Big time name dropping #01 / Almost Woodstock

No children, no grand children, too busy at being busy with audio related things. This world is vast and fascinating. Somehow the big picture is much larger than being worried about linage really. It is about the planet, the universe, about humanity, about whatever we are supposed to do here, about well being, about doing things better so people can live better. Somehow it fits nicely with my star shaped thinking. But we will come to that.

Now for the big time name dropping thing. When I lived it I did not think much of it, but with some perspective, man is this huge:

Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Ry Cooder, Melanie, Richie Havens, save for a few member of the 27 club, who have inadvertently died at 27, the list of people I was on stage with when I started my career reads like the Woodstock billboard. I’d like to think of them all as my own personal pixies. As a young teenager I wasn’t doing much though, plugging guitars mostly, but I mean the closest to guitar heaven it was. Albert Collins was very nice and friendly, he had a very long cable roll with his guitar jack, so he could travel in the audience while playing, before the radio guitar thing was even invented. And I was in charge of THAT cable. Thinking about it, it shows how much radio frequency was in the air at the time, not much because it worked. I mean we could hear Albert’s Telecaster nicely as he paced through the crowd. Try that today, unless your are somewhere remote and incredibly far from any radio frequency sources, like the Gibson Desert perhaps, but possibly even there, you can forget about having a 50 meters unbalanced guitar cable with a blonde Fender Telecaster; it would pick up just about any noise from GSM, GPS, ILS to Wifi or 5G. Funny thing, that event did take place just at the edge of Geneva Airport runway in a festival and still that Tele sound was pristine, save for the maxed out Twin Reverb Amp of course…

Compared, Ry Cooder felt like a youngster newcomer to me, where Richie Heavens would just shred his Martin acoustic and Johnny Winter would focus at being loud, wild, blond and almost blind already, Ry had brought in two bright shiny yellow 19” wheel racks full of electronics to plug his guitar in. Some sort of a pre the Edge thing, minus the machine room size. Delays, reverbs, whatever, but did this sound amazing to me! The bit I liked the most perhaps was the fact that by having all this electronics stuff going with his playing forced him to play slow.

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Next, to BTND #02