everything is one whole note lower. The reason I use so many guitars onstage is because
songs are in different keys—open D, open E,
open E%—and it saves time between songs.
Sometimes I use capos, too—if I’m singing
in C, I’ll put the capo on the third fret.
Which guitars are you going to tour with
this time around?
I’ve got a really great collection. My brown
Strat—the body is a ’ 65 and the neck is
from some time after that. It’s kind of a
hybrid that I got for $120 at 3 o’ clock in
the morning in 1969. It’s the one without
the paint, and I’ve used that for every gig
since 1969. I also have two or three of
my signature Fenders. Those guitars are a
metallic blue to indigo, and they have Texas
Specials pickups—which are really great—
and jumbo frets like my other Strats. Then
I have a ’ 63 sunburst Strat that used to be
owned by Robin Trower. I have Seymour
Duncan pickups in that.
YOU’VE GOT TO FIND THAT LIGHT IN THE OTHER
PERSON AND APPEAL TO IT. THAT’S ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT MUSIC IS REALLY GREAT FOR.
You also use a Gibson, right?
Yes, I have an old Gibson ES- 175 cutaway. I
went to the cutaway because I use a capo on
the third and fifth frets, and I can’t get the
octave unless I have a cutaway. That’s part of
the reason I went to electric, as well. Partly
for sustain and partly to be able to get the
octave when I have a capo on.
What do you like, sonically, about bottleneck slides over other slide types?
I didn’t know any different! I literally
soaked the label off a Coricidin bottle
until I got to college and saw people playing other types. I’ve never used anything
but glass. Jim Dunlop makes them for
me. My fingerpicks have to be custom
made, too, because they stopped making
small plastic fingerpicks years ago—they
only make metal fingerpicks now. Metal
fingerpicks are for the banjo and it’s a different sound. I’m sure people use them