Letter of the Month!
Thank you so very much for the Sir Paul issue. It took me back to a simpler time and place, and it reminded me of why I begged my parents for a guitar. After seeing the issue, I pulled out my old Beatles albums and listened to them again for what seemed like the first time. The sound, the look, and the attitude were still there. The cool was still there, as well—like an old friend who stood by you through all you have been through. I fell in love with my guitar all over again. It felt good in my hands—its curves, the feel of the neck, and the vibration of each and every string. The notes and chords reverberated through my body just like they did in 1969.
So thank you for taking me back, for reminding me why I played guitar, and why I love and live for music. Thank you for bringing back my vibe, and for waking me from a deep hibernation. I am back, and the music will go on!
Ted Greene Remembered
I was extremely saddened to learn of Ted Greene’s passing in your November issue. It reminded of a Friday in late 1979, when I saw Ted playing at a Holiday Inn in Ventura, California. As it turned out, Tommy Tedesco had asked Ted to fill in between sets for Laurindo Alameda, who had injured his thumb. After an hour of Tommy’s trio playing to a noisy crowd of chatting businessmen, Ted and his Telecaster appeared. As he began playing, I watched in amazement as the bar crowd, one by one, quieted down and turned their attention to the solitary figure playing quietly in the corner. By the second song, people were coming out of the nearby restaurant to listen. These were not musos, and they didn’t know a G7th from a three-piece suit. They were simply drawn to this pied piper playing beautiful music with his otherworldly touch, gently pushing down on the shimmed neck of his guitar as those impossible chords rang out, giving them a subtle rotating speaker effect.
I still vividly remember his playing that night. It was that powerful. There is a legion of guitarists that have been forever changed by his music and instruction. I can echo the heartfelt tributes in your article—he was a gentle and generous musician and teacher whose talent was astounding and unique. His music and memory will inspire me for the rest of my days.
Rest in peace Ted Greene, and thank you for the late lesson of lessons—one from heaven, perhaps. I have already quietly inserted several moments in my songs, and will silently smile as their movements emit a richness that I had yet to discover.
I appreciate the fact that Guitar Player honestly respects timeless musicians. But why is it that every year we see a steady rotation of McCartney/Beatles, Keef/Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Beck, Vai, and SRV? How many times can we go over the same ideas? Yes, they are timeless. Yes, they are innovators. But surprise me sometime with an article on an up-and-coming artist that’s longer than three paragraphs. Too often we overlook good bands because they sound too much like a band that came before them. Everyone is influenced by the Beatles, Zeppelin, and the Stones, so why must we punish bands that sound like them? Sometimes I think guitar playing is more like archeology than innovation.
I want to thank you so much for your recent articles. First, Keith Richards, and now, Sir Paul McCartney! Both Richards and McCartney have had a substantial impact on music as we know it, and it’s great to see them still around kicking ass. Thanks for respecting true music and true heroes.
I’m gonna send ya back ta school over the transcription of the intro to “Whole Lotta Love” [Nov ’05, pg. 92]. As Jimmy himself pointed out, the fretted D in the pickup notes preceding the first bar should be bent slightly towards the ceiling, while the open D is also sounded. This dissonance creates the tension that is relieved by the E5 in bar 1—a subtle, but important feature. Try it, and I think you’ll agree with me when I say, “keepa cooli, baby!”
Margate, NJ g