Photos and words by Leslie Kalohi
“Where are all the girls at?” joked Del Casher early in the evening. “This is the Guitar Geek Festival,” deadpanned Deke Dickerson. “There aren’t any girls here.”
This wasn’t entirely true. Heck, I was there! The crowd that gathered inside the Anaheim Plaza Hotel encompassed music fans of all ages and genders, present for the love of musical pioneers as well as their modern-day counterparts. There was an undeniable feeling of community and family among everyone in attendance.
The first night of Deke Dickerson’s 10th Annual Guitar Geek Festival covered all bases of musical genres to please fans and aficionados, both young and old. From country to soul to blues to rockabilly to surf, each act throughout Friday showcased intricate playing and craftsmanship, as well as a personal take on said genres. Sadly, this weekend marks the last Guitar Geek Festival in its current form, held every year at the same time as the much bigger NAMM convention.
Choosing childhood heroes, friends, and artists he simply admired, Dickerson’s passion for the guitar and its wide range of potential could easily be seen as he introduced each artist. Often playing alongside each billed musician, Dickerson kept his festival fun and light. Making a rare trek out to close out the festival was one of my all-time favorite bands in college, Man or Astro-man? Creating fast and furious waves of fuzz and reverb, the Atlanta-based group attacked with their trademark “space-age surf rock” sound, all while running about in orange jumpsuits.
Deke Dickerson, Paul Pigat, Jimmy Vivino:
Joel Paterson, Del Casher, Dave Gleason:
Barbara Lynn, Man or Astro-man?