Eric Lee is one helluva musician. When he’s not singing his own songs or playing in a bluegrass band or two, he’s often seen fiddlin’ about in the best violin kind of way ever. It’s hard to believe that I’ve known Eric since he was a teen and ambled up the hill at Falcon Ridge to jam and ended up on the main stage that weekend as a member of The Strangelings (Pete and Maura Kennedy, Hungrytown — Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson, Chris Thompson Lively, and Cheryl Prashker). That was 2007 — fast forward to 2016 and Eric has played everywhere, including China. This is Eric’s second appearance as part of the “All You Need is Love” benefit. Eric gave an outstanding fiddle workshop to Marblehead High school students several years ago.
This year’s Beatles Benefit is on Saturday, May 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the me&thee in Marblehead, MA.
Eric has some interesting things to say about his impressions of The Beatles below.
Well, first thing’s first: I’d like it to be known that I was into the Beatles before they sold out. You know, before the haircuts, the sickly sweet harmonies, the “love love love”… I’m talking about when they were just the guys that worked at the autobody shop in J.P. by day and played Alice in Chains and Motorhead covers by night. It was those early songs of theirs like “Driveshaft Love” and “Axle Rod Heroes” that was the stuff that got me into playing fiddle in the first place (John was a nasty fiddler in the style of Doug Kershaw and Papa John Creach… don’t know why he kept it a secret once they got big!) Ringo had a sweet old toy Casio that he used to run through this vintage tape delay that gave them a great retro/Indie sound that I still try to recreate on my albums, (imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, am I right?) Paul used to play a glockenspiel that wasn’t really in tune with anything, but then again, neither was his voice back in those days. He wasn’t taking voice lessons like a sellout back then and he was really more into just having a gruff old-timey kind of voice… this was REAL music! He put the glockenspiel through an octave pedal, which helped fill out the low end. George wasn’t playing with them yet, but he used to just take pictures for the band’s instagram and manage their Facebook page (they finally let him join the band after he got them 25,000 “likes”!) He was also just a really popular guy on the scene, so he helped draw big audiences to their shows, which is right when I started getting turned off by their new sound.