I’d say my ’52 Les Paul. It has a blacktop neck but it’s got a pretty beautiful tone with a lot of sustain. I don’t believe it ever lost its tone when I played it for 40 years. It does, however, show signs of age. What’s your opinion on guitars versus other kinds of music like rock and roll? I love rock and roll as much as I love music of the same genre. As for guitars, if it ain’t broke…it’s probably not going to work.
What’s your view on guitar amps? The bigger the tone, the more you have to use your head to get it. When you get an amp with good tone, it’s so fun to play. I don’t think the difference between an amp and a piece of gear is as big as people make it out to be. I love a vintage amp. If you put out a great tone, it’s usually because you put something that really works with it, like a great speaker or a good preamp. The problem I have with amps is that they have an “attitude” of “if this is good, it’s good”; I don’t use them as often as I should because I like to be in control when it comes to tone.
So when you were playing guitar what did you do? I started by playing one or two chords very fast on my guitar. Then I played through my guitar using the pickups as an expression pedal. I tried to get into jazz a bit, but I just couldn’t figure it out, so I moved on. The only song I ever played at my dad’s house was “Sweet Caroline.”
What’s the most important things you learned in the studio? I learned to play the most basic of guitar sounds and then gradually build this whole thing up into something that I could go on to play, play a lot, and be happy with. I didn’t think much about technique; I didn’t think about how to play a simple one-key chord pattern. I just went in and started making songs and playing like crazy. It was a lot of learning; it took a long time to get where I am now.
If you could make a wish, what would it be? Well, I would love to be someone who wrote something good. As much respect as I may have for people who come from the world of music or music making, I just like to be a musician and record and write songs.
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