E X C E R P T
MP3 AUDIO SAMPLE (1:26:40--1:28:43) MZ000002, Transcript, P. 21-22
Talking about the Opposite Six and early Sons period playing with Bill Champlin and Tim Cain:
(MP3 AUDIO SAMPLE)
But I think, and this isnʼt meant to be humble, itʼs meant to be just the way it really is. I was pretty much a jazz guitar player until I started playing with Bill and Tim, and that was at the end of the Opposite Six. Well, Tim and I had that band before (The Countdowns), but when I started playing with Bill it was at the end of the Opposite Six, when Don Irving left to go join the Beau Brummels. And from that point on, the way that Tim arranged the tunes, the way that Tim and Bill arranged the tunes, late Opposite Six, early Sons, totally structured and made me the guitar player that I am. I would honestly say that outside of my ability to just play a lot and be really imaginative, everything that made my guitar playing great was pretty much a product of Bill and Tim. It all happened very unconsciously on my side, but when you think about the amazing vehicles that I had to play on, and how powerful they were and how they set everything up, I mean there were no guitar players that were getting set up in such a powerful way as I was. It still required that you really come with it and be able to play inside those things, but I owe them almost everything as far as really being who I am as a musician. It wasnʼt me, it was Tim and it was Bill that shaped me. I think what was great about me was that I could really surrender the whole thing because it was enough, you know? So we were going to help each other with our lives, and we were going to go forward. I never thought that we were going to be married forever, but that we were really going to help each other land in a very good place. So, that was the hardest part of the whole thing, realizing that that wasnʼt going to be, a truly shared thing. Actually, it never really was a shared thing.
Speaking about his musical debut on TV at age 5:
I played shows, I played casuals, and I subbed for my dad. I was working a lot of really cool gigs when everybody else was being kids just doing kidʼs stuff. But only because my dad got me the gigs. My first professional gig was when I was 5 years old. I was on this TV show called Mother Maryʼs Birthday Party. I think it was the first kidʼs show that they had on television in the Bay Area. And seeing that my dad was a CBS staff musician, they asked him what they should do for music. So he told them, “You know, my kidʼs pretty good on guitar, he sings and plays. Do you want to have him come in?” And so the very first show, I still remember it like it was yesterday. They brought me in and I played, “A Peanut Sat on a Railroad Track”, and “How Much is That Doggie in the Window?” So I was this little guy with this big guitar up there playing these songs. The thing I remember about it most though, was that there was this big table with all these presents and this big giant cake. And there had been a whole bunch of promotion leading up to the show and they said that if your child was born in this particular week that they would like to have him or her on this new program. So they picked 30 kids whose birthdays were all on that week. So I did my little thing and I played the songs. When I was finished, I put the guitar down and I ran over to the table and I sat down, and there was the present and the cake. And then the studio guy comes over tells me that he was sorry but that it wasnʼt my birthday. And I was just totally breaking down and crying, Iʼm saying, “What do you mean I canʼt be here? There is a big cake and presents!” Then dad took me aside and said, “So hereʼs how it works. And by the way, youʼve got to do another tune, So youʼve got to suck it up.” (Laughter)
Speaking about the third album, Follow your Heart, and the song, “Beside You”:
Thatʼs all Bill playing guitar, and everything on that. Thatʼs Bill playing, not me. Some of the best guitar playing on all those early Sons things was from Bill. I played the raging solos. I played the really unique parts inside there. But, a lot of the real technically together stuff, the fingerpicking, thatʼs all Bill. People are always stunned when we talk about this. They go, “Oh, we just thought you did it all.” And Iʼd tell them, no. Really, actually the most together songwriting guitar stuff, Bill did. I came in and put my flavor on it, and did my thing to it, you know? But the guitar wasnʼt all me at all.
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