The Gordon Gaines
Tribute Page 

Every Monday night in NYC you could go to The Bitter End, or Terra Blues in Greenwich Village, and hear Gordon Gaines, a true master of the guitar.

Gordon spilled his soul out into every note he played.

Everyone who met him was touched by the soulful way he played,
and his fun, easy going nature.

Gordon left this world on May 2, 1997 to jam with Zappa & Hendrix in heaven.
Rumor has it Stevie Ray is there also.

He is terribly missed by everyone who knew him.

I met Gordon Gaines in 1983.

My roommate Tom Walker was a childhood friend of his, and I met Gordon when he came to visit our apartment.

I had heard about his great guitar playing ability years before, as his reputation had preceded him.

I listened to a studio tape he brought over and I immediately thought his guitar playing was brilliant.   We began a casual friendship that lasted until his, far too early, departure from this planet.

At the time I was the sound engineer for a jazz ensemble group called the Spirit of Life.
One day Gordon showed up at a rehearsal for the band.

I got to work with him at a few of the Spirit of Life gigs which was a great privilege.

That led him to ask me to engineer sound for him for a few dates for a great band he was in called "NITELIFE".

Over the years I got to work with him now and again. It was always fun.

I also went to many of his Bitter End and Terra Blues gigs in NYC.

I didn't get to see him often enough, now I wish I had made more of an effort to.

The day of the picture below, we literally bumped into one another in Greenwich Village and shared a pizza.

He had a wicked sense of humor and we used to laugh our butts off whenever we got together.

I remember times that I would see him on the street and he would ask me if I was coming to the Monday night show. 

I told him I couldn't go to the show because I was too poor at the time. 
He would tell me to just show up, and that he would take care of me. 

When I showed up he would plop me down in front of the stage and tell the waitress to keep bringing me beers until I fell over!

I was always grateful of him doing that so that I had the the privilege of seeing him play.

He was always very cool with me, and he was always appreciative of how I loved his music.

Words can't explain how much I miss his presence in this world.

One thing that has struck me in the many letters I have received, is how so many peoples experiences mirror my own.

Everyone seemed to marvel at Gordon's effortless, frightening guitar playing, and all seem to be in awe of his talent.   Gordon himself was always modest about his playing saying things like "I'd sound better if I could stay in tune!"

He was always in tune to my ears.

Gordon truly "played" the guitar meaning that he was playing with the instrument, always having fun with it.  The guitar was just a tool of his personality and his wicked sharp wit.  He dominated the guitar with an effortless ease.

Something I noticed about his playing, and his guitar solos, was the intense thread of concentration he had through them.   When you first heard him solo sometimes it would seem like he was just brilliantly flailing away in a psychotic mode.

But soon you realized there was much more to his playing than just techno guitar speed.

I compare him to Frank Zappa, one of Gordon's many musical influences.
Gordon was one of the first people I knew who really "got" what Zappa was all about.

Frank Zappa, who was a far more brilliant guitar player than he was ever given credit for,  would play these long meandering solos that would seem to go on forever.
It seemed like Zappa was just lost in the sound of his own playing, and that it was just a sonic exercise in his own technical ability.

But Zappa's guitar playing was much more than that.  If you truly listened you'll find that Frank always knew exactly where he was going in his solos.  He always knew how to take it as far out as he could, yet he always managed to sum it all up and bring the listener back home.

Gordon also soloed like that. He wasn't just aimlessly flailing away with meaningless guitar pyrotechnics.  He always knew where he was going when he played.

His guitar solos told a story, they spoke to you.  They seductively drew you in to follow them along from a structured beginning, through intense guitar aural aerobics, back to a theme which drew you home.  Not many people can play like that.

Gordon always knew where he was when he was playing, where he was going, and how to effortlessly to get back home to the root of the song. 

That thread of musical concentration was just a part of his brilliance.

It's also worth mentioning that Gordon played many other instruments including bass & keyboards.  He was also an excellent songwriter, producer, and a great singer as well.



Jeff Kelly, Joe Jones, Melony Tulchin, & Gordon Gaines


One thing that I noticed in the many letters I've received about Gordon is how much people are still deeply affected by his loss which is now has been 10 years later.

His friends tell me that it is still very hard to accept that he is really gone.

I get a lot of letters saying they wish they had gone to see him play more often, as I wish I had done also.

One thing I have to mention is that Gordon had a wickedly sarcastic sense of humor.   Anyone who ever spent time with him would know that.

