new wave

As seen here, Jamie West-Oram has been turning to John Suhr for modified Strats since the Fixx’s early days.

The singular guitarist talks gear and longevity lessons learned since the platinum-selling “One Thing Leads to Another.”

When it comes to influential ’80s guitarists, it’s easy to fixate on the likes of Van Halen, Vai, Satriani, the Edge, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Marr, and Eric Johnson. But the chiming, simultaneously funky and moody rhythm work of Jamie West-Oram, from British synth-rock outfit the Fixx, is similarly singular. He isn’t just a rhythm ace, though. Highly compressed, often drenched in reverb and/or subtly swirling modulation, West-Oram’s syncopated Strat leads and quirky whammy flourishes melded like clockwork with big bass lines and atmospherically bastardized synth pads to define inescapable radio hits of the decade like “Red Skies,” “Stand or Fall,” “One Thing Leads to Another,” and “Are We Ourselves?”

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