By Mike Botica, Editorial Intern
Veteran rockabilly singer, songwriter and guitarist Deke Dickerson will perform at 8 p.m. March 19, at Godmothers in San Pedro. He will be headlining a bill that includes local band Lazy Lance & The Longhorns. The cover charge $10.
In a career that reaches back to the 1980s, Dickerson is notable for his work in the eponymous Deke Dickerson and The Ecco-Fonics, which released three studio albums and toured the world.
“I moved to California in 1991 and the first gig I did, the band leader handed me $75 at the end of the night, and I told him that if I was gonna pay the other guys out of this, I’d need to get some change,” said Dickerson. “He said, ‘No, this is all for you!’ And I thought I had died and moved to the lost gold city of El Dorado!”
“California has been really good to me,” Dickerson said. “I’ve lived here 25 years this year and have never wanted to live anywhere else.”
Dickerson often plays a TNM double-neck guitar embossed with his name. The instrument has become a major part of his sound. He also owns vintage custom amplifiers, including a rare custom Echo-Sonic, which has been used by legendary guitarists, such as Scotty Moore and Chet Atkins.
“I recently put some new Throbak pickups … on my old Gibson ES-335 [that] I’ve had since I was a teenager,” Dickerson said. “It’s like a brand new guitar and I’m really enjoying playing it, so I’ll have that with me on Saturday.”
In addition to his own prolific musical output, Dickerson is a collector of rare and wacky vinyl. On his website, he lists dozens of albums with ridiculous and hilariously dated covers.
Dickerson also hosts the annual Guitar Geek Festival Show, which will be in Las Vegas this year. The show is part of the four-day rockabilly festival Viva Las Vegas, which takes place from April 14 through 18, at The Orleans Hotel.
“Myself and a few guitar-obsessed friends always found ourselves talking about gear after shows and one of my old girlfriends always talked about how she dreaded the ‘guitar geeks’ who would never let us leave the club after a gig, so the term was born, and I thought ‘Guitar Geek Festival’ had a good ring to it,” Dickerson said. “Turns out, there are a lot of guitar geeks out there. So I wasn’t alone.”
In past years the event has taken place in Anaheim. It has featured artists as diverse and influential as Duane Eddy, J.D. McPherson, Nokie Edwards of The Ventures, Los Straightjackets, Sandy Nelson, Nick Curran, Brian Lonbeck and Del Casher.
“It’s much smaller and only two hours instead of two days, but it’s still a blast and a good way to carry on the tradition,” Dickerson said.
Dickerson played at Godmothers back in 2013 with the same openers. You can find photos of the event on Facebook at: http://tinyurl.com/Dickerson-Godmothers-2013.
“Seatbelt and Lazy Lance & The Longhorns have opened for me every single time I’ve played at Godmothers,” Dickerson said. “They are all great guys. Looking forward to it!”