90 PREMIER GUITAR NOVEMBER 2009 www.premierguitar.com
I was very surprised to see you using a
Jerry Jones Electric Sitar. How did you
come to use that?
I saw one when I was in Nashville a while
ago, had to have one, and wondered what it
would be like to use one for blues. So I talked to my record company and they agreed
to let me use one on a recording, which was
“Skin Deep,” the title of my last CD.
Tell us about the amps you’re using.
What is it about them you like?
They’re called the Chicago Blues Box, and
they’re custom made for me. What they did
was reproduce the old Fender Bassman amps
as close as possible to the original ones.
Nobody else was doing that at the time. They
work the best for me onstage. They sound
like the old Bassman amps I used to use.
I saw a photo of you playing a Gretsch guitar
in their catalog last year. Do you use it often?
I don’t remember playing a Gretsch.
Doesn’t Fender sell Gretsch guitars now?
Man, I got so many guitars. I don’t know
what I have anymore.
Tell us about your Martin signature
model acoustic guitar.
Martin contacted me and told me they wanted to make a signature acoustic for me. I
agreed, but only if some of the profits would
go to poor people. The problem today with
this country is that poor people don’t get
enough help. The government gets everything and doesn’t do enough, so I had them
donate part of the profits to charity. I use a
Many of our readers spend a great deal of
time and money perfecting and working
on their tone, sometimes to the point of
obsession. How do you feel about that?
With the old Bassman amps, I got the perfect
tone. I was maybe the first cat to get feedback on the guitar and use it. It happened
one night in a club after I put my guitar
down. Some woman brushed against the G
string and it started to feed back. I sat there
listening to it and started using it. When I
went to San Francisco to play in 1968, people
like The Grateful Dead and all the other
guitarists out there wondered what I was
using that sounded so good. It was an old
Bassman. Then, they all started using them.
Buddy with a Guild Starfire IV at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA, May 5. 1980.
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