Charlie Scales on Lead Guitar

To amateur and professional guitarists alike, Charlie played the way we all wish we could.

His first Gainesville band was C. O. Jones almost 40 years ago. (Hint: omit the periods and spaces to reveal the hidden message.)  Over the years he shared the stage with every noteworthy (pun intended) local band and solo artist. And he generously supported all bands and performance artists and good causes in general through ticket sales at Hyde & Zeke’s.

At the time of his passing, he was a member of three different bands: The Root Doctors, The Gonzo Gator Band, and dblWide.

Many’s the time I’d stop in at the store on a Thursday afternoon when the phone would ring and it’d be someone pleading, “Our guitar player’s too sick to play tomorrow night – can you fill in for him?”  If he didn’t already have a gig, the answer would be yes. He’d show up on time, bring just the right gear to fit their sound, and play brilliantly, no one in the audience being any the wiser that he wasn’t the regular guitar player and hadn’t even rehearsed with the band prior to the gig.  He was a living encyclopedia of the Rock Canon.

*      *      *      *      *

I found these YouTube videos featuring Charlie on lead guitar. For best results view them full-screen. I’ll list the members of the various bands at the bottom of the page. Enjoy.

“Live with Me” – The Couch Messiahs, New Year’s Eve, 2011

“12-bar Blues” – dblWide, January, 2012 (Charlie even sings lead on this one! Oh, yeah! Havin’ some fun tonight!)

“One Way Out” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream” – The Gonzo Gator Band, October, 2008 (FYI: Tom Petty’s music publishing firm is Gone Gator Music)

“Heard You Call My Name” (?) – The Root Doctors, September, 2012

“Blue Suede Shoes” – Pol Parsley, the Thai Elvis, August, 2007 (Even if you don’t see Charlie, you know it’s him. Also, this video doesn’t embed, so it opens in a new window)

“Imagine” – The Barry Sides Band, September, 2011 (Betcha didn’t know there was a reggae version!)

“Codeine” – The Gonzo Gator Band, March, 2013

“Crazy Love” and “It Takes a Lot to Laugh…” – The Couch Messiahs, July, 2010

“Blue Yodel No. 4” – dblWide, January, 2012

“Old Times, Good Times” and “Stop Breakin’ Down” – The Couch Messiahs, October, 2010

*      *      *      *      *      *

And that, my friends, is Charlie Scales on lead guitar, performing with

The Barry Sides Band

Barry Sides, lead vocals
Kenny Shore, bass
Bruce Sheppard, sax
(don’t know who’s on drums)

Couch Messiahs

Mick Marino, vocals and second lead guitar
Tom Kerkhoff, bass
Bill Kellogg/Lance Spano, drums


Chuck Martin, vocals and second lead guitar
Matt Shaffer, bass fiddle
Larry Thompson, drums

Gonzo Gators

Bill Greene, rhythm guitar & lead vocals
Tommy Manning, bass
Bill Kellogg, drums
Eddie Ray Mingle, second lead guitar

Pol Parsley

Himself, vocals

Root Doctors

Jim McKay, vocals
Richard Groene, second lead guitar
Bryan Blair, bass
Ben Andrews, drums
Jim Reynolds, congas

*      *      *       *      *      *

For more information on the Gainesville music scene of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s, see Gary Gordon’s history of Gainesville bands.

The Gainesville Sun did a nice article on The Root Doctors in 2004.

I’d appreciate learning the names of band members missing from this page, as well as the name of the song performed by The Root Doctors.  You can use the Contacts page to send this to me.

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