The Lap Steel Guitar

Brad Bechtel's Musical Resume

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Brad Bechtel Ahhh! It's Brad!

Email address:

Year of birth:

Year I started playing:
1972 (so why don't I play better?)

My location:
San Francisco, California, USA

Guitars owned currently:

  • 2002 National tricone Style 1.5
  • 1951 National Dynamic - serial number V33763
  • 1947 National New Yorker
  • Early 1950's Fender Deluxe 8 lap steel, yellow finish, eight strings, serial number 7007
  • Early 1950's Fender Champion lap steel - yellow pearloid, serial number 1953
  • 1937 Gibson EH-150, sunburst maple top, serial number 370-11
  • 1940's Rickenbacher Model B, black Bakelite with white body plates, no serial number
  • Rickenbacker model 105, circa 1959, red body, heavily modified
  • 1960's Magnatone Varsity, blue pearloid (mother of toilet seat), serial number 35999
Amplifiers owned currently:
  • 1977 Fender Princeton Reverb - my main steel guitar amp - 12 watts, one 12" speaker. Perfect for lap steel - not too heavy, plenty loud enough for my kind of music.
  • 1973 Fender Deluxe Reverb - 20 watts, one 12" speaker, that classic Deluxe Reverb sound.
  • 1999 Fender Pro Junior - 15 watts, one 10" speaker.
  • 1963 Supro 1688TN - bass, guitar and accordian inputs - 40 watts, two 12" Jensen speakers, tube vibrato and tube amplifier for that "bluesy" sound
  • Pignose portable amp - for annoying the neighbors

Playing Style:

Psychohulabilly dub swing, as of today.

Some Musical Influences:

Formal Training:
Three years towards a B.A. in music before I realized that you can't do a recital on steel guitar to pass the finals

Other instruments played:
I goof around on a mandolin sometimes; I know the chords on "real" guitars, but my hands hurt; I used to play viola badly

Other Musical Activities:
Played with the synthesizer band Outer Circle in the early 80's around the LA area, opening for bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Flag, and Men Without Hats. Played with the Invertebrates in SF. Worked on soundtracks to various Dude Theater performances with Beth Custer. Played with the XObjects, the Macromedia house band from 1994-present. Played with the band Quick and Dirty from 1997-1998. Played in the band JelloHat from 1998-2000.

Played in the bandGo Van Gogh from 2000-2004.

Outer Circle produced two EPs on Bemisbrain Records, distributed by Green World - both sadly (or gladly) out of print. Also appeared on the European version of "Hell Comes To Your House", "Hell Comes to Your House Part III", and on Peter Ivers' "New Wave Theater" video compilation (under the name Heroic Struggles). I also play steel on the track "Smoke Rings" on the compilation "Edges from the Postcard 2".

Go Van Gogh has a couple of CDs featuring my playing.

If you have questions, suggestions for improvements, or additional information, please let me know.