Most of us found out about Steve Earle when his first album, “Guitar Town” came out in 1986. It is still one of the best first album from any artist ever. To date he has released 17 albums and won Grammeys for several of them. If that weren’t enough, he has appeared in 2 television series, “The Wired” and “Treme” and written 2 books, “I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive” and “Doghouse Roses”. His most recent album “Guy” is composed entirely of songs by one of his Texas songwriting mentors, Guy Clark. 10 years ago he released “Townes” comprised of songs of another of his mentors, Townes Van Zandt. In this podcast Steve shares his strong opinions on a range of topics: recording techniques, musicians who deserve the designation- genius, his admiration for his touring band, The Dukes, (should have asked him if they are The Dukes of Earle ?), the quality of certain acoustic and electric guitars etc. It’s a rapid fire conversation where the facts and anecdotes come at you fast and furious. If you’re a SLN listener you will love this podcast.
But wait, there’s more. At 3 1/2 hours podcast 34 was hardly short. Don’t even ask how we left this out of that podcast but we did, we found it and now you can listen to even more of Dan’s stories. Included in this podcast are his stories of interviewing George Harrison and more about his father’s record collection and Tommy Tedesco. We think it will be many moons before Dan’s record for length of podcast and number of entertaining stories is equaled. Enjoy.
Dan Forte’s musical journey was blessed from the start: Family– father who loved Django Reinhardt, Location- the S.F. Bay Area, Timing- the 60s. Throw in talent, humor, taste and skill for a can’t miss mixture. Dan took full advantage of S.F.’s 60’s- 70’s scene where live music was everything. While getting his BA at Stanford, he taught an accredited “History of the Blues”class, put on concerts and wrote about music for the university‘s newspaper. Journalism followed, where he helped Guitar Player Magazine rise to the top.
Eventually Senior Associate Editor at GP, Dan also introduced the mysterious but always humorous Teisco Del Rey who has brought to light some of the weirdest guitars ever, and received the prestigious ASCAP/Deems Taylor Award for excellence in music journalism. After relocating to Austin, he released 2 instrumental-rock albums, “The Many Moods of Teisco Del Rey” (1992) and “Teisco Del Rey Plays Music for Lovers” (1996). As Teisco he maintains an inspiring if sporadic concert schedule.
Dan has interviewed a veritable encyclopedia of guitarists. We await the book that must be forthcoming. For more than a decade, he has called Vintage Guitar Magazine home base. His cover story on Mike Bloomfield is as good as it gets. His VG reviews are always spot on as well.
In this extensive podcast Dan holds nothing back. It’s a joyful ride where he shares his lifetime pursuit and love of music.
Dan and Albert King Hayward California 1970
Dan and James Jamerson in L.A. 1977 with the Precision Bass that changed music
From his position at Guitar Player Magazine during the 80’s Dan interviewed many of the greats. It helped that he knew who the greats were. Here he is having too much fun interviewing Duane Eddy
Teisco Del Rey, Dan’s nom de guitar makes the scene at a late 80s NYC guitar show
This guitar followed him home. He kept it for awhile
The Many Moods of Teiseco Del Rey
No Sophomore Slump for Teisco
Gary Smith on Harp with Dan on guitar. Check Gary’s harp on Southbay Beatdown on the Spotify playlist for SLN #34
Do yourself a favor. Listen to this podcast and get captivated by the musical camaraderie that swirls between John Dunbar lead singer and songwrtiter (A Confederacy of Dunces, The Kunks), Sal Maida, bassist (Roxy Music, Sparks, Milk N Cookies) and Sal Nunziato, drummer (Pep In The Cat, The Cool Jerks). The musical references come fast and furious like they probably did in the studio when they recorded their hook fueled new C D “Nothing Doing” a follow up to their first CD , “A New Set of Downs”. The 3 New Yorkers were kind enough to share their experiences and enthusiasm for this podcast. These guys know their craft and are having a good time practicing it. A great ride for sure.
Bandcamp link for The John Sally Ride: https://thejohnsallyride.bandcamp.com/album/nothing-doing
“I Love you Minnie More” John Dunbar’s song inspired by John Cassavetes 1971 film “Minnie and Moskovitz” Re-edited by Derek Davidson.
Sal Maida’s book . A rock and Roll life
Link for Burning Wood, Sal Nunziato’s excellent music blog: www.burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com
This video features The California Playboys, the first California teen age band that played Fender instruments. Leo Fender was certainly a fan of Western Swing.
