Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Jeremy Wakefield: SpongeBob’s Stellar Steel Support

Biller & Wakefield sound like a modern-day Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant on their 1999 full-length album, The Hot Guitars of Biller & Wakefield:

Martian Guts

Biller & Wakefield (1999)

Musician credits

Drums – Karen Biller
Acoustic Bass – Brent Harding & Wally Hersom
Rhythm Guitar – Ashley Kingman & Dave Stuckey
Guitar – Dave Biller & Deke Dickerson
Steel Guitar – Jeremy Wakefield
Piano – Carl Sonny Leyland
Recorded By – Deke Dickerson


Coincidentally or not, 1999 would also be the year SpongeBob Squarepants would make its television debut on Nickelodeon.  And just as Los Straitjackets would spearhead a movement to revitalize the instrumental, Jeremy Wakefield – virtuoso musician – would similarly use Nickelodeon’s broad commercial platform to reintroduce the gloriously warm sound of the (pre-pedal) steel guitar to the millennial generation and beyond.   Wakefield, along with the other musicians and SpongeBob Music Director, Andy Paley, have done an outstanding job of incorporating western swing, hillbilly boogie, surf and spy guitar, Hawaiian steel music, and Hot Club-era gypsy jazz into the show’s soundtrack in all manner of ways.

1999 would also find Jeremy Wakefield and Dave Biller playing their respective guitars on Wayne Hancock‘s Wild, Free & Reckless album, while Wakefield would peel off that same year to play steel guitar with Smith’s Ranch Boys on More Barnyard FavoritesThe year prior, Wakefield would also play his Bigsby steel guitar on (future Los Straitjackets collaborator and Merle Travis biographer) Deke Dickerson & the Ecco-FonicsNumber One Hit Record!.

Wakefield’s musical contributions to the SpongeBob television program have earned him a reputation for upholding an older analog “vintage” sound, thus it is especially intriguing to learn that some of Wakefield’s earliest album credits would include digital keyboard sequencing for The Style Council, of all people, on 1985’s “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” EP.  Wakefield would continue to work with The Style Council over the next twenty years or so.


Other LPs on which Jeremy Wakefield plays steel


Tracks on which Jeremy Wakefield plays steel


“Hawaiian Blues”

Music used in 2 episodes –

Jellyfish Jam” and “SB-129


Link to SpongeBob steel guitar music

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