Photos by Brian Pickell
Headstocks: Spirit Bear, Cat and Metheny/Manzer Number 2.
Tell us about Stephen Fearing and Bruce
Cockburn, two of your biggest fans.
They are both monster players, a dream to
work with and fun as well. One of the best
things about what I do is who I get to meet and
hang out with, incredible musicians and people.
And of course, having players of that caliber
play your guitar is surreal. I pinch myself sometimes; this is a dream job.
We have a mutual friend in Tom Ribbecke;
you two built a beautiful guitar together. Tell
us about the collaboration, and if we’ll ever
get to see the video of that experience?
144 PREMIER GUI TAR JULY 2009
I hope so. There were some technical issues
holding it back, and it was filmed so long ago,
I am not sure it’s really a representation of what
we do now. It might make a good cinéma-vérité historical piece! I love and admire Tom;
he is inspiring and incredibly talented. That was
an intense and fun week.
What’s ahead for you?
Right now, I am smack-dab in the middle of a
project with Pat Metheny. It’s a series of 30 six-string flat top guitars celebrating our 25 years
of collaboration and friendship. It’s called the
Metheny/Manzer Signature 6 Limited Edition.
We worked to design and capture the essence
of the very first guitar I made him for him in
1982, which he has played pretty much every
night for the past 27 years. We added some
innovations that came from our design relationship over these years, including the Wedge, the
more recent thumb groove, and a very elaborate inlay scheme based on Pat’s own artwork—
you have to see it in person. It was a total blast
to work with Pat on this series, and I am very
proud of this series. Paul Simon was the first
to buy one at our launch in NYC last January,
when Pat and I presented the first ten. This
project will consume the rest of this year, and
after that more projects that are under wraps
for now. Let’s just say I am just as charged as I
was when I started out. I love what I am doing
and have a million ideas. I have a few irons are
in the fire… stay tuned!