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Some people are drawn naturally - there are natural guitarists, and there are natural piano players, and I think guitar implies travel, a sort of footloose gypsy existence. You grab your bag and you go to the next town.
The E Street band casts a pretty wide net. Our influences go all the way back to the early primitive garage music, and also, we've had everything in the band from jazz players to Kansas City trumpet players to Nils Lofgren, one of the great rock guitarists in the world.
Certainly being proficient in an instrument does have its problems. Because the better you get, the more you just start sounding like an ordinary guitarist. There are certainly guitarists that transcend that and do really find their sound and all that sort of stuff.
I love collecting guitars, even though I can't play well. My favourite guitarists are Richie Blackmore, Jimmy Paige, and John Mayer.
Rock guitarists usually do not wish to think trains of thought about anything but their own guitar playing during a long solo, and I could not play this way if I were not able to divide my attention between my ever changing musical environment and my instrument itself.
The Beatles had some juice when it came to distortion, but Clapton was finally able to break through those early studio engineers' fear of overloading. He defined the sound that guitarists spend the rest of their lives trying to get.
But I say these things in an objective dispassionate manner because, you know, and I can't explain why, but being one of the greatest guitarists in the world simply is not very important to me.
Guitar solos bore the hell out of me. Only a few guitarists interest me, and it's not about the solos they play, it's about the grooves they create.
Michael Sunday and I are the original members of the band. We first did it just for charities and benefit concerts. It was very ad-hoc, and before we knew it, we were really a band. We went through several drummers and guitarists before we were happy with the line up.
Richard Lloyd of Television is one of my favorite guitarists. His mentor was Jimi Hendrix when he was just 14. Jimi was always pounding everything he knew into that kid.
When I got out of high school, I was in a blues band. It was the kind of music I was interested in, and listening to, mostly because it was becoming a vehicle for a generation of guitarists - like Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Mike Bloomfield. And that's what I wanted to be, principally: a guitar player.
I think guitarists are really over-admired and over-revered.
When I began, the guitar was en-closed in a vicious circle. There were no composers writing for the guitar, be-cause there were no virtuoso guitarists.
I always lived with guitarists. When they would leave, I would just pick up their acoustic guitars and start doing finger picking and write.
That big hit 'Get Lucky' is a disco song - not only the melody and the whole concept, but we had one of the great disco guys and one of the best guitarists ever, Nile Rodgers, to play on it. So that's great disco, but a modern disco, because it has great vocoders and synthesizers.
Strangely enough, I wasn't into fast guitarists. I preferred Peter Green's subtle touch. I saw him with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers at the Marquee Club in London and was very impressed. He was the only guitarist I've ever seen to turn the volume control on his guitar down during a solo.
It's definitely true that Stevie Ray Vaughan is one of my all-time favorite guitarists.
I think a lot of modern day guitarists start off playing like Eddie van Halen, and they don't take the time to learn the basics.
After the Soft Boys I just didn't want to work with any more guitarists.
There were some older guitarists on my side of town, and I got to know many of them.
I love the sound of Elmore James, the sound early guitarists like him got just by using minimal means.
I've liked country music for forever. And Buck Owens is just one of many country guitarists I like. I think Buck's Sixties records are really progressive.
I feel responsible to make something original as a Japanese artist. There are lots of singers and guitarists, but I feel that on stage it's meaningless to copy something someone has done before.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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