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Mark Van Allen

Last Call (Guitar, pedal steel, vocals) 1976-77 c.

Last Call (Mark Van Allen & Don Ladner) Lowell Street Fair 1976-77 c.

Last Call (Mark Van Allen & Don Ladner) Locust Street Fair 1976-77 c.

Great to stumble over this site! I have very fond memories of Pro Co, Sunrise Guitars and Uncle Dirty’s – Tish helped me get equipped for my first gigs with my first band “Last Call” with Nancy Rogers on drums, back around 1976-77. We cut a band demo with Bryce and I just started hanging around the studio bugging him with questions and helping when he’d let me… indeed a cantankerous cat but also very helpful and full of great stories. That’s where I got my start in recording. The Sunrise guitars and Sunrise pickup were helmed by Pat Murphy and Tim Shaw who later went on to join the custom guitar sections at Gibson and Fender. Their solid bodies were very evocative of the much later Paul Reed Smith designs, and fantastic guitars. The Sunrise pickup was a favorite of touring pros like Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, and are still being made by another company. Those were indeed great times, I count myself very fortunate to have started in music in such a fertile climate. Thanks so much for the help, Tish, wherever you are!


As far as Bryce Roberson, I met him through Nancy Rogers as she had done some session work at Uncle Dirty’s and booked us a session for a band demo to help with booking. Bryce did a good job. One of the songs we did was a steel instrumental cover of ‘Wichita Lineman” and Bryce asked me if I could play the same thing again… I said “I guess so” and do my best to play the same melody line. My first experience with doubling, and that and other things piqued my interest enough for me to go back and hang around asking questions and trying to soak up some knowledge. If I would be sitting there long enough Bryce would say “why don’t you do something instead of just hanging around!” So I’d sweep up or make coffee or roll cables, and gradually he’d have me moving mics around and so on, on a good day I could get him to explain how a limiter worked, or why he picked the frequencies he did to EQ. I’ve been involved in recording in some way ever since.



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