Weekend at Bernie’s – Episode #3!
For those of you who know the band Gillan, you most likely have heard this tune and with it, its intro. Just classic.
“No Easy Way” found on the Glory Road album.
If you know the album, the song, you know the intro to this tune, which was all Bernie. In live shows they would often skip over the intro. In the end, as cool as it was it was a creature of the studio.
As much as I loved it, that intro does almost mislead the listener. Perhaps, that is too strong, but like much of Gillan, it is a keyboard driven tune. You can very much hear the piano throughout the version found Glory Road. You can hear it on the live Angel Air disc No Easy Way – Live Hammersmith 1980 album. In fact on the Live at the Rainbow – 1981, the intro is done by Colin Towns – the keyboardist.
Bernie would routinely play this tune live once he went solo, and then it was much more guitar focused, but still no Glory Road like intro. A perusal of YouTube offers the below from his Reading performance in 1982, which sounds like he in fact has someone doing keyboards, or at least piano, but now it is the keyboardist fighting to do the fill.
With the Gillan versions, the piano is there through the verses and then Colin and Bernie just go back and forth – guitar vs synthesizer near the end, all at a pretty damn good pace. It fades to such on the album and live they would truly have some fun. That was the wonder of Gillan. It was in many ways more potent than Purple. It was a keyboard driven punk band, with a guitarist inspired by Hendrix. Plus a dash of English wit.
Anyway, the intro found on Glory Road is just pure guitar. It is pure Bernie, starting so quietly, soaring to the heights, and ending with the fade of pure fuzz, whammy bar and distortion.
For those who play and likewise those like myself who simply love that intro, we offer you this tidbit. Another quick lesson and commentary from the man himself. Again, courtesy of Kyoko Cooley:
Weekend with Bernie (on FB) #90 How I played the guitar intro to ‘No Easy Way’ from Glory Road (From Youtube Boleslaw The Brave Channel) 🎸🎸🇮🇪🤠🎸🎸 Have a wonderfulweekend everyone!!
Yes I know it is now Sunday afternoon in NY, and Sunday evening in the UK. Just moving slowly over here.
Again thank you Kyoko Cooley!