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I'd rather write a great line that only 5 people read than a good one that 5 million read
Of course, the title line is something of a compromise: it's an okay line that only 5 people will read.

(I'm on a break from hectic busyness, hope to post more.)

Speaking of great guitar lines, here's Ronnie Hawkins And The Hawks from February 1963 — don't know if that's the recording date or the release date; either way, I doubt that anyone at such an early date other than the guitarist here, Robbie Robertson, was putting down, on vinyl or tape, guitar lines with as much distortion, sustain, and virulence (in London you might hear something like it live from Brian Jones or Eric Clapton, but the tape's not running yet, not for a few more months).

I'm curious if I'm wrong here, if there actually are blues or rockabilly or country boogie guitarists already giving you as much distortion or bite. Possibly there are ones with as much sustain and distortion, but they're not trying to hurt you the way the young rock men are. Maybe James Burton* has something of that in him, but still he's getting you through the night more than he's tearing the night to pieces. Some of the rockabilly singers had that push in them, but the guitars were relatively even tempered.

Unless I'm wrong.

(Taking Robbie Robertson as fundamentally himself, rather than an heir or precursor to anything, he's here playing thick and thin at the same time, that is he's got the sustain that gives the notes a bigger bleeding brush, but he's still whittling his guitar lines down to a sharp point. Also, there's something of a stutter/jitter to his playing, what someone might later call funk.)

*Note that the track I linked is by Ronnie's cousin Dale.

This entry was originally posted at Comments still welcome here, there, and anywhere.


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