A member of The Concussions, The B-Sides and Zebra 3, Stanton is a West Michigan mainstay with a love for The Beatles and bands who produce short pop classics.
EDITOR’S NOTE: All musicians can trace their inspiration to key recordings that influenced their careers. Writer Ross Boissoneau today showcases recordings that changed the world for West Michigan guitarist Dave Stanton, a member of three area bands. Scroll down for a Spotify playlist of his picks.
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Dave Stanton has an appreciation for the classic pop-rock single. An appreciation he’s honed since the 1950s.
“My thing has always been writing power pop or rock three-minute songs,” he says. “I’m not interested in long jams. I grew up in the era of the three-minute song. The songs I write sound like they could be old, like they were written a long time ago.”
Today at 72, Stanton is still writing and playing single-length tunes. Currently he’s a member of three West Michigan bands: The Concussions, The B-Sides and Zebra 3. While they all mine some of the same territory, Stanton describes The Concussions as an instrumental surf-rock band influenced by the likes of the Ventures, Dick Dale and Link Wray.
The B-Sides are a power pop vocal band with some of the same members. Zebra 3 is a quartet (go figure) playing upbeat, melodic rock. All three primarily play originals.
Trying to get him to select three inspirational recordings led to a lengthy discussion of various influential bands: The Ventures, Buffalo Springfield, The Guess Who, and especially, The Beatles.
“’Meet The Beatles!’ (1964) was the big boom, probably the biggest (album) of my life. Everybody went out and bought a guitar. I was in bands before the Beatles were on ‘Ed Sullivan.’ But I would focus on something slightly less well known, others that made me want to be in a band.”
1. The Ventures, “Knock Me Out!” (1965) – To me, it’s the best Ventures album ever made. You have a choice of a lot of (great) songs. The Ventures were a big influence. They really got me into electric guitar.
Listen: “I Feel Fine”
2. The Byrds, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” (1965) – A really, really big band for me was The Byrds. When The Byrds came out on the heels of The Beatles, they became known as the American Beatles. They had their own sound and harmonies and the sound of the 12-string. I love their first album, but the second is the one I went out and bought.
Listen: “Turn! Turn! Turn!”
3. The Hollies, “Hear! Here!” (1965) – They were also British. They were there early on. Graham Gouldman (later to find fame as part of 10CC) wrote a lot of songs. One was “Look Through Any Window.” That was the single, but every song is iconic to me. One song, “So Lonely,” is a fantastic song. The Everly Brothers covered it. Another is “I’m Alive.”
Listen: “Look Through Any Window”
Currently loving: Plenty of Contemporary Music – I listen to a lot of contemporary music, I buy new albums, but there’s not the same amount of enthusiasm. Insistent melodies, that’s what I strive for. I’m a guitar player and the sound of guitar is MIA in modern music.
ALBUMS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: Dave Stanton’s Playlist on Spotify
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