you meet together? Is this some
kind of rockabilly romance?
First I went to see Buddy's band
at that time, "The Moonlight
Wranglers" and then ran into
him at a local record store. Our
mutual interest in rockabilly
music drew us together and the
rest is history!
long have you been doing music?
l've been playing guitar since I
was a child and have been in
bands since I was a teenager.
did you get started?
First I tried playing drums along
with the Beatles records, and
then my parents suggested I take
up guitar instead.
you grow up in a musical family?
No, my family is not musical,
although they listened to lots of
music while I was growing up,
including country, doo-wop, and
of course rock and roll. My mom
was lucky enough to have seen
greats like Gene Vincent and
Eddie Cochran live a the Brooklyn
Paramount Theater. So that had an
influence on me and my musical
No one in my family (mom/dad) is
very musical, as far as playing
an instrument goes but my mom
likes to sing. They both were
teenagers in the 1950's, and I
had discovered some of their old
records like Elvis, Duane Eddy,
etc... but most notably was my
moms "Beatles for Sale"
album which I found when I was
about five or six and listened to
nonstop, especially "Honey
Don't" and "Everybody's
Tryin' to be My Baby", I
loved the guitar on it! I had no
idea who C. Perkins was as
indicated on the credits, nor did
I know that what I was listening
to was actually second generation
rockabilly, but I loved it!
Do you remember the first
record you bought and thought
"Whoa ,that's what I want to
The first record I ever bought
was "Meet the Beatles".
After listening to that album I
wanted to play everythinging I
wanted to play drums like Ringo,
and guitar like George! It had a
very big impact on me.
I don't really remember the first
one I ever bought, but I do
remember in the early 80's when
the Stray Cats came out, I was
about 14, I heard one of their
songs on the radio and it
reminded me of the music I had
discovered years earlier on those
old records.So, I immediately
went out and bought their album
and of course that led to digging
deeper into the vaults of long
forgotten rockabilly artists.
George Harrison was
heavily influenced by rockabilly
guitar pickers and they used to
cover tunes like Honey Dont,
Everybodys trying to be my
baby or Words of Love
the Beatles connection helped you
to get into rockabilly?
Yes, they got me interested in
digging deeper and finding out
who originally did the songs.
Gallup, George Harrison, Brian
Gretsch Menand I
believe you are one too. You even
wrote a song about it
Yes, I love Gretsch guitars and
those guys are the reason why I
seen pics of you with a Duo Jet,
a Gretsch Cochran/Chet
Atkins model and you also
have that double-neck Jaguar. Are
you a guitar collector?
I do collect them, but unlike
some collectors, I actually play
all of them!
you have a favorite model ?
My favorite would have to be any
6120 up to 1959
What are your influences
as a singer?
As a singer, l've always based my
style on some of the more obscure
Sun artists with the real hiccupy-hillbilly
wildness, although l'd have to
say without a doubt. Gene Vincent
was the BEST singer EVER!!!
Talking about Gene
Vincent, do you know some of the
European bands of the early 80s
like the Blue Cats, Dave Phillips
or The Sprites?
Yes, I am aware of them and have
their records and would love to
have a chance to play guitar with
the Blue Cats, I really dig those
Any musicians that
As a musician my main influences
are Paul Burlison, of the
Rock'n'Roll Trio and Cliff Gallup
of the Blue Caps. Brian Setzer
also had a very big impact on me
when I was first learning how to
play in a rockabilly band.
Paul Burlison was still
very active until his death. Did
you have the chance to meet him
and even play with him?
Yeah, I did get the chance to
meet Paul Burlison and got to
watch him play, he also gave me
one of his guitar picks!
And Brian Setzer?
I have known Brian Setzer for
many years now and and have
shared the stage with him as well.
are your favorite bands?
My favorite bands are (among many
others), Gene Vincent and the
Blue Caps, Johnny Burnette and
the Rock and Roll Trio, Eddie
Cochran, Glen Glenn, The Stray
Cats etc. the list would fill
your entire magazine!
Suzy, is there any bass
player whos a model for
I can't say there is really one
model bass player for me, but
through the years, even before I
knew it, people like Bill Black,
James Kirkland (bass player for
Ricky Nelson), Ray Campi and of
course Lee Rocker influenced me
because I absolutely drowned
myself in that music. Years later
when I started playing myself I
think some of their styles
emerged in my playing. I do have
to give credit to Lee Rocker for
bringing the upright bass, as big
and clumsy as it is, back in
us about your different bands and
the musicians who play with you...
As for the Hot Rod Trio, Pete our
drummer answered an ad for stand-up
drummer 18 years ago, we chose
him and we've been friends and
bandmates ever since. My then
girlfriend, now wife, Suzy picked
up the stand-up bass almost
instantaneously, out of necessity
when our bass player quit and we
were in dire need of a bass
player for a new years eve party,
and the rest is history.
I had to learn pretty quick
because the band ("The
Rockits") had a show booked
and no bass player.Also at that
time (1990) not too many people
were playing upright bass.
Fortunately I new the music
really well and had attended
almost every one of their shows,
so I kind of knew what to do and
with some help from Buddy I was
able to pull it off in about a
month. The only thing I played
before was guitar for about a
year when I was ten, but I really
didn't remember much from that
As for my combo, it
also included Pete on sit-down
drums, Bobby Cavener on bass,
which also plays for his wife's
band, Amber Foxx, and Mike Homer
on acoustic rhythm guitar. This
band is very traditional 50's
rockabilly in comparison to the
Hot Rod Trio.
