Eliason ("Jimmy Screech") is our versatile rhythm guitarist. On
occasion, he may even be persuaded into playing bass on a song or two.
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.
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,
amps. He used to drive our sound man crazy by bringing a
different amp to every gig, but has finally settled on his beautiful,
Custom Classic. The tone of
that amp is amazing!
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.
A series of major events happened around the time Jim
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,
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.
passed and Jim began a ten-year study of guitar under the tutelage
of world-renowned guitar instructor,
eventually graduated from USU with a degree in guitar performance.
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:
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.
Jim’s main two guitar influences are Carl Hart and
Christiansen. He says, "I have learned so much from these
guitarists." Some of his world-renowned guitarist influences are
Stevie Ray Vaughn,
(Listen to “Drifting” on YouTube;
it is amazing!), and
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.
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.