“I bought my first solidbody electric from Ed King. It was a Gibson SG he’d used as his main guitar in Strawberry Alarm Clock”: Steve Bartek was Danny Elfman’s right-hand man for Oingo Boingo and countless movie scores – now he’s playing Coachella

Steve Bartek plays Coachella 2022
(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella)

Guitar heroes come in all shapes and sizes, but the imagery often associated with the “greatest” axe-slingers always seems to coincide with bombast, pomp and circumstance. But there’s another side to the coin. Don’t believe us? Just ask former Oingo Boingo six-stringer Steve Bartek.

Throughout the ’80s, Bartek played sideman to Boingo’s founder, vocalist and primary songwriter, Danny Elfman. And if the duo’s exploits had stopped there, their legend as champions of all things quirky and alternative would be set in stone. But in truth, cuts such as Weird Science, Fool’s Paradise and Dead Man’s Party were just the tip of their musical iceberg.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.