts, Rique Pantoja, Rick Elias, Red Young, Tommy Walker.

 To purchase CD's go to the Resource page or download from iTunes
  Caleb Quaye and the Faculty YouTube Channel

Interview with Christian Musician Magazine

Christian Musician: Caleb, paint a brief picture of your musical heritage (even though it was rough) and how that set the course for your own musical ambitions.
Caleb Quaye: I was born into a musical family. My father was a professional jazz musician who was quite famous in England and Europe. As a child, growing up, I enjoyed a rich musical heritage, because some of the world’s greatest musicians and singers came through our house, as friends of my parents. My dad was good friends with Django Reinhardt, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and members of Duke Ellington’s orchestra, along with Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Billie Holliday and many others. We were the odd family in our very conservative, English neighborhood, because we were listening to a lot of jazz and blues.
My dad played records all the time, as well as playing the piano or the guitar. Music was the air we breathed in our house. He also had his own band. My mother and grandmother would cook the Sunday dinner and, after we were through, my father and these musicians would go into the front room (what Americans call the living room) and they would jam. 
His band had sax players and trumpet players. So, they could really put out some noise, especially in that enclosed space.  We'd sit in the dining room and listen to them play and, after a while, I would sneak into the front room and sit on the floor to watch them.  It wasn't hard to sneak in without being seen, because the air in the room would be filled with smoke, as thick as pea soup.  Every member of the band, including my father, would be smoking marijuana.
I had inherited my father’s gift for music and started playing the piano when I was four, drums when I was seven and then the guitar when I was twelve. As a young boy I wanted to be like my dad. I never wanted to be what other boys of my age aspired to, such as policemen, soldiers, firemen, etc. I just wanted to be able to make this wonderful, musical sound that I used to hear in my house. One thing that I observed, but could not understand as a young boy, was how these incredibly gifted musicians could be so messed up in their lives, with alcohol and drugs. Little did I know that, later on, I would traverse the same path and find out for myself, the hard way.

CM: There is much more behind the statement "guitarist for Elton John." Tell us how you met Elton and the role you played in his first demos.
 Caleb: I met Elton shortly after leaving high school at age 15. At that time he was not Elton, but Reg Dwight. We were both office boys in what was known then as Tin Pan Alley – which was the center of the music publishing industry in the heart of Soho, in London. Shortly after meeting him, I landed a job at Dick James Music, which was the company that published the Beatles’ music. This was in 1965, when the Beatles were the gods of this world.
Within a few months of landing a job at Dick James, they decided that they wanted to branch out into recording music, as well as doing the sheet music publishing. So, they built a studio by converting some offices. Dick James’ son Stephen was running the studio, but he could not stay there, as he was being groomed by his father to eventually take over the company.
At this time I had expressed interest in recording and writing. So, they gave me the job of studio manager and A&R Director for the fledgling label called This Records. It was about eighteen months later that Reg Dwight – whom I had not seen for awhile – showed up to record some demos in the hope of landing a recording contract with Liberty Records. He had been working with a band called Bluesology, which I would also later on play with.
It was at this point that I recorded his demos and this turned into a work in progress, after he found a partner in lyricist Bernie Taupin. In 1967 I was called on the carpet, after having been found out to be giving free studio time to various artists, in order to help them with their music – being the benevolent guy that I am.

Under threat of expulsion from the company, I pleaded with Dick James to listen to the songs we had recorded with Reg & Bernie. Dick listened and promptly signed them to their first recording and songwriting contract and the rest, as they say, is history. Not only did I play on the demos, but played guitar on most of Elton’s “early stuff” or “the classic period,” such as the Tumbleweed Connection album, Tiny Dancer and Levon.

CM: How did your industry career and your own musical career start taking off?
 Caleb: I started playing the guitar when I was twelve and basically took to it like a duck takes to water. By the time I was sixteen I was good enough to be doing studio work. In 1966 Andrew Oldham – who was the Rolling Stones’ manager – launched the first, independent record label in England, called Immediate Records. Their office was right next door to Dick James Music, where I was working. I became friends with a songwriter who worked for them, whose name is Billy Nichols. In later years Billy has done a lot of work for Pete Townsend, on many of his solo projects, outside of The Who.
 It was while recording for Billy’s first album, for Immediate Records, that I met a music contractor. That’s the guy who books musicians for studio work. His name was David Katz and he said to me, “Caleb, I love your playing and I was wondering if you could help me out; I have a bunch of studio work lined up and I usually use Jimmy Page, but he has just quit doing session work to join the Yardbirds. If you’re interested, I need you to join the musicians union.” Needless to say, I jumped on that like white on rice and that’s how I became the youngest guitar player to join the musicians union, back then.
 Later on that year I got to play on most of the records by a group called The Troggs. So, you can hear me on their version of “Wild Thing”, “I Want To Spend My Life With A Girl Like You”, “Love Is All Around”, etc. I was fortunate to work up close with so many people of that era. For instance: many of the Liverpool groups that were under Brian Epstein’s management, such as Gerry Marsden, The Fourmost, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.
 I learned a lot from a guitar player who was a hero to many of us in England. His name is Mick Green; he used to play for Johnny Kidd and the Pirates in the early sixties. This is a band that the Beatles used to open for, in their formative years. Mick went on to play for Billy J Kramer and then did a long stint with Englebert Humperdinck, which was a surprise to many. He was a great guy who could handle a Fender Telecaster like no other. I loved it whenever he came into the studio. For me, it was an education to record him, as he was a huge inspiration to me.

