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Just finished Danny Gatton - 'Unfinished Business' biog, plus some other thoughts

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by the embezzler, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. AdamLopez

    AdamLopez Tele-Meister

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    Danny was the most complete and talented guitarist I can ever imagine, but he lived during a time when being a "star" meant dealing with big record labels.

    A homebody like himself with a good manager could have had a much better career in today's world of indy artists/the internet/home studios/and the support of jam band type festivals.

    He was way ahead of his time and also too early all at once.
     
  2. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    would haves
    could haves
    should haves....

    Surprised he never went to Europe!
    (Shoot-- once you go to Europe-- you're uber-celebrity.
    Think: Jerry Lewis and David Hassledwarf !!)


    -- DG giving private lessons when things got $ down towards the end---many peeps would have travelled the backroads of MD to pay alot for an hr of lesson!!
     
  3. jimmybusk

    jimmybusk Tele-Holic

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    I think Danny's albums were a little over produced,... a little too """perfect""". It's too bad no one ever came up with the Idea of just letting him play in a concert hall, like the Fillmore east ,or the Beacon Theater,with a great recording engineer, and just Him Rip. Danny's problem also was, he was just too advanced, for the average brain to grasp,
     
  4. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    A few weeks ago I was reviewing his second Hot Licks video (Strictly Rhythm Guitar) and you can see it in the between-take banter that he's just done with it and kinda has an "I'm outta here" attitude, in general. I believe he was gone only a few months after that taping, but I could be wrong. Still very sad to me. He is truly a tragic figure, I think.

    Ironically, it seemed that the degree to which he enjoyed what he did was inversely proportional to how good he was throughout his career. He often seemed to be bored with it. One exception is that when I listen to "Relentless" it does sound like he was enjoying himself and playing off of Joey D.

    Scott
     
  5. GuloGulo

    GuloGulo Tele-Meister

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    I understand why he never went as far. It wasn't so much selling out as it is selling your mind to insanity. He was an against the grain guitar player not a ride between the lines guy. By riding the bike into some big shot band it would of gotten old really fast for him. Thats how the game goes though. People with huge talent always get left behind, they have to take the step if they want to get noticed.
    I'm sure he too had that music playing in his head all the time and at times it drove him crazy.

    Hendrix is praised like a god, and his playing is half assed and sloppy. So you know. It what it all comes down to. Right place right time.
     
  6. HC

    HC Tele-Holic

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    Well, it's not like he never went to Europe. I remember reading somewhere that he played in Oslo at least once. I think it was with Robert Gordon. But I might be wrong about who he was playing with.
     
  7. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Interesting you should say that. I recently stirred up a hornet's nest over on the FDP in the Strat forum when I suggested that, while I love them both, SRV was the better player, while Hendrix was the more important artist. Some folks didn't seem to get the difference between the two. As you can imagine, I was called a number of names by some. :D

    Scott
     
  8. cfender

    cfender Tele-Meister

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    "SRV was the better player, while Hendrix was the more important artist"

    Couldn't agree more. There are endless examples of this "better player" vs. "more important player".

    Oscar Peterson vs. Thelonious Monk, Lee Morgan vs. Miles Davis, Buddy Rich vs. Max Roach
     
  9. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    cfender:

    Three great examples of what I was talking about. Thanks.

    I've been a huge OP fan from when I was a little kid due to the influence of my grandfather and mother. He and Ray Brown together with Thigpen were simply unbeatable. Then there's his Pablo stuff with Joe Pass! I even got to see him play solo at Jones Hall in Houston when I was but 11.

    Not to mention, I just got through listening to "Sidewinder."

    All the best,
    Scott
     
  10. brokenjoe

    brokenjoe Friend of Leo's

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    Can't agree with you there. I don't really want to get into the whole apples vs. oranges thing but insofar as sheer unbridled creativity goes, Hendrix has no equal. sure, a lot of the time he flew by the seat of his pants, but that's what made him so explosively creative -not to mention one of the most influential guitarists of all time.
    Don't get me wrong here; I love both Hendrix and SRV, but Stevie, like that famous Isaac Newton quote 'stood on the shoulders of giants.'
    The real genius of SRV was that he was able to take a somewhat played out (at the time) genre -the blues- and blow a breath of fresh air into it. Hell, he even elevated it to top 30 FM radio!
     
  11. Tele295

    Tele295 Poster Extraordinaire

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    That was part of the rationale in having Danny on the New York Stories CD with Bobby Watson, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Franck Asnellam, Charles Fambrough, and Yuron Israel. Those guys have good jazz credentials on the European jazz circuit, and it was felt that this would be a good way to introduce Danny in Europe. IIRC, Danny had to turn down an appearance at the Montreaux Jazz Festival because he had another booking Stateside. While I may not have made the same decision in deciding between the 2 gigs, that was Danny.

    Although something in the back of my mind indicates that he and Billy Windsor did play Montreaux at some point?
     
  12. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'll definitely have to concede that point to you. Don't we all stand on someone's shoulders?

