I’m Tom Petersson, bass player for the group Cheap Trick. I’m here in London, England at Sixty Sixty Sounds, Denmark Street.
I came with our guitar player Rick Nielsen, he and I came to London in 1968. We went to Cliff Cooper’s shop, Orange music which is around here somewhere! I don’t know where the exact location was and he was just starting to build Orange amps in the back room.
Once the british invasion hit that kind of took over everybody’s lives at the time, it just kept going on and on, and people are still listening to it, its amazing!
We first saw Orange amps being used by Fleetwood Mac, they came over in ’69 in the US and they had the big giant bass rig. Peter Green and Danny Kirwan the tone they had was killer, I love to have the feel of the air being pushed like 412 cabinets. I’ve always liked the sound of tube amps, i’ve never liked transistors, it never had the right warmth to it and distortion. We’ve never used pedals for distortion, it’s all totally the amp being pushed to its maximum. I love the sound of the amp sounding like its about ready to blow up, like Jeff Beck is that perfect example of just great tone. Of course it’s in his hands, so it is different in that way but its just that sound and that warmth and that real distortion that you can’t get from transistor. You can’t match the sound of tube amps.
What I like about Orange is the quality of the gear and just the tone, it’s got that warm tube sound and you can push it. If you back off it will clear off a bit, it will be relatively clean and if you dig into it, it breaks up great. So you have got a lot of room with getting your own sound, with muting and it brings all the subtleties out in your playing. Something about the sound about the analogue amps is unbeatable.
Something about the sound about the analogue amps is unbeatable.
For us reliability is a big key and you don’t need amps breaking down. Having vintage amps is a pain, you can’t replace them, they get busted up traveling and the Orange gear just covers all the bases really. You can get it anywhere and they just have great sound, they really are unbeatable.
I use an AD50 guitar head running a 412 orange cabinet and an AD200 bass head running a 412 orange cabinet and that is it!
I play a 12 string bass, my rig is really the same for a 4 string as a 12 string bass. Its that same guitar sound, your just really adding in the high, it’s a bit like a 12 string guitar playing along with a bass. When I switch over sometimes to a T-Bird or a Fender Precision, they both have that grand piano sound which is great. So you get that great guitar distortion and they have great low end. It’s really basically the same sound, the twelve string is a bit bigger because they’re are high strings going on. Get the great guitar sound and then just add bottom, nothing to it.
The main reason we keep going or most musicians, is that you don’t have a back up plan, it’s not like I can fall back on my lucrative dentistry career! I have been doing this since i was 14 years old and started playing in clubs since I was 15 and it’s really all we know. It’s what we love to do and I can’t imagine stopping. You are not thinking anything, you are playing for the love of it, there is mainly no money in it. You just do it because you love it, we have kept going and there is no reason to stop, yet!