amp over to his studio so he could try it out
while he was working on his most recent album.
On my way to Heathrow to fly home, I had to
swing by his studio to pick up the amp. I knew I
was going to have to pay the $125 overweight
shipping to get it home, so I thought, “Why not
fill the amp with laundry?”
Now, Mark insists on helping me carry the
amp down from the studio. I tell him, “I got it,
Mark,” and he says [adopts a British accent],
“No, Bill, please let me carry the amp.” So we
get down to the sidewalk, where I’ve got a car
waiting, and I say, “Okay, I’ve got it from here.”
But again Mark insists, ”No, let me help you.”
So he’s holding the case open with the amp
in it, and I’m trying to force my plastic bag
of dirty laundry into the back of the amp.
Well, I’ve been in England for three or four
weeks, so this bag just won’t fit in there.
Finally, there’s nothing for it: Mark is kneel-
ing on the sidewalk, holding the case, and I
have to take my dirty underwear out of the
bag and shove it into the back of the amp. I
say, “So, Mark, is this how you travel?” And
he goes, “Not anymore.” And I say, “So
watch and learn, Mark.” [Laughs.]
Mark is a great guy, just lovely. He also has the
most spectacular studio I’ve ever seen—by
a power of 10. Everywhere you peek, there
are vintage guitars and amps, 16-track tape
recorders, ribbon mics—all kinds of astonishing
gear. While I was there I met [Knopfler’s sec-
ond guitarist] Richard Bennett, who I’d never
met before. He was very nice too.
Are you particular about speakers?
Yeah, I’m really mad for these Jensen neo-
dymiums now. I used to use the Jensen reis-
sues, but then the neos came out and they
work even better for me. I think it’s because
they have a flatter frequency response.
Whatever it is, I like it. I occasionally use an
original Jensen C12N, and my ’ 68 Deluxe
has an even older Jensen that Pete Cage put
in it for me. But, by and large, the Jensen
neo is my speaker of choice.
“Shelly’s Winter Love” has deep, throbbing
tremolo. Does the Talos have tremolo or
are you getting that from the Deluxe?
No, the Talos doesn’t have tremolo. During
the tracking sessions over in England, I got
my tremolo from one of those $29 miniature
Danelectro Tuna Melt tremolo pedals. I love
those things. It gives a little gain boost,
which is handy. For the overdubs back home,
I used my Deluxe’s tremolo.
Did you use other pedals on the record?
I used a Talos overdrive pedal called the
Ass Bite Overdrive, of all things. It has four
knobs—a Gain knob and a Volume knob, plus
one knob for Ass and another for Bite. There