An Interview With Mr Amazing

He taught Ted Greene all his chords (though, Ted forgot half of them); he taught Danny Gatton how to chicken pick; he taught George Benson how to sing; he taught Burnin' Vernon how to burn; he taught Bill Frisell how to ... dress....Yes, it's an exclusive interview with Mr. Amazing, the most amazing guitarist in the history of the world. There are some things you may not know about Mr. Amazing, such as: Mr. Amazing holds not just one, but two PhDs (music composition and anthropology), two masters degrees (physics and sports medicine) and a bachelors degree in accounting. Mr. Amazing is a cancer survivor, a great grandfather, runs two successful businesses, has won nine Grammys, has been happily married for over 40 years, was a fighter pilot in Vietnam, is a former state senator, and was the winner of the Mr. Universe contest in 1972.

So let's get right down to it!

Mr. Amazing, you've seen and done so much, your range of experiences are so vast, why not start us off by telling us about your first guitar.

MA: Uh, well, I think it was an old acoustic that my neighbor gave to my dad in exchange for a broken but fixable lawn mower. It wasn't very good but it got me started.

Oh, amazing, and what kind of strings did you put on that guitar?

MA: Oh, who knows? that was many, many years ago. I know the guitar was pretty difficult to play so I don't imagine they were very good.

When did you get your first 'real' guitar?

MA: Oh, I suppose that was a few years later. I bought a little OOO Martin with $200 I was awarded as a prize for best science project in the city of Sacramento. It was a joint contest with the University of California and the federal government's youth science program whereby students were encouraged to ...

Cool! What kind of picks and strings were you using with that Martin?

MA: Uh, well, I don't recall, I've never worried too much about those kinds of things.

Me either! What was your next guitar?

MA: I don't recall, really. Might have been an electric .... but I was so busy working with the homeless during high school and, later, on the volunteer fire department, guitar was, you know, kinda secondary to what was going on in my life....until I decided to go to music school. What was really important for me at that moment in my life was trying to unify my love of music with...

Wow, what kind of amp did you use back then?

MA: What? Uh, yeah.....geez, the same little Magnatone I have today.

What kind of tubes does it have?

MA: I don't know. Is this important?

No, no, not at all. What kind of replacement speaker did you put in it?

MA: I didn't.

Wow! When will you replace it with a Hemptastic VintageVibe Mojoriffic speaker?

MA: Probably never since I have no idea what that is.

Tell us about your effects rack and pedalboard!

MA: I just use a bit of reverb that is in my amp if that's what you're talking about.

Wow, that's insane! Let's talk a little about your most famous recorded solo, the one with Smokin' Joe, live at The Regal, on the song "Ain't nobody got time for all this bullshit." The first time I heard that solo I cried, it was so emotional, man. What kind of guitar cable were you using that night?

MA: I have no idea.

What online gear forums do you frequent these days?

MA: None, if you're talking about what I think you're talking about. I rarely go online aside from reading the news and weather.

But, uh, you're missing the gear reviews and the latest buzz. How do you know what's hot or good unless you're getting opinions?

MA: Why not just figure it out on your own?

Whoa! Well, uh, next question, I'm almost afraid to ask: I guess you don't have a favorite demo artist on YouTube?

MA: A what?

Demo artist.

MA. Uh, I have no....

That about wraps it up. Thanks for such an enlightening and multi-faceted interview, it was a real pleasure, and we look forward to picking your brain in the future!

MA: Sure.