The reason for the forum shutdown, thoughts about fame

Hi guys and gals,

Forum shutdown. My decision to shut the EZBoard forum down was made because it’s purpose of promoting steel guitar and being a help to steel guitarists in general had degenerated to the point where neither of these goals were being met. The forum was taken over by folks who were hiding behind anonymous names so they could have their fun blasting each other with profanity and whatever. I had several good friends email me and let me know that they would never visit the forum again because they didn’t want to expose their families to the indecency that was on display there. It finally got to the point where the bad outweighted the good. In the future, I may bring back another forum but only if I can control the immature, childish, pseudo-intellectuals who post there, but right now, with 3 new albums, with running the store and playing shows, the forum is not a number one priority. I’ve gotten many emails from readers and fans of the forum, some thanking me for closing it, others telling me how much they missed it and to please bring it back. Even though most of you would like to see the forum come back, I simply don’t have the time to play babysitter to those who should know better.

Fame and it’s power. After seeing so much on television about the Michael Jackson story and having spent 35 years in and out of the company of hundreds of famous people, I have some observations to convey to those of you who may care.

Many people think that if someone is famous, they must be very smart, very rich or have some sort of super human ability. Most of the famous people that I have met do not fall into these catagories. Most people think that if a steel guitar player is extremely famous, he is an extremely good player or if an actor is extremely famous, he must be extremely talented, but this can be far from the truth. People should be judged on their abilites, not by how well known they are. How about the President of the United States? Because he won the election, does this make him super perfect? How about some negative examples … Adolph Hitler, Attila the Hun or Al Capone? Should they be idolized?

If someone is famous it doesn’t mean they are any better or worse than anyone else. I have worked for many famous people that I wouldn’t want to have dinner with and there are many totally unknown folks I would love to have dinner with. Now here’s the big question. How does your personality change in the presence of someone extremely famous? What would you do if the President of the United States would come up to you one day and say let’s go have lunch? Why do girls fall all over themselves and swoon in the presence of dirty rock star drugaddicts? Why do people drop the names of famous people they know? Do they think it makes themselves look bigger through association? You’ve heard the expression, if you’re famous enough you can get away with murder. Remember OJ? The point I’m trying to make here is, make your own decisions on who’s great and who isn’t yourself, not by how many times you see a star on television and how many people are falling all over them. Don’t be a victim of the Pied Piper syndrome. Decide for yourself who you like and who is great and who you want to admire and don’t blindly follow the masses. Don’t tell me how great a steel guitar player Jerry Garcia was. Tell me how much you liked him or what a good entertainer he was, but don’t tell me how great he was. Here’s another shocker for you … Bill Clinton isn’t a great sax player either.

Two years ago I flew to Bowling Green, Kentucky to have a Sunday afternoon dinner. Upon returning to the airport, I walked into the administration building for my return flight home and a nice, gray haired gentlemen was ahead of me paying for his fuel. He started a conversation with me by telling me how nice my Beechcraft appeared to him. He let me know that he was on his way from New York to Los Angeles and stopped in Bowling Green for fuel and to stretch his legs and he also flew Beechcraft. When I looked out the front glass, I noticed his was a multi-million dollar twin jet. We talked for about 15 minutes and he seemed like one of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. I asked him what he did for a living and he said he was in the food business and did a lot of work for charities. He departed and while he was walking out to his airplane, I noticed many people in the waiting room standing with their mouths wide open in awe. One came up to me and asked … “Are you two good friends?” and I said “Who?” and they said “You and Paul Newman?” My reply was, “I didn’t realize that was him, but I guess we are now.” The point is, fame has obviously not affected him and he was probably impressed that his fame didn’t affect me because as he taxied by the administration building window in the right seat of his Beechjet, he gave a polite wave, from one pilot to another, not from a superstar to a fan. By the way, I feel that Paul Newman is a superstar to be admired. He has given over 150 million dollars to charity. That’s a real superstar.

People need to be judged by the good they do in life and not by the fame they achieve through luck and promotion by the media. Fame by itself is not a measure of a person or their worth as a human being. Don’t be a fool for fame.

Your buddy,


P.S. Once again, I’ve had so many new people join the mailing list that I’m putting a link to the special discount prices for mailing list members on instructional videos …



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