I read your story of hearing the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album by the Beatles first, before anyone else did. Tell us about it.
 Caleb: While working for Dick James Music and running the studio, one of my jobs was to make publisher copies of the masters of the Beatles’ albums. These copies were to be meticulous in quality and involved a lot of secrecy in the process. The masters would be sent over from EMI studios in Abbey Road, by security courier. I would have the studio blocked out on that day. I would have to make the copies after hours, when nobody else was on the premises and then call EMI to have them picked up again and taken back to Abbey Road for storage. Nobody was allowed in while I was doing these copies and it was quite nerve wracking to realize that I had the Beatles’ masters in my hands – and I had better not make any mistakes, like putting a crimp in the tape.
So, this is how I became the first person outside of the Beatles’ immediate circle to hear their recordings from Help, through to the White Album. I was the person who played it to Graham Nash for the first time. At that time he was still with the Hollies, but I think that hearing Pepper was the catalyst for him to leave the Hollies and join Crosby and Stills. I still remember his reaction to the album, as the last piano chord of “A Day In The Life” was fading out. He simply got up and walked out of the studio, saying, “They’ve done it!” 

CM: The old adage of “drugs, sex and rock n' roll” started to take its toll on you. Set the scene for us and then share how you started to know Jesus.
 Caleb: I first got involved with drugs in 1966. I was working on a project with Mick Jagger and one day, while working on some song arrangements at his apartment, he said to me, “You must smoke some of this” and he handed me a big, fat joint. Being the impressionable teenager who was working with the biggest names in rock music at the time, I thought, “Well, if this is what the big boys are doing, then here we go.”
Along with that, I thought, “Who am I to say ‘no’ to Mick Jagger, who was also paying me for my services to the album that he was producing?” They told me that, after I smoked that joint, I proceeded to play the piano for four hours, non-stop. From then on, I was all the way into it, non-stop, until 1982.
I found Christ or, rather, he found me first, through a supernatural experience, where I heard a voice speak to me in a hotel room in Atlanta. It was my 30th birthday in October of 1978. I was playing with Hall & Oates at the time and this was in the middle of a tour. The band and road crew threw a surprise birthday party for me after the concert.
It was about 5:00 am after everybody crawled out of my room. While I was sitting in a chair, I heard a voice very clearly and quite audibly, tell me, “Caleb, from this point on, your life is going to be completely different and nothing is going to be the same for you ever again.” I thought that somebody had walked into my room. I turned to see who it was, but nobody was there. I suddenly became aware that I was no longer stoned on the drugs that had been consumed. I was amazingly sober. All I understood was that I had been spoken to.  As I sat there in silence, I made a little promise to myself that one day I would find out who that voice belonged to. This experience served as the basis for the title of my book, which is called “A Voice Louder Than Rock & Roll”.
When that tour finished, basically everything in my life that could go wrong went wrong. It was about a two and a half year period of my life being stripped away: marriage fell apart, financial ruin and the whole nine yards. During that time I met and became friends with Chester Thompson. He plays drums for Genesis and Phil Collins – also formerly with Weather Report. He was putting a fusion jazz/funk band together and asked me to join the band, which I did and we became great friends. It was through his friendship that I came to Christ.
He took me to church on Easter Sunday 1982 and it was during the worship, while they were singing the Bob Kilpatrick song “In My Life, Lord” that I heard the same voice that spoke to me in the hotel room in Atlanta. He simply said, “Caleb, it’s time for you to come home to me today, because I have a new life for you.” I suddenly realized who that voice belonged to. My promise had been answered. That voice belonged to Jesus. At the end of the service, I responded to the invitation and said yes to Jesus as my Savior and Lord.    

