Jim Eliason 

Jim Eliason ("Jimmy Screech") is our versatile rhythm guitarist. On occasion, he may even be persuaded into playing bass on a song or two.

Jim owns over twenty guitars (he lost count at around guitar number eighteen.)  He enjoys upgrading and modding his guitars as well as building some of his own speaker cabinets and working on his own amps.  Jim enjoys bringing a different guitar to every gig and experimenting with his tone.  One of his favorite guitars is a 1990 Fender American Standard Telecaster loaded with Lindy Fralin vintage pickups.  He calls this his “eggnog guitar” because Fender’s vintage white is actually a yellow eggnog color.  Not only does the guitar have a sweet singing voice, but also it smells fantastic.  No kidding.  Another one of his favorite guitars is a 1973 Guild S-100.  The Guild humbucker pickups have an amazing open, harmonically rich sound. What a fun guitar to play!  Jim owns several amps, including vintage Crate Vintage Club 30, Silvertone Twin Twelve, and Sovtek Mig amps.  He used to drive our sound man crazy by bringing a different amp to every gig, but has finally settled on his beautiful, new, reissue Vox AC30 Custom Classic. The tone of that amp is amazing!

At a very young age, Jim remembers listening to his older brother’s "45" records (that's 45rpm, not 45 caliber or 45 SPF, in case you're too young to remember...)  He was around 5 or 6 at the time, hearing Alice Cooper, The Beatles (when they were still together), and Sonny and Cher.  Over the years, he discovered that he liked all types of music.  His older brother and sister would tease him that he liked the "old people music" that their parents would listen  to, like Jazz, Folk, and Classical.

 
Jim
 

A series of major events happened around the time Jim entered 7th grade.  His brother, Dave, began bringing home these really cool "8-track" tapes that contained music that was so much more exciting than the disco that was being played on the radio.  Bands like Styx, Foghat, Queen, The Doobie Brothers, Jethro Tull, and Kiss are what suddenly caught his interest.  The next thing that happened was that his Mother asked him if he wanted to learn a musical instrument.  He had taken a general music class at Logan Junior High, where the class learned to play the guitar.  Jim began taking guitar lessons that same year.  The final event that happened was that Jim’s good friend Kent Johnson introduced him to his future band mate and long time friend, Carl Hart.  Jim and Carl hit it off right away with similar musical interests, as well both of them being guitar players.  They would often get together and visit music stores and annoy the storeowners, as they would try to play all the decent guitars in the stores.

Time passed and Jim began a ten-year study of guitar under the tutelage of world-renowned guitar instructor, Mike Christiansen.  Jim eventually graduated from USU with a degree in guitar performance.

Jim played guitar in Logan High School's Jazz Band in his senior year.  He joined his first band, Vengeance, that same year.  Along with his friend, Derek Hale, and various other musicians along the way, they continued to play for 10 years and beyond at many high school, college, and community functions.  Over the years, the band changed its name to No Vacancy and, later, Opie’s Fetish.  Here's a photo of Jim (he's the one in red) playing with No Vacancy, circa 1984:

 
No Vacancy
 

Jim has played in bands so numerous, he can’t even remember some of their names. He has played in Country, Rock, and Reggae bands.  He has also played in electric and acoustic guitar ensembles.  Jim also plays solo gigs with just him and his acoustic guitar. 


No Vacancy
 

Jim’s main two guitar influences are Carl Hart and Mike Christiansen.  He says, "I have learned so much from these guitarists."  Some of his world-renowned guitarist influences are Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, BB King, Django Reinhardt, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Andres Segovia, Wes Montgomery, Andy Summers, Elliot Easton, Andy Mckee (Listen to “Drifting” on YouTube; it is amazing!), and Michael Hedges.

Jim was invited to join the Fender Benders in February 2008, when long-time band member, Scott Olsen, had a job change that made it difficult for him to make it to every band gig.  Jim is excited to be playing in a working band again with some very talented musicians.  He's also happy to renew his friendship with his old Junior High locker buddy, Carl.

When Jim isn’t playing with The Fender Benders, he is teaching guitar lessons in his studio and raising his family.  On occasion, he still plays a solo concert or a wedding.