    In SRV's case, though, if you dissect his overall style it wasn't Jimi's shoulders, in my opinion, but Albert King's. As for Jimi, I believe he was also standing on Albert King, not to mention Buddy Guy.

    At any rate, we really appear to be in agreement because I did say that Hendrix was the more important artist, whereas you mentioned impact and creativity. Samey same. When I say "player" I mean who was cleaner, more consistent, etc., etc.? Look at some of their live clips, especially those where they were both obviously "under the influence," and Stevie is pulling off stuff that I don't think Jimi would even bother trying. Also, I'm referring to sheer endurance. I've never heard or seen Jimi do something like SRV's El Mocambo gig with regard to quality and show length.

    Anyway, back to Gatton...:D

    All the best,
    Scott
     
  13. jimmybusk

    jimmybusk Tele-Holic

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    It's all opinion ,.....BUT ,I think Danny was influenced mostly by Roy...,even more so than Les Paul, And Roy thought Jimi was the bomb. Personally ,I thought Duane and Johnny Winter blew Jimi Away,And I spent most of my teenage years preaching that to my Knuckle head friends................................,But those pot heads wouldn't listen !!!
     
  14. E5RSY

    E5RSY Doctor of Teleocity

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    Didn't Danny and Roy live together, at one point?

    Scott
     
  15. wierdOne

    wierdOne Tele-Holic

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    I normally stay out of discussions like this... but.. I've had a few conversations with people that were REALLY close to Danny... I'm not so sure that, after speaking with these people, that i'd believe even half of what is written in that book...

    I hope that Jay Monterose writes a biography of Danny one day.
     
  16. the embezzler

    the embezzler Tele-Holic

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    I'd have to disagree with that.

    Danny was clearly light-years ahead of Roy, technique wise, and Roy knew it.
    Roy simply showed Danny a path which led to his discovering his own voice - the blackguard tele into the blackface amp sound, the little jazz picks, the versatility of the Tele as opposed to the limited tonal spectrum of the Les Paul.
    Also, I know that Roy dug Jimi but I remember reading that the first time Roy saw Jimi in concert he felt that Hendrix's use of effects and such was like cheating.
    Danny's primary influence was always Les Paul. He absolutely worshipped Les.

    One of the more poignant moments in 'Unfinished Business' occurs around the time that DG gets to meet Les Paul. Supposedley, Les promised to help out Danny and get him a record deal and other things but it never happened. Some say that Les was jealous and threatened by DG.

    I can imagine it being hugely deflating to actually meet your biggest idol and have it turn sour.
    There's a slightly confusing anecdote in the book where it describes how DG says something to Les and it's taken the wrong way? I think Les ended up taking offense.

    Glad to see this thread is still going.
    We just shifted house so I've been away from the computer for a few days and hadn't had a chance to check back in.
    Thanks for posting the link to those mp3's, too.
     
  17. dijos

    dijos Tele-Afflicted

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    Wow.

    I found the book kind of depressing, and I wish that it had some periods fleshed out a little more. Due to the nature of the interviews, It's a little hard to follow in places. It had parallels to me of Scotty Moore's book (Which is excellent, and you should buy a copy now) in terms of the real side of the music business.

    I specifically wish that the Les Paul non-relationship/thing was explored a little more, as well as the DG/RB dynamic. It was pretty full on the family details, and some of Danny's bandmates. There aer those who declined to be interviewed, who may really hold important details that would change my perception. To me, that some declined is telling. I know that noone can really comment, but it concerns me that there are people that actually knew Danny that seem to have strong feelings about the book and the accuracy of certain details.

    This thread is really great.
     
  18. the embezzler

    the embezzler Tele-Holic

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    Absolutely. Like I said before, all of his recorded output is far too 'shiny' sounding. I bet the bootleg stuff is a far better representation of the real DG. That said, the book does mention several times over, mostly when quoting Ed Eastridge, that DG was a complete obsessive when it came to recording and had no qualms about tracking something over and over and over again.
    That in itself does point to a certain obsesive personality type that can also be associated with other forms of mental imbalance and depression.

    I think, had he stuck around for another 10 years than he would've found his natural place. Also, the general musical climate would've shifted just ever so slightly in favour of someone like him.
    Clearly, he needed good, stern management and a "I don't take no **** from nobody" kick-ass record producer.

    "He was way ahead of his time and also too early all at once."

    This sums him up just about perfectly.
     
  19. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Friend of Leo's

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    You have to treat books like this as "Factishual". Some insight, great stories and outrageous untruths.

    It's also important to remember that even stories by those close to Gatton will become colored over the years in their minds. How true is true?

    As far as a Monterose book, I don't know. I'm sure he'll take the money, but will he ever send the book?
     
  20. Euripidespants

    Euripidespants TDPRI Member

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    Well from what I gather, Roy and Danny's relationship went hot and cold. Somebody told me that Roy used to say things like "never send a guitar to Gatton for repair, he'll steal parts off it" and things like that. They also used to do things like call each other during gigs and leave the phone off the hook to hear each other. I think Roy was insane at various points in his life and he and Danny's relationship kinda hinged on whether Roy was in a friendly mood or in a weird, "I think I'm a werewolf" mood.
     
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