Jimbo Guitar – Can I Play My Old Riffs? “Things We Did” by Vehicle Derek

In this video I try and see if I can still play one of my old riffs – the song “Things We Did” which I wrote the riff for some time in 1988 when I was about 17 and playing in a band called Vehicle Derek.


We were a fast hardcore punk band and this is a heck of a workout. 34 years on, and it’s also a heck of a challenge.

There’s a bit about Vehicle Derek on the ‘net if you have a surf so I will spare you the history lesson here, but this version of the song was recorded in 2001 when a reformed version of the band got together to record an LP.

I’m playing my Antoria Gold Top Les Paul copy, which was my first ever electric guitar. One day I hope to get around to putting something on the net about that too. One interesting thing I will share about it is that it still has the same strings on that I used to record the album. So I’m playing a 34 year old riff on 21 year old strings…

The amp I used is a Marshall 5275, also known as a Marshall 75 Reverb. This is a solid state Marshall combo from the JCM800 era and it sounds wicked. I am using the “clean” channel cranked and I switch to the boost channel for the solo.

It’s miced up with a little lavalier mic going straight into the camera, so it sounds pretty much like it does when I was playing it in the room.

Again, one day I hope to make a video about this amp but there are a few videos on YouTube from other users if you are curious for now.

If you listen to the video you should hear that I panned my guitar playing to the left and the track to the right. So this is gonna sound best on headphones or decent speakers, and it might struggle to come across on a phone with just a single tiny speaker. But – I have no idea where or how you are listening, but brace yourselves if you do have a listen to it.

I think I did a pretty good job all things considered and it is worth bearing in mind that the actual track I’m playing along with has several layered guitar tracks from multiple takes as well as the bass, drums and vocals – I’m trying to get the song and the solo across in just one!

I certainly have a lot of respect for the younger versions of me that were able to write such a riff and nail it both on disc and at gigs. Note that the song itself, like most of our output was ultimately a band effort. I wrote the riffs for the intro, verse and chorus, Adam the drummer came up with the Slayer-esque “mosh part” in the middle and Del the singer wrote the words. The arrangement was knocked out in rehearsals.

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