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.
Soul Musician and Berklee College of Music Graduate Shaun Munday to Release Debut Solo Album
Megadeth Bassist David Ellefson Holds Grand Opening For His Coffee Company
Slayer, Lamb of God, and Behemoth Announce Summer Tour
Bitwig Studio 2 DAW Now Available
Win a 6-Festival Slot in the Untz Producer Challenge
This Week in Free Stuff: Producer Competition Pack & Ableton Beat Tools
EMIKO - The Musical Traveler on Her New Release “Simple Love”
UVI UVS-3200 Captures the Analog Sound of the Vintage Semi-Modular Korg PS-3200
Pyramind Launches a Global Music Mentorship Network
Gary Clark Jr. Plays Unique Amp Based on the Lincoln Continental
Les Paul or Lucille? Check Out This Solidbody vs. Semihollow Guitar Comparison
James Hetfield Tells Why He’s Against Fixing the Bass on ‘…And Justice for All’
Megadeth's David Ellefson and Comedian Don Jamieson to Host Grand Opening of Ellefson Coffee Co. Storefront
Linkin Park Perform "Heavy" on ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden'
The Amity Affliction Premiere New Music Video for "Fight My Regret"
Night Ranger Premiere New Song, "Comfort Me"
Study Finds the Bass Guitarist Is Most Important Band Member
Every Metallica Riff You’ve Ever Heard
Copyright ©2017 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