I suspect if he saw all of us moping around that he'd be the first to tell us to get over it.

No one ever expected him to leave so soon, that's why I guess it's so hard for us to get over his passing.



I don't know where this page is going, but I want to make it better with pictures, 
a full biography, and a true tribute.  I need help from those of YOU who knew him to make that happen.

It's amazing, yet sad to me, that this is one of the only mentions of Gordon Gaines seemingly anywhere on the web.

With your contributions, I'm going to try and make this a proper tribute to him.

Thank You so very much to all of you who have contacted me and who have shared his music, pictures, and stories.
Your open hearts and generosity are greatly appreciatted.

Thanks, BobbyShred

Gordon Gaines Music

I have a few CD's of Gordon Gaines for trade.
One is a fantastic live performances at the Bitter End.
The other is a collection of various studio tracks.
Please contact me if you would like to trade for some of his music.

"Sandra Maria"

I have made an Mp3 of a song Gordon often played live.

It is the opening theme music of this page.

It is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I have ever heard.

The expression and emotion of his guitar playing are truly evident in this song.

Gordon's Brother Philip Gaines has informed me that the name of this song is 
"Sandra Maria"
It was written for Gordon's wife Alessandra.

Please only download it once since my server is small.

Click Here to hear an Mp3 clip of
"Sandra Maria" 

Click Here to see a video of Gordon playing this song live.

I have a full CD of Gordon Gaines studio tracks please let me know if you would like to trade for it.

I am desperately looking for any performances by Gordon Gaines on CD, tape, or videotape.

I had an unfortunate fire a few years ago and lost many of the tapes that I had of him.

I would really like to find a tape of him performing with "Nitelife",  or for that matter any other tape you may have of him.

If you have any tapes, or know where I can find them please let me know and we can trade.

I am also interested in any photos you may have of him so that I may post them on this site.  If you want to share them, and not have them posted I will respect those wishes.
Please contact me if you would like to trade for some of his music.

I made a CD of a tape I recorded of Gordon at the Bitter End in 1990.
Gordon played a blistering version of Frank Zappa's "Magic Fingers"

Click Here Click Here to download the entire the CD in Mp3 format.
File size 40Mb
Front Cover
Back Cover
Please contact me if you would like to trade for the full fidelity copy of this CD
or any of his other music.

New Video!!! - Gordon Gaines DVD!

NITELIFE Live at SNAFU - 4 Shows! / "Where's Gordon?" - DVD

NITELIFE bassist Tim Norris, and drummer Jeff Kelly have as kindly sent me videos of 4 separate shows that Gordon Gaines and the NITELIFE band performed live at SNAFU in NYC in 1983.

I have mastered all four shows to a DVD with complete menus along with two of Gordon Gaines music videos.

Gordon's performances are fantastic, as well as is singer Joe Jones who was the late, great, singer for NITELIFE
Joe Jones was an amazing singer, songwriter, and performer who passed away not long after Gordon did.

The DVD is not a solo performance by Gordon, but a great band performance nonetheless.
Tim Norris and Jeff Kelly provide a strong backbeat and excellent background vocals in these great shows.

Tim Norris comments: "Please note the guitar Gordon playing was his baby . . . a Gibson SG, not sure of the model or year.  He loved that guitar and he made it love him."

I have mastered these videos to DVD along with the "Where's Gordon"  two song video.  This DVD is available for trade.


Some of you have asked me to post some video clips of Gordon.
These clips are in the Windows .wmv video format.
These are clips from the NITELIFE DVD.
They show off just a hint of Gordon's true talent.
Joe Jones, Tim Norris, and Jeff Kelly ain't bad either!

Click Here to see NITELIFE perform
"Motown (always on the run)"
live at Snafu in NYC.

Please give the video a
minute or two to load.

Click Here to see NITELIFE perform
"I Don't Wanna Hear It Anymore"
live at Snafu in NYC.

Please give the video a
minute or two to load.

Click Here to see NITELIFE perform
"Social Outcast"
live at Snafu in NYC.

Please give the video a
minute or two to load.

Click Here to see NITELIFE perform
"Trouble In Her Eyes"
live at Snafu in NYC.

Please give the video a
minute or two to load.

Click Here to see NITELIFE perform
"Secret Love"

I have NO idea what Joe Jones was wearing at this performance!
It was the 80's after all:)

I do know the boy could
sing his ass off.

The video clips are in the Windows .wmv format and are about 6 Mb each.
They should load in about a minute with a cable modem.
They have been compressed for faster downloading times.

