By Jason Jones, Custom Shop luthier
About 40 miles west of Bozeman, MT, home of the Gibson Acoustic plant lays a beautiful little valley between some scenic mountains and a river where an annual outdoor rock music festival is held called “Rockin the Rivers”. This year, our friends from the popular rock group, “Tesla”, was the headliner. When Dave Rude, guitar player for Tesla as well as his own band, The Dave Rude Band, gave me a call to attend, I immediately grabbed a buddy of mine and headed right over.
Coming off a recent European tour, Tesla was still in fine form, rocking thousands under the big sky. In true rock and roll fashion, about half way through their set, thick black clouds filled the night sky and gave the audience a fantastic light show as the lightning flashed all around the area as the band belted out their hits such as “Little Suzie” and “Edison’s Medicine”. Frank Hannon’s and Dave Rude’s Gibsons, both electric and acoustic, were on fire as they shredded through their various solos to the delight of the music loving masses who crowded in what is normally a vacant parcel of land inhabited by gophers and the occasional rattlesnake.
The rock and roll gods were must had been watching the concert as well, because immediately following their last encore, the clouds opened up and a heavy down pour washed over everyone. I must admit, I’ve personally seen some great acts come to the festival such as Sammy Hagar and Alice Cooper, but I do believe this was my favorite experience at the Rockin the Rivers festival to date. Thanks Dave, Frank, and the rest of Tesla for giving me a night I won’t soon forget!
Here is a photo of Dave and Frank doing what they do best.