Eclectric Guitar - Paul Johnson
WITH THE ´80s came the "second wave" of interest in surf-style instrumental music, a.k.a the instro-surf revival. It was an exciting time full of experimentation with new ideas for the music, tailored to a new generation. I spent the early and latter parts of this decade playing and recording with two different incarnations of my band, the Packards. But during the in-between time (´84-´85), I became fully absorbed in a very different and creatively rewarding project, in which I focused exclusively on recording in a solo-multitrack format.

Working in my home studio, I played all the parts on these tracks (including the Lynn drum machine). I opted to release these recordings as simple cassette albums (on my own HEPCAT label) and publicize them in the underground media within the rock-instrumental subculture that was now growing
worldwide; I sent out newsletters and marketed the tapes by mail order (an internet-style approach before there was an internet!)

Now all 42 of these tracks (including several that were not released on the earlier albums) have been
remastered and made available at last as a 2-album set. (This album,
Eclectric Guitar, has the later tracks, and Escape To Reality, the companion album in this set, has the earlier ones.)

We hope you enjoy listening to this little slice of instro history as much as I did creating it! For me, it brings back great memories of a very prolific (and very fun!) phase of my career that resulted in some of my personal all-time favorite recordings of so many of my favorite tunes, including many originals and others from widely varied sources.     — PJ

Note: as part of the "PJ´s Archive" series, this album is reproduced as a CDR and packaged in the simpler "thin line" jewel case format; accordingly, it is offered at a slightly reduced price. (A bargain, as it also offers 21 TRACKS—several more than you´ll find on most full-price CDS...)

Note also: both of the albums in this set feature original cover art by Rick Griffin.


'80s reviews of the original releases
"Guitar wizard with the nimble fingers is back with a tape that just oozes style and magnetic presence. Full of six-string goodies with clarity and professionalism… leaves a lasting impression of utter dedication to his instrument… if you love guitar music you owe it to yourself to hear this spectacular tape."
— Trev Faull—Outlet mag (U.K.)

"…a multiplicity of hip guitar textures and fills… Johnson’s forte is melody, which shows up in abundance… an example of instrumental rock’s enduring vital signs."
—Guitar Player mag

"This in my opinion is (Paul’s) best release to date, and beautifully highlights his ability and agility on the guitar. Nearly every track is worthy of mention, especially 'Susie Darlin’,' 'I Wonder Why' and 'The Lonely One.' However, the standout has to be 'Penetration,' which is an absolute stormer with some of Paul’s strongest hard-edged playing to date. I can’t wait for his next release but in the meantime do not miss this one!"
—Dave Holme—Rumble mag (U.K.)

"Our old favorite Paul Johnson is back… not a single weak track here, a bit more aggressive playing and a beautiful blend…"
—Goran Tannfelt—Surfers Rule mag (Sweden)

“...lyric-less but lyrical...a passionate showcase of densely layered guitars. Johnson’s praises as a superior melodicist have been sung here and elsewhere, but often the fact that he can hold his own with most guitar heroes is overlooked... such immediacy that one forgets that this cassette is a one-man studio band.”
— Dan Forte—Guitar Player mag

The Lonely One
I Wonder Why
Susie Darlin´
It Was I
California Dreamin´
Tequila Rag
Glenda and the Test-Tube Baby
Glory to God in the Highest
Talcahuana Girls
To Know Him is to Love Him
Rococo Rock
Streets of Gold
Life is Like a Mountain Railway
Old Camp Meeting Days
Unto Thee, O Lord
He is Lord
Sing Unto the Lord a New Song