Some of Richard’s guitars
GIBSON SOUTHERNER JUMBO (1954)
The Southerner Jumbo, an old standby in the Gibson line, was for many years their answer to Martin’s Dreadnought. This guitar from 1954 has a beautiful sunburst finish and is all original. As is typical with Gibson acoustics, it’s rich and woody tone suits finger picking or strumming, it’s the guitar on the recording of “Who’s Your Baby” and performs that duty on tour as well. I also play this on the finger picked “Prairie Wedding”, though on the record I used a 1965 Martin D-21.
GRETSCH ARCH TOP (mid-1930’s)
Certainly the senior guitar on tour, I purchased this instrument in 1969 while living in Los Angeles. It belonged to a wonderful guitar player and friend of mine Seymour Drugan, who played in the 1930’s and 40’s as a staff guitarist on radio in Chicago. He purchased this guitar new, in fact he purchased 2 of them at the same time and called one the male and the other the female because of their very different tones. “Drugan” is inlaid across the top banner of the headstock where it used to say Gretsch. Seymour moved to L.A. in the 1950’s and worked for many years in the instrument department of Wallich’s Music City on the famous corner of Sunset and Vine. In 1968 he came to work at Al Casey’s music store where I too was employed. He was a constant source of good advice to me, and was well known and loved by all the West Coast guitar players. After his death in 1969 I purchased this guitar from his wife. By the way, mine is the female and it’s mate, the male, is enjoying semi-retirement in Phoenix, Arizona with Al Casey. A woman’s work is never done, and this female stays busy, she’s the “Rudiger” guitar on record and tour.
MARTIN OM-28V (2000)
I took delivery of this just as rehearsals for the “STP” tour began. It’s one of the old original models that Martin has revived with great success. The “OM” stands for Orchestra Model and denotes body size and neck length. This style instrument is excellent for finger picking, although I currently have it strung with high octave strings and use it as a strummer on “What It Is”, recreating a guitar similarly strung that I played on the recording.
GRETSCH CHET ATKINS COUNTRY GENTLEMAN (1967)
As lovely and silky sounding guitar as you’ll find anywhere, this one belongs to Mark and he’s graciously taken it out on tour for “Baloney Again” and “Sailing To Philadelphia”.
I played my extremely orange 1956 model of the same instrument on the recording of these two songs, but was reluctant to bring it on tour, as it’s a deep, hollow body guitar with open F-holes and prone to feedback even at low volume. As the Chet Atkins models evolved over the years, their bodies became shallower and the open f-holes were completely done away with. What appears to be f-holes are actually painted on a solid top, and while the body is still hollow, it’s a much more manageable guitar for concert volume levels. The Gretsch ‘Chet’ models are highly prized for their versatility; twangy, jazzy, creamy and rocking—all at the same
Cape Cod and the Boston Orpheum
MK, Guy and Paul went for a delightful drive to Cape Cod. Seen here topping up the sun-tans, enjoying the sun and sand of Nassau beach, Cape Cod……..
James Taylor was with us in Boston. It was his first appearance on stage since the arrival of their twin boys a couple of weeks prior. Congratulations, James and Kim.
We had fun and games with the PA. The power was dipping and the PA kept on cutting out. Walk of life was fun, I was playing the intro on my own for about 3 minutes! MK was shouting “can anyone hear us?” There was no response from the crowd.
What happened was the 3 phase power supply in the building suddenly went one-legged (ie. 2 legs dropped out) The usual solution would be to power all the amps down and re-boot but that would mean the show would stop. Ace sound technician Pat Fisher came to the rescue and hooked everything up to single phase (a clever trick) while they corrected the problem. Thus the show went on………
In spite of all this, we had a great show in Boston!