If the .wmv clips will not play, try right clicking on them to "Save Target As" to download them to your hard drive.
If you want to play them over and over, please download them so you don't have to wait for them to load everytime.

Here is the studio version of the NITELIFE song "Trouble In Her Eyes"

Click Here to hear an Mp3 clip of
"Trouble In Her Eyes" by NITELIFE.

I'm still looking for any other live performance videos, and audio tapes by Gordon Gaines.

If any once has these please, please let me know so we can all share this man's great talent.  If anyone has private tapes that they do not wish for me to make available to others, please contact me and I will respect those wishes.

Sandra Maria Video

Here is a video clip of Gordon Gaines playing the song "Sandra Maria" live at the Bitter End in 1991. 

Gordon was playing at the Yamaha guitar seminar with the great drummer Van Romaine

If you want to see the ultimate Gordon Gaines guitar solo, and understand why we were all amazed by him, THIS is the clip to watch!

Gordon's guitar playing is nothing less than FRIGHTENING on this clip!!!
Unfortunately the sound is a bit distorted, but it is still very worthwhile watching.

I was told that this clip was from the China Club but I believe it was from the Bitter End, a club that Gordon managed for years.

If you have a cable connection it should take you less than 5 minutes to download it.  Once you download it you'll have the file and can watch it as many times as you like.  Please only download it once.

Please CLICK HERE to see
Gordon Gaines playing Sandra Maria live.

This video clip is also now being featured on YouTube.
Gordon Gaines Sandra Maria '91

Gordon Gaines 
Woodstock 94
I have a video of Gordon Gaines doing one song at Woodstock 94 with his brother Reg E. Gaines.
It is Jimi Hendrix's "Villanova Junction" which Hendrix performed at the original Woodstock.

This video was taken by a jumpy hand held camera from the side of the stage. 
You really can't hear the vocals but you can hear Gordon doing some nice guitar solos.

Please CLICK HERE to see
Gordon Gaines Live at Woodstock 94!

Gordon Gaines
"Evelyn" video

Here is a video Gordon did in the 80's of a song he wrote called "Evelyn"

Although this video is a bit cheesy because it was the 80's I still think the song was amazing.

I think that it was so good that I truly believed that it should have been a hit on the radio.

Click Here to see Gordon Gaines
in the "Evelyn" video.

If anyone has a video of The Gordon Gaines Trio performing at the Bitter End, Terra Blues, or NITELIFE live, or any other performances of his PLEASE contact me so that we could trade.

NITELIFE Live at SNAFU, NYC 11/11/83

Gordon Gaines

NITELIFE Live at SNAFU, NYC 11/11/83
right to left - Gordon Gaines, Joe Jones, Jeff Kelly, & Tim Norris

Here's a comment someone made about one of his shows.
This is the real Gordon Gaines we all knew.
"Gordon stopped between songs at one point . . .

His back to the audience . . .

He bent to fiddle with the knobs on his little amp . . .

One of the six people in the bar sarcastically said . . . "Turn it Up!"

Without missing a beat . . . or looking up . . .

Gordon replied : "Don't Fuck With Me!". . . turned . . . rose . . . and launched into his next aural assault in one swift motion!!!"


Here are some pictures taken from the 2 song "Where's Gordon" video made in the 80's.

Click Here for more Gordon Gaines Pictures

I know many of you in the New York area knew of Gordon Gaines
and have seen him play.
Please contact me at so we can swap stories & music.

If anyone has any tapes or CD's of Gordon please contact me and we can trade.
I would love to have more of his music.

I can make CD's or DVD's from tapes if needed.

Gordon's Black Strat


Site Links:
Click Here for more Gordon Gaines Pictures

I have added my home page guest book here if anyone
wants to leave public comments about Gordon.

Sign My Guestbook      View My Guestbook

Other Links:

Rebuild The Twin Towers
of the World Trade Center!

We want the Twin Towers rebuilt!

New York Governor Pataki's plan of building the new Freedom Tower on the site of the 
World Trade Center has been scrapped because the NYC Police Dept. has said it is UNSAFE.!

I believe we MUST rebuild the towers to show the world that we have won.

CLICK HERE to learn more about this proposal, 
and to sign the petition.

Rebuild The Twin Towers!

Oppose The International Freedom Center at
The World Trade Center

Michael Hillís Blues Mob
A Great Bluesman and friend of Gordon's

My Personal Links:

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