L to R: George Fullerton, Les Paul, Chet Atkins and Leo Fender
Les Paul at home in Mahway with his original 8 track recorder early 80’s
His house was insane. Equipment was everywhere.
Les was still using a 4X4 block strung with guitar strings to test pickups. Why not?
We gathered a few guitars and shot them on his bed.
Here’s Les performing at that time with the “Paulverizor” mounted on his guitar
Les, ever the tinkerer was his own “roadie” at this show.
Robb Lawrence along with others is thanked by Ian in the acknowledgements. Here Robb is seen showing one of his prototype guitars to Leo Fender at a NAMM Show in the early 80s
Launch event for “Welcome to Storytown” Thursday Jan 17th 6:30 P.M. CAVEAT 21A Clinton St. NYC advance tickets $15.00, at the door $20.00.
Free app for augmented reality. Walk amongst the band on you phone while they play.
April 2017 Rockwood NYC Storytown first live gig.
It’s a bit difficult to describe Dick Boak without resorting to cliches; renaissance man, gentleman and a scholar etc. I could keep stringing them on because in Dick’s case the descriptions apply. For 42 years Dick was employed by the C. F. Martin Guitar Company where he used his considerable skills as artist, musician, woodworker, draftsman, luthier, public relations maven and art director. His 1976 hiring at Martin perfectly coincided with the vintage guitar phenomenon. Dick and Chris Martin IV, CEO and chairman, are recognized as returning the company to its former stature and bringing it to a new prominence. Dick established the artist relations department where they produced the highly sought after signature edition guitars with artists Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, CSNY, Mark Knopfler, Marty Stuart and others. In this case “every guitar tells a story” so settle in for a great podcast where he tells personal tales and music anecdotes and his all to rare story of a talent flowering in a corporate environment. Of course, his talents and lively sensibility weren’t left behind at Martin. We look forward to what he gets up to in the next chapter of his amazing journey. But for now enjoy this podcast filled with his extremely interesting stories thus far.
Here is Gene Autry in about 1934 with a Martin OM-45 with his name in script on the fretboard
Chris Martin IV saw Autrys original 1933 D-45 at an event at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. An Appeal to the Museum to authorize an authentic replica Autry’s D-45 was approved with the stipulation that the profits go to charity. The success of this project set a precedent for approved signature edition guitars with proceeds going to charity. With the success of Eric Clapton’s “Unplugged” album where Eric played a 1939 OOO-42, Dick Boak was allowed to approach Eric about a signature model.
Dick had to find a meaningful number to apply to the signature Clapton guitars . Clapton’s “comeback” album 461 Ocean Blvd. provided the answer. With legendary producer Tom Dowd in Miami’s Criteria studios Eric produced a great LP with the lead off single “I shot the Sheriff” The signature Clapton model sold all 416 within minutes. The LP sold a few more.
Mention must be made of pioneering vintage guitar dealers Stan Jay and Hap Kuffner, The Mandolin Brothers. Here photographed in Nazareth in 1976 with the first of their special Mandolin Bros D-45s and the Martin department managers who built it. Today Hap has this to say about this very special model: “Historically speaking it started the C.F. Martin custom shop. Until then no Grained Ivoroid Binding, Pre War Scalloped Braces, Aged Toner Finish, Tortoise Shell Colored Headstock Overlay, Vintage Style Tuners, Squared Headstock, and custom Label. 91 were to be made but only about 50 were completed. A Great Martin D45 Guitar!”
We can not leave the Martin factory at this point in time without paying homage to Mike Longworth, seen below.
The Kingston Trio’s importance to American popular music can not be overstated. It’s fair to say that The C.F. Martin Guitar Company would not be the same today without their influence.
The Folk Revival was a more authentic strain of popular music that followed. Here on the cover of “Sing Out” the folkies bible are the New Lost City Ramblers, L-R John Cohen, Tom Paley and Mike Seeger. Photographed by © Robert Frank
Joan Baez is another folk music performer that has always chosen to play Martin Guitars. Generally choosing vintage O or OO 40s . Of course Dick collaborated with her on a signature model.
Here’s Joan as photographed by Jim Marshall for a 1969 brochure put out by Folklore Productions (Manuel Greenhill her manager)
Without a doubt the coolest place to be in 1968 was Laurel Canyon at Joni Mitchell’s with a few Martins laying around so David Crosby and Eric Clapton could join in if they knew which tuning she was using.
© Henery Diltz