Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Roy Buchanan's "Nancy" above the nut

Roy Buchanan was interviewed by Noe Gold
and photographed by John Peden

In June, 1982 yours truly Doctor Noe aka Noe the G was getting restless in my role as the editor of Guitar World magazine. So I hung out my Guitar Galaxy shingle, which allowed me to do some side projects of my own. I distributed guitar effects created by my partner Jimi Hendrix effects guru Roger Mayer, produced ax-related artifacts such as The Guitar World according to Frank Zappa and The Guitar World According to Steve Stevens and did a historic interview with Roy Buchanan, Master of the Telecaster.

The occasion was our photo session of Roy's beloved Telecaster, "Nancy," for the Collector's Choice centerfold feature of the magazine. While we were at it, photographer John Peden and I decided to videotape an interview with Roy in the studio, in which he would play the Telly, show off some licks and techniques and regale us with his down-home personality and philosophy of playing and guitar hardware.

We provided Roy with some bitchin' equipment for his "master class": we had him playing through a 4X10 Fender Bassman amp, model 5F6-A, considered by many that know to be the BEST guitar amp ever made by any company. It can be glimpsed in a few of the shots. We also used a 1961 brown Fender outboard spring reverb unit model 6G-15. We employed 2 good Nakamichi microphones, one for vocal and the other on the amp. Roy definitely liked the tone of this rig (who wouldn't ?) This set up along with the relaxed vibe of the shoot and Noë the G’s knowledgeable questions contributed to a fairly short but successful video.

Time passed, and unfortunately, so did Roy, may he rest in peace. The tape lived on a shelf in John Peden's studio for 25 years, until I had the bright idea to transfer it to DVD. I did a little editing and put out a DVD called Roy Buchanan Telly Talk.

Before long, I started to get some amazing response from people who had been touched by the magic of Roy's music.

"… This interview is special and should be made available," said one string-bending fan who bought the DVD. "I wish Mr. Buchanan was still with us so that I could have met him and have a conversation like you had. Just like yours it would have been an extremely special occasion.

"Roy Buchanan was the best. Unique and very missed. He gave us the gift of his music for us to experience and add to the pleasure of living. His music is truly special."

"You should post the intro of Roy on youtube," said another fan. "You would generate a lot of interest in the DVD. Plus it would give Roy some more exposure to newer players. I think this DVD with Roy is the only type of its kind."

So now we are in Phase One of the Roy project. With Telly Talk out in the marketplace and yes, a YouTube "teaser trailer" soon to come, we are gathering more material for what we are calling the Telly Talk Directors Cut. This is envisioned as a full-on documentary, adding to the 1/2 hour of video we did with Roy a bunch more photos, live footage and talking-heads interviews with Roy admirers and friends such as pickup meister Seymour Duncan, Telly practitioners Jeff Beck, Andy Summers, Will Ray, Jim Campilongo (solo and with Nora Jones on "The Little Willies") and Jerry Donahue and drawing heavily from the reminiscences and the voluminous vaults of Roy-ologist Bob Davis.

And, stay tuned for this …
Richard Smith, author of "Fender - the sound heard around the world" curator of the Fullerton Museum Center 301 N. Pomona Ave, Fullerton Ca. 92832 (714) 738-6545 will mount new exhibit on the Telecaster in March. The Roy Buchanan “Telly Talk” footage will be part of the exhibit and copies of the DVD will be available in the museum gift shop.

For updates on the exhibit and our progress with the Directors Cut, and for ordering info re the DVD take a look at the column on the right. It's easy, just send me and email requesting it and I'll send you a PayPal invoice which, when paid, will trigger immediate delivery of your DVD. It's capitalism at its best.

Noe G

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