I had a nice deviation from my normal routine of wasted nitwits tonite… I picked up a guy named Guillermo that had 2 electric guitars… I played a little back in my teens and still have my old Strat, so we talked music and guitarists for the whole ride. He was a little younger than me, and when I asked who his influences were, he gave me several of the greats… Page, Clapton, Beck, Howe, Santana, and then he surprised me by mentioning Steve Morse of Dixie Dregs. I LOVE Steve Morse’s playing. I asked if he listened to any jazz, and he said, “Not much… who do you like?”
I mentioned several jazz (and rock) guitarists that I really like, among them Frank Zappa, Pat Metheny, Lee Ritenour, David Gilmore, Wes Montgomery, Tommy Tedesco… and I threw in John Entwistle of The Who; in my mind, you shouldn’t call yourself a bassist until you can play the bass line of “The Real Me” from the Quadrophenia album note for note. Go listen to it… Entwistle the the most underrated bassist in history.
I told him about a concert I went to when I was in my early twenties… John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia, and Al Dimeola… front row, center. 18 or 20 feet from the fretboards. Pure, uncut, and unadulterated guitar porn. Seeing Pat Metheny from the second row on the American Garage tour is pretty much what made me give up guitar, because I knew I would never be able to play like that.
But then I said that for sheer technical excellence blended with emotional performance, it was hard to beat Stanley Jordan. Guillermo said, “Stanley who…?”
To the best of my knowledge, no one on the planet plays guitar like Stanley Jordan. Rather than strum chords and play scales for solos, he plays a guitar like it is a piano keyboard. Ever seen Elton John or some other rock pianist play one keyboard with one hand and a second keyboard with the other, chords and low notes with one hand and riffs and high notes with the other? That’s how Stanley plays guitar. And I told him that he HAS to see Stanley Jordan play “Stairway To Heaven” on TWO guitars simultaneously… not on a doubleneck like Jimmy Page, on TWO GUITARS.
I told Guillermo to come look at my blog on Friday, so here ya go, brother… class is now in session…