Steve Hunt Reminisces On Playing Distance Vs Desire Live
Distance vs Desire, Live in Orlando, Florida, 1988: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q7eeiwhGmo
Posted by Steve Hunt on the Unreal Allan Holdsworth, Nov 2, 2018:
Amazing to hear. Allan runs through those changes and scales like butter. So many and so freakin’ hard too. I'm just glad he didn't ask me to take a go at it. Ha.
Allan would play the "head" and then I would take over for the solo section. So I never learned what the exact chords were for the head, although I could hear it's along the same ideas that are in the solo section. I still have my cheat sheets that I made for this back then. Quite emotional hearing this live again.
I guess I just didn't realize back then how rare this would be playing this out live. Once he stopped taking out the SynthAxe we never played [it] again, for obvious reasons. So maybe just the 87, 88 and possibly 89 tours this was played.
During those tours Allan loaned me his 2nd Oberheim Matrix 12, (basically two Xpanders in one, with a keyboard). The one he used he had sawed off the keyboard part of it. (I think Chad may have that one still.) So I was able to use the same patches he used on the record. I think the fact that it sounds different live here between when he plays the chords and when I play them is because his synth was going through the same rig as his chordal guitar did. So he had all the "Holdsworth" chorusing and delays that his Matrix 12 went through. Massive beautiful sound. I had some stuff in my rack that Allan helped me with to try to get that huge stereo sound he's so good at getting. He had those massive double racks of gear full of delays and chorusing units and who knows what else!! Haha.
So, the story on the backing track is this. In 86 Allan was touring with the trio and using the SynthAxe. On the tunes he played with SynthAxe he would use a backing track for the solo sections. I'm thinking because it's much stranger to have the chordal sound of the synth drop out and then solo with synth sound than it is to have the chordal sound of the guitar drop out and then solo on guitar. So on tunes like Non Brewed and Looking Glass he would have the chords play on a cassette that Chad ran. Chad told me that on one track there was a tambourine click track and then on the other track would be the chords on SynthAxe that would run into Allan's rig. They hated that. Chad told me it was awful, constantly having to hear tambourine click for the entire tune. And they couldn't change anything from night to night.
So when Allan was opening up on the Stanley tour that I was on playing with Stanley, he asked me to take over for the cassette. Haha. I was more than happy to accommodate!!! So basically I got the Holdsworth gig because they hated playing with a cassette. :) :) Ok, what ever it takes, I was good with it. I don't remember Distance vs Desire being on the set list of that tour, or the 86 tour. (I saw the 86 tour when he opened for Chick, and I remember hearing Synth Chords during the solos and having no idea how they were being played.) Anyway, that's the story on that. I'm just glad they didn't like playing with a cassette!! Lol!
The comments were edited together and slightly proofread for clarity by The Allan Holdsworth Archives.