As a young Christian, how did you find your way out of the darkness of your past, into a walk with the Lord?
Caleb: There are two days in the calendar year that are very important to me. The first one is Easter Day, as I have just mentioned, because that is the day when Jesus revealed himself in a deep and personal way, which caused me to say yes to Him. The other important day for me is Pentecost Sunday. It was on that day that, after a harrowing, near-death experience from drugs, I got baptized in water and filled with the Spirit – and instantly delivered from all those years of drug addiction.
Once I was free from that darkness, I could not get enough of the Word. I went and purchased a Bible and devoured it. I have always believed and do preach that the three most important things that a Christian needs, in order to walk in the newness of life that Christ offers us are: worship, the Word and prayer. It is in these three things that “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude vs3) is found. These three things work together to strengthen the inner man and continually set us free from the darkness of our past. My favorite scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NKJV)

CM: Tell us about your involvement with the Foursquare church, as a worship leader and musical mentor?
Caleb: In 1995 I was asked to help develop a national department of worship to help resource and mentor churches, primarily in the Foursquare movement. This consisted of traveling to churches, working with a committee of other worship leaders to develop resources, leading worship and doing consulting and troubleshooting, for the purpose of developing healthy churches. I did this from 1995 to 2000. It was an interesting time, what with post-modernity becoming more evident, along with seeker-sensitive churches and all these different ideas of how to do church, be culturally-relevant and so on.
All these ingredients just seemed to make the worship wars more interesting and bewildering, at the same time. The National Worship Department, as it was called, was an experiment for the Foursquare movement and it was also an interesting education, being involved in the corporate headquarters of a denomination. During this time I developed some long-lasting friendships with pastors, both in Foursquare and other denominations. So, it became evident to me that the Lord was developing a network of what I would call “kingdom relationships,” for the purpose of mentoring young musicians and worship leaders.
One thing that I have learned is that, after living and learning from a lot of experience, over a number of years, old-school guys like me are supposed to give something back and invest some of our accumulated experience back into the emerging generation. There is something therapeutic about that that I enjoy. I have learned that, around age fifty, you are no longer living on your heritage, but now you start leaving a legacy. A legacy is not something that you build, but rather something that you invest or sow into others from your own experience, that they, in turn, can take and run with and make it their own.
So, for these reasons, my base of operations today is LIFE Pacific college in San Dimas, California, which is the Foursquare Bible College. I serve there as adjunct faculty and also the worship pastor for Lifehouse, which is the campus church. This gives me an opportunity to influence young students who are studying for ministry and trying to figure out God’s call on their lives.

What advice do you like to tell aspiring Christian musicians?
Caleb: I like to tell them the same thing my father told me, which was, “Son, always listen to the best. Don’t waste your time listening to people who don’t know what they’re doing, because you won’t learn anything from them.” This was good advice, because, when you listen to great players, they set the bar for you. That way you know what to aim for and, even if you don’t end up where they are, you will come up with something worthwhile, because you’re heading in the right direction. Also, don’t be afraid of learning music theory, because theory is the key to application, to any style of music. In today’s wide diversity of styles, it’s essential. Finally: practice, practice, practice. If you are going to be good at it, you must have a healthy obsession with it, which means you have to go after it. It won’t happen for you without it.
Let us know about your gear: Acoustic and electric guitars? Favorite amps or pedals? What do you record with?
I have four electric guitars that I really enjoy playing these days:
  1. a modified ’66 Fender Strat
  2. Epiphone Les Paul deluxe standard
  3. Nashville Telecaster
  4. Brazen Signature model (voted best new guitar at NAMM ’07)
For a long time I used a Fender Deluxe amp that I have owned since 1970. These days I have fallen in love with a 30-watt Marshall MG30DFX. For pedals, I have two rigs. One is the Line6 XT Live, which I use primarily for recording. The other is the Boss ME50, which I use for live gigs, because it is more analog-sounding.

CM: You have a jazz orientated CD coming out. Tell us about the musicians involved and the musical scope of the record.
Caleb: About six months ago I was asked to put together some live music for a media conference at Biola University. So, I asked some friends of mine if they would do the gig. After the gig we all agreed that we should do this more often. So, we have been playing on a fairly regular basis, depending on schedules, once a month at a coffee house in San Dimas, called Home Brew. The music we play is a combination of some historic jazz tunes and jazz arrangements of worship choruses and hymns. It is highly improvisational, which serves to be very therapeutic for us and a blessing to those who come to hear us. I am hoping to get a live recording done sometime next year.
The musicians involved are:
  • Caleb Quaye – Lead guitar & vocals.
  • Doug Matthews – Drums (who plays for David Ruis and played for Promise Keepers and Tommy Walker)
  • Charles Williams  - Keyboards (also a Promise Keepers guy and Phillip Bailey and many other black gospel artists)
  • Mike Gonzales – Keyboards & vocals
  • Robert (Pee Wee) Hill – Bass (has played with Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, Rose Stone and many other, very funky people)

CM: After all of these years as a musician, what does music mean to you now?
Caleb To me, music is a creative gift that is given to us by God. Music has the power to open people’s hearts to receive truth and connect with God. Music is a means of communication of truth; therefore, the purpose of music is to reflect something of the creativity and goodness of God in this world, so that the listener can be motivated to look up in hope, instead of looking down in despair.

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