André Cholmondeley knows guitars and he knows the road, and he’s applied that knowledge and tour management to the benefit of a throng of guitar greats over the years, including Al Di Meola, Derek Trucks, Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Belew (Frank Zappa, King Crimson, others).
Recently Cholmondeley (pronounced “CHUM-lee”) has employed the L1 Model II portable loudspeaker system with B2 bass module from Bose Professional with great success for both Belew and Lake.
“I love all kinds of music, but in my tour work I really do skew towards prog-rock, as you can see,” says Cholmondeley, referring to his resume filled with bands that defined the progressive-rock genre of the 1970s and ‘80s. “I really love listening to the progressive players and bands, and I’ve been lucky to get to work with several of them.”
He recalls that his stepfather had a pair of large Bose stereo loudspeakers in the house when he was growing up, through which he first encountered many of the guitar greats that he would one day come to work with. So it wasn’t surprising that when he was to go on the road with both Lake and Belew on separate tours in recent years, Cholmondeley recommended that they take the Bose L1 on the road with them, on tours that spanned North America, Japan, Europe and the U.K.
“First, the system sounds great,” he says. “Everyone agrees on that point. Greg is a master producer and he knows what guitars are supposed to sound like. When he plugs his Gibson J-200 acoustic into the L1 system, what he gets is amazing. PA systems can often pull the mids and the lows out of acoustics, but the L1 system gives you a full spectrum of what an acoustic guitar has. Greg loves the sense of ‘depth’ that the L1 system adds to his stage sound.”
He continues, “For Adrian Belew’s electric guitars, the L1 system gives him that absolute silence he needs, and gives him all the fidelity he wants for all of his effects and samples. He’s especially happy with how synth sounds are handled with ease by the L1 subs. Then there’s the portability, which is my personal favorite feature.
“We often play clubs and small theaters, and the L1 system loads in and sets up fast and easily; I can quickly tell a couple of stage hands what to do, and they have it up and running within minutes. And it interfaces with the house PA systems so easily when we want it to – just run a cable to the quarter-inch input and we’re ready to go.”
Cholmondeley will go back on tour with Greg Lake this year, and may rejoin the Belew tour in the future. In both cases the Bose L1 system will be back out with them. “No way I can ever leave that behind,” he says.