Alan Rogan Has consulted on, found, set up, tuned and looked after the guitars of some the the most demanding guitarist of the last 40 years. You’ll know who he is talking about when he uses the names: Pete, George, Keith, Mick, Eric, Ronnie, Jeff and others. From his relaxed, gentlemanly and informed conversation it is obvious why he’s lasted so long in such demanding situations. It is an honor to sit across the table from him in London 10/19 for this podcast.
Here’s one of the Telecasters that Alan set up for Keith .
Keith”s use of multiple Fender “Tweed” Twins for live performances is well known. In 1986 Alan Rogan borrowed this Fender Pro amplifier model 5E5 for Keith to use for the “Dirty Work” sessions. Apparently he liked the sound. Alan enlisted amp guru Cesar Diaz to bring several “Tweed” Twins into spec. The rest is history.
Here is Keith Moon and The Who at the Fillmore in San Francisco in the late 60s a bit before Alan started to work for them.
November 1981 The Stones at Madison Sq. Garden touring to support Tattoo You . Probably just before Alan started to work for them. Note Ronnie Wood is playing the blond Stratocaster.
Here is the full line up of principals for that tour with Bobby Keys on sax and Ian Stewart (the 6th Stone) on keys and left of him Ian McLagan also on piano
Hard to believe but Alan tells of George Harrison asking him to find a Carvin guitar for him. Carvin? Well here’s their 1962 catalogue. I’m sure they are serviceable but they appear to be about one level above shop class build.
in this podcast we discuss our mutual like for the Fender Jazzmaster and discuss “The Jazzmaster that never was” made by Fender’s custom shop for G. E. Smith.
A great read from a friend of Alan’s. You won’t put this one down.
Zeke Schein’s discovery of possibly the 3rd known photo of Robert Johnson sent the Blues community into a tailspin. In SLN Podcast #21 he lays out the story in a most thoughtful and intriguing manner.
“Portrait of a Phantom”, Zeke’s book gives a detailed account of the acquisition of the photo and the story of it’s life altering effect. It is a literary achievement that more than tells the story of the 3.25 X 4.25 tattered photo. His descriptions of life in NYC in the early 21st century are a delight.
Matt Umanov”s Guitar Shop has been a Greenwich Village landmark for 53 years. Zeke occupied sales “first chair” just inside the door. Chatting with Zeke on any given day was always a Great Hang. For one thing you’d probably be leaning on the counter elbow to elbow with John Hammond, Jack White, Steve Earl, Vince Gill or John Sebastian. Here Zeke holds a period correct Gibson L 1 close to the make and model Robert Johnson holds in the Hooks Brothers photo used for the box set of his music. Matt’s store will close in 2017. Umanov’s and 48th St. may be gone but NYC still has great guitar shops. Among them, Rudys in Soho where Zeke now works.
Tom Crandall with his E Bay skills helped Zeke get the photo. Here is Tom at the repair bench at Umanov’s a few years ago. Tom now runs T. R. Crandall Guitars on 3rd St. in NYC.
Most of us first were exposed to The Delta Blues through Sam Charters “The Country Blues” and the accompanying L P for RBF a division of Folkways.
The hardcore blues collectors considered Charter’s selections too commercial and countered with OJL “Really the Country Blues”
However the squabbling was put to rest by CBS releasing “Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers” in 1961.
In 1970 CBS released Vol II of “Robert Johnson King of the Delta Blues Singers” containing reissues of 10 Vocalion 78s plus 6 additional tracks 0f alternates takes and unissued masters. Don Law produced all of Robert Johnson’s recordings.
If you like this podcast topic you’ll probably enjoy the following books that explore the fascination and history of American roots music and recordings of it. Keep the highlighter at hand. These are dense reads.
The writing of Peter Guralnick needs no explanation to music fans. His “Sweet Soul Music” is a top 5 books on music for sure. This a smaller book but he’s alway enjoyable.
Make up your own minds Here are Robert Johnson photos #1 Hooks Brothers photo, #2 photo booth cigarette photo, #3 Zeke’s photo. Use your own senses and tell me what you think in the “leave a comment” section at the beginning of the blog. hint: check the eyebrows and fingers.
©Courtesy of the Estate of Robert L. Johnson
Robert Johnson’s music finds a home in many places Here luthier Mark Simon creates a special resonator guitar that also has a pick up designed for this model,the Terraplane.
So that’s it for now. Take another look at the 3 images and make up your own mind. Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Zeke’s book “Portrait of a Phantom” which lays out his odyssey.