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Steve Askew and the EBow

February 7, 2011

One of the famous sounds used in KajaGooGoo tracks was that of the EBow as used by Steve Askew.

This device is a small battery powered unit where instead of the strings being plucked by the fingers or a plectrum, they are moved by the electromagnetic field created by the EBow, producing a sound similar to that of a bow.


The EBow gives a very distinctive sound, a great example is here with Steve playing ‘Too Shy’ from the Hammersmith concert.

Watch from 2m30secs where Steve plays those long notes on the EBow, fabulous sound:

Another superb example is in Frayo from the same show

Watch from the 2m point, you can see the EBow attached to the guitar and Steve picks it up and then those EBow notes are very distinctive.

Steve was aware of the EBow from usage by Rob Dean of Japan, though many artists have used the EBow over the years.  These include The Edge, Brian May, James Hetfield and Noel Gallagher.

It’s a superb device and an important part of the early KajaGooGoo sound.  Unfortunately, the original EBow used on Too Shy packed up in 2003 but Steve did recently find it tucked away in his studio.  Working or not, that’s a major piece of Goo history there!

He does have another and if you see the band playing live, look for for Steve using the EBow and listen out for that screaming sound!

2011 KajaFax

2 Comments leave one →
  1. loreleimadsen permalink
    February 7, 2011 8:03 pm

    Hi Steve,
    Just the other day I was looking at the EBow homepage at & listened to some sample sounds. If you scroll down to Artists, by name or by picture, you’ll find Kajagoogoo playing, & you can see Steve use the EBow. It makes beautiful sounds & can mimic lots of other instruments.

    • February 9, 2011 1:25 pm

      Thanks Lorelei, it’s a good site that one, had a good look round there now 🙂

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