Please dont take me
for a horrible macho man
but rockabilly slap bass is kinda
How do you
That's really what I love about
it as opposed to playing electric
bass, it really gives you the
opportunity to really dig in and
feel the rock'n'roll beat! In the
beginning though it does require
building up the stamina to keep
going even when your arm gets
tired, but if the audience is
diggin' it and their really into
it you kind of get energy from
that and you tend to forget about
Wendy LeBeau (Flea Bops)
told me that Stan Kessler tried
to discourage her to play upright
bass and told her she should
stick to the e-bass
I think anyone, male or female,
as with most things can learn do
just about anything if they
really want to as long as they
stick with it. If anyone told me
that it would give me even more
reason to do it!
Thats what she
actually did. Do you also play
electric bass too?
I learned to play electric bass a
few years ago for a side project
we did called the "Mag-neato's",
a surf instrumental band. I also
played on Buddy's solo surf cd
called "Buddy Dughi plays
Hot Rod Surf". I really like
playing upright bass alot better,
but electric bass definitely has
it's place music.
Lets get a bit
technical here, especially for
all the young ladies whod
like to play the slap bass. Do
you do something to protect your
fingers ? Do you have advices?
Most of the time when playing
with the Be-Bop Boys I don't use
any protection on my fingers
because the blond Engelhardt bass
I use in that band is very easy
to play as far as the way it is
set up. The black flamed
Engelhardt I use in the Hot Rod
Trio seems to have a bit more
tension on the strings which
makes it not so kind to your
fingers so I usually use white,
cloth, athletic tape because it
is flexible, it doesn't slip off
the strings and it stays put. Of
course using gut strings as
opposed to steel is also a lot
easier on your hands and sounds a
hell of a lot better too!
about your albums?
I have several albums out,
although my first recording
experience was a 45 on pink vinyl
which I recorded with the Rockits
(which was the Hot Rod Trio prior
to Suzy's joining the band). I
now have two studio albums out
with The Hot Rod Trio, one live
Hot Rod Trio album, a solo surf
album, and a soon to be released
on Golly Gee Records solo
rockabilly project called Buddy
Dughi-Rev it Up!
at the cover of the Rockits EP,
it seems to be very Stray Cats
influenced. Did you release
anything else beside this ep
under the name of the Rockits?
Yes, at that point the Stray Cats
were a very big influence on my
music and that was the only
release by the "Rockits".
you record live in studio?
I am a firm believer in recording
live whenever possible and my
latest project was recorded live
to tape with tape echo, just like
they would have done back at Sun
is the most memorable gig you
played and or went to?
One of my most memorable gigs
l've played was when we played at
a car show and Brian Setzer came
down and sat in with us, that was
As far as the most mémorable
show l've been to, it would
probably hâve to be going to see
Cari Perkins and meeting him
after the show and getting a
picture with him by the first hot
rod I ever built!
can you tell us about the
forthcoming album by Suzy Q.
& her Be Bop Boys?
Suzy - We have most of the songs
ready, just a few more to work
out and we hope to record in
you write songs for this album?
Of the ten songs we plan to
record I wrote eight, Buddy wrote
one for me and we will do one
originally done by Bob and
How about your future
I plan to play rockabilly forever!
l'd like to possibly do some
touring, I'd love to come to
Europe to play, and l'd like to
start recording some vinyl 45's.
do you think about the rockabilly
scene today in Europe and the US?
It seems to me like some of the
younger people in the US
rockabilly scene don't really
know what rockabilly is, it's
getting too mixed up with
psychobilly and punk and that
stuff is getting mislabeled as
rockabilly. the Europeans
however, seem to have a better
understanding and appreciation
for the true meaning and history
behind the music and ail that
goes along with it.
Some of your songs,
especially on Hot Rod Trio Live
have a psychobilly edge. What do
you think about this kind of
music. Do you think it could
bring younger kids to real
It's probably the only way to
bring kids to rockabilly. I
recently played a concert with 14
Psychobilly bands, all young
kids, and they loved the straight-up
rockabilly we played, but kept
their interest with songs like
"Demons got a Motorcycle",
etc...and besides, it's fun to
let loose and go crazy now and
It sounds like the Hot
Rod Trio is your wild/neo
rockabilly side and Suzy Q. is
more your Vincent/Gallup side
Yes, it's very confusing for
people and hard to have a "defined"
sound, image and style when you
switch back and forth between
styles during a show. I also have
a very traditional band called
"The Buddy Dughi Combo"
which is based on the sound of
the more obscure Sun artists. I
am planning on releasing only
vinyl 45's with this band.
If I could never listen to anyone
else again, l'd die happy just
Iistening to Gene Vincent and His
about you Suzy?
- That's really hard to say
because I love so many different
artists and styles (of rockabilly).
The same answer would probably go
for me too, but really anything
on the Sun label or Ricky Nelson
would be just fine too! As a last
word I would just like to thank
anyone playing, listening to, or
supporting rockabilly music in
any way, shape or form simply for
keeping this great form of "truly
American music" alive for
generations to come!