Hello fans and fellow players,
Every once in awhile I’ll be watching television when somebody will mention a name to me about an old friend that I haven’t seen or heard from in awhile. A name that is haunting me as of recently is that of a great guitar player named Roy Buchanan.
I think I’ve mentioned him several years ago in my tips newsletter but think he is worth mentioning again. Just meeting Roy was a funny situation. I was odd-jobbing around the Washington DC area and got hired for a one-nighter by a local act and as we were setting up that afternoon to do a matinee, an interesting looking hippie very quietly comes into the front of the club, watches us for awhile, then gets invited up to play by the bandleader who I barely knew.
To myself I’m thinking, “Oh no. What’s he doing inviting this raggy looking hippie on the stage?”
This weirdo hippie goes out to his Volkswagen van which he lived in, gets his guitar with no case along with his extremely raggy looking 4-10 Fender Bassman amplifier.
We continue the show for awhile, then our illustrious leader introduces the guitar player to the audience and asks him to do an instrumental. I looked at him thinking he was going to do a great, fast little show off tune like Arkansas Traveler or Little Rock Getaway. But no, he says “I’d like to do By The Time I Get To Phoenix”
I figured to myself, “What a square tune to play for an instrumental.”
We counted off slowly, he plays the melody the first time through, I take first through the four chords on the C6th neck, then this sit-in player plays it gargantuously beautiful in three to five note chords as wonderfully incredible as I had ever heard it done.
I was completely blown away. The front man introduced him as Roy Buchanan. He was a friend and fan from that moment on. I helped him load his equipment back up after the gig, no case for his guitar, no cover for his amp, just a ragged tee-shirt for his body, but he was obviously buzzing with talent from everywhere.
As nice a person as I had ever met. I had never heard anybody stretch four strings on a lead guitar from one chord to another without being out of tune. Soon after I moved to Nashville and found that there were very few people in my new home town of Music City that did not know the great Roy Buchanan.
It wasn’t long after this until I heard that Roy had died in the DC area and upon hearing the circumstances of his death, I was horribly depressed. I’ll give you this link to Wikipedia, however I just wanted to give you some personal insight to this wonderful character and how much everybody loved him in the DC area.
I would like to say that he was a great pedal steel guitar player and loved C6th styles on steel. To me he sounded like a steel player that would have been a great fan of Chalker, Anderson or the great Eric West from the same home town, Washington DC.
Here is the link: Roy Buchanan
We just had a visit from Jerry Fessenden, Sharon Denney and a nice email from Roger Crawford concerning the steel guitar show in New York, better known as the 38th Annual PSGA Steel Guitar Show. It showed a band in the back of the publication they send out with more nicks in it than Don Helms had in his Gibson double neck.
Our little industry is very lucky to have a great club with a pedal steel newsletter of the quality this club has.
I’d also like to thank another pusher of steel guitar that we should all thank for his efforts in our direction. His name is Bobby Lee Quasar and he runs the Steel Guitar Forum. I must say that I am very impressed with the way personalities have mellowed out over the past twelve years because of the internet.
The fighting and arguing that used to go on, on a constant basis is now all but completely over. The older the members of the forum get, the better friends they seem to turn into. I’m proud to say I’m as guilty as anyone myself. There are some awfully wonderful people in this society of steel guitarists. The more we’re in touch, the nicer we all seem to be.
It seems like the leaders of the free world or the leaders of the rest of this planet could learn something from the world of steel guitar. How about that?
Check out our monthly specials at www.steelguitar.net/monthlyspecials.html and we’ll try to save you a lot of money.
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