The passing of Johnny Smith brought back some fond memories.
Back in 1980, I started helping out on Guitar Corner, a Saturday radio show on station
CJAD in Montreal. We’d feature a guitar player, play some of his or her music, and discuss
influences, equipment, and so on. My task for one show was to dig up all the info I
could find on Johnny Smith so that we could feature him the following week. I’d heard
that he had a music store in Colorado Springs, so I called, and, much to my surprise,
he answered the phone. Once I explained my purpose, he was very open and willing
to chat with me for about 30 minutes. Later in the week, I needed to clarify some facts
and I called him again. He willingly gave me all the info requested. The show went on,
and I felt we did a good job. We sent him a copy of the air check and he thanked us.
In September 1981, I had to go to Colorado Springs on business, and found the
time to stop by Johnny’s store. I got to spend a few hours with him, just chatting
and having him show me around. To say I was thrilled would be an understatement.
On the wall was his personal Gibson Johnny Smith guitar. He took it down and let
me play it. I told him there was no way I could play in front of him, so he let me sit
in a corner of the store and play his guitar unamplified. Then, he went in the back
and came out with his D’Angelico, which he handed over to me so I could try it out.
What an amazing experience. I later bought one of his books—which he signed for
me. He also let me take this photo of him and his D’Angelico. Johnny was a great
guitar player and a real gentleman. I’ll miss him.
Motörhead to Release One Of Their Final Perfoamcnes 'Clean Your Clock' On June 10 - Watch 'Overkill' Live Video Here
Ernie Ball Music Man Introduces the Neck Through Stingray Bass
Watch TC Electronic Artists Ida Nielsen, Nik West, MonoNeon, and Dammo Farmer Play and Discuss Their Gear (VIDEO)
MyVolts Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Play Anywhere USB Power Cable
Happy Birthday, Bob Moog: Michelle Moog-Koussa on Bob and EM
iZotope Announces VocalSynth
Bob Moog - On Synthesizers: Modulation, Part I
PreSonus Releases Presence XT Editor
Kwaya - African Voices by Eduardo Tarilonte
Guild Reissues Highly Anticipated S-200 T-Bird
Brad Whitford and Derek St. Holmes Discuss Their ‘Reunion’
Van Halen Cover the Who and Black Sabbath
New Issue Preview: Revolver June/July 2016
Video: It Lies Within Tour Documentary, Part 1
Gojira Premiere New Song and Music Video, “Silvera”
History of the Blues in 50 Guitar Riffs
Expand Your Melodic Colors with 9th Arpeggios
John Entwistle's Isolated Bass Track from The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" at Shepperton Studios
Copyright ©2016 by NewBay Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. 28 East 28th Street, 12th floor, New York, NY 10016 T (212) 378-0400 F (212) 378-0470