He’s always been right there whether it’s for
charity work, for helping us out as artists with
our guitars or anything. So, thank you, Dick.
Okay, so Mac came to me and said he noticed
I was playing up on my neck a lot and that it
looked like I couldn’t quite get there with my
regular cutaway. He had heard that there was
something called a Schoenberg cutaway in the
Martin books, so we went to Dick and asked
him to build a couple and he did.
The thing about that guitar is it sounded incredible out of the box. Also, what you’ve got to
remember is that guitars need to be “played
in.” It’s my job to play the sound into the guitar. I’ve got to hit that thing; I’ve got to play it
constantly. Some people actually strap them to
speakers and get them rolling up like that. Mac
McAnally likes to do that. But I found that after
about a year, two years, along with your finger
oil, your soul, your everything, it starts opening
up the guitar. And now it’s kind of like a marriage. That wood was shaped by a wonderful
craftsman at Martin and then my soul goes into
it and it becomes this incredible instrument.
I understand Mac McAnally’s custom Martin
didn’t fare so well.
What happened to Mac’s is, after a couple of
months it was starting to open up because he
was playing it a lot. That’s when it got squashed
between two road cases. I tell you, there was
nothing left of that thing. We’re talking toothpicks. He ordered a new one though and it’s
What kind of pickup did you go with in
I’ve been a Fishman guy all my life. I’ve got an
Ellipse system with a mic in there right now. I’ve
used the mic a little bit but I’ve got to tell you,
the pickup sounds phenomenal. I’ve got an
Infinity system on the way, I’m excited to try that
Last question—is there one that got away?
Oh yeah, man! I know exactly what you mean.
When you said that I felt a pain right here in
my back. I had a Gibson L- 5. It was a beautiful
blond, jazz guitar. I don’t know what year it was,
but it must have been like a ’ 63 or ’ 64. It was
beautiful. It had gold hardware and it just sounded incredible! I was a young pup and I didn’t
know what to do with it. Pat Metheny started
playing a new guitar synth so I traded that for a
Roland guitar synth. Nothing against Roland, of
course, because I still use their guitar synth and
their VG88 system in my own band, but that was
probably the dumbest trade I’ve ever made.
That guitar today might be worth about 40
grand, but more importantly, it was just a
beautiful soulful guitar. That’s my one that got away.
Peter Mayer can be heard on Jimmy
Buffett albums dating back to 1989’s Off
to See the Lizard. His latest solo album,
Still in One Peace, will be released in early