Last month, former Cars guitarist Elliot Easton conversed with Vintage Guitar about his experiences prior to the formation of the platinum-selling quintet that cruised out of Boston in the mid-Seventies, as well as his sojourn with that now-defunct band. This month, Easton brings us up-to-date on what he’s been up to since the Cars called it quits following the Door to Door album. He hasn’t been inactive, to say the least, and the guitarist also talked about his “southpaw perspective” (a term noted last month) on guitars.
Vintage Guitar: I’ve seen solo albums from members of the Cars, some of which were out before the band officially broke up. What about you?
Elliot Easton: I did one around ’85, before the band split; it was called Change No Change, and it was on Elektra Records. Rhino is seriously considering releasing it on CD. I co-wrote the songs with Jules Shear; he’s been a fine songwriter for other artists, as well. We’d written this huge batch of songs, just as friends, and they weren’t necessarily designed for me to sing, but I was in a position where I could do a record, so I did. It did okay; there was a single called “Wearin’ Down Like A Wheel,” and the video got medium rotation on MTV. I put together a band and toured, but Jules didn’t go out with me.
I saw your name associated with an album called The Guitars That Conquered the World.
That was something Guitar World magazine put together. It had one track each by twelve or thirteen guitar players. I contributed an acoustic guitar piece; a Bert Jansch kind of thing. It was in kind of an English folk style. I figured some of the others would take their track and blow their brains out, playing all their hot licks. No pun intended, but I thought I’d take a left turn and contribute an acoustic piece. Dickie Betts and Warren Haynes had a nice track on that album.
What prompted your move to the Los Angeles area?
Nothing really earth-shaking