1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

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

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

  1. shawnjulie

    shawnjulie TDPRI Member

    Age:
    57
    Posts:
    8
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Location:
    canada
    hmmmm gatton what can i say the man who changed my life. I was taking lessons with Dave Whitehill from guitar world fame and Dave said you got to check out this guy Danny Gatton he just transcribed his song Notcho Blues and a lesson And the next week he was on the cover of Guitar player mag. After reading the article i sent his mom a check for the album unfinished business and that was it i never heard anything like that before in my life. A couple months later i saw him at the now defunct Diamond club totally life changing and i have not been the same since. life changing is all i can say. As far as comparing tones of other players that is like asking what is your favorite colour is and saying it is the only colour that is the best it is all opinion
     
  2. dickey

    dickey Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,384
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
    I can remember about a day or so after Gatton's death,listening to the local FM "country" station, and the DJ announcing that he had been getting calls asking about Larry Gatlin's death. He announced "No, it wasn't Larry Gatlin;it was SOME MUSICIAN named Danny Gatton". Made me madder'n hell;the fact that he relegated Danny to the level of "some musician", instead of "world class guitarist"!
     
  3. DigitalHater

    DigitalHater TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    38
    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2009
    Location:
    Maryland
    I love DG, not trying to knock him, but Derek Trucks might not have stage personality, but he puts himself out there. Whether it's touring w/ ABB, or his own band, or coming onstage to jam w/ people playing the same festival. While I can see why you made the comparison, I don't find it to be a fair one. He's always on tour, showing up at guitar clinics, being interviewed (I shouldn't give him credit for Guitar Player wanting to talk to him), where that didn't seem to appeal to Danny. He may have been frustrated at why he wasn't a household name, but I don't think he capitalized on what would/could have gotten him mainstream (well, in the guitar world). Again, I love his music, never met him but know very closely some car guys that were his friends, and I hear he was the nicest guy. It is a shame, but look, we're still talking about him today. His legacy lives on.
     
  4. jimboturbo

    jimboturbo TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    56
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    If nothing else, this conversation brings up the larger issue of what it takes to "make it big" as a musician. Like his playing or not, DG was as technically gifted a player as your likely to ever meet. If that level of ability is not matched by a desire to do whatever it takes to succeed on a national level - tour, interviews, travel, etc - then chances are, you remain a local hero. Of course, that also brings up the issue of defining what success means to you. Truly, the fact that we're talking about him speaks volumes about the grassroots and honest buzz that surrounded him - word of mouth, tapes circulating, until his name came to the attention of Guitar Player. Most of the rest of us would have to pay big bucks to get that kind of publicity - or at least, I would! I never knew Danny, but I have a world of respect for his musicianship. I do know a lot of great musicians who have been tripped up because the didn't define what success meant to them, and ended up frustrated because they waited for the phone to ring. Likewise, I know a lot of mediocre musicians who did define it, and were rewarded for it. That last is a personal observation, and not an editorial on DGs career. I am grateful that there is a community of people who remember him, and care enough to still talk about his playing.
     
  5. telemania

    telemania Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    234
    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, Tx.
    What other musician had a tape of a show called "The Humbler". If you thought you had a badass night and just tore it up on the guitar, one of your "friends" would give you the tape. You thought you were that good? The musicians who were given a copy of the tape instantly knew that their stellar night was not that good afterall...

    I was stuck in a rut on guitar when I discovered DG. Tired of playing classic rock covers. Then I heard DG and heard a guy that could master rockabilly, rock, country, jazz and gospel all at once. He is still inspiring today.
     
  6. sparklecat

    sparklecat TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    26
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2004
    I was never a fan of jazz, so a lot of Danny's stuff doesn't appeal to me for that reason. That said, I did like the Unfinished Business album a lot, all his others are hit or miss for me. I love his playing and tone no matter what he did, just couldn't get into a lot of the songs. I have almost all of his albums, including Redneck Jazz on vinyl, and respect his amazing talent.
    I LOVE his rockabilly stuff, The Humbler is unbelievable, just jaw dropping stuff. I also enjoy the live shows he did with Evan Johns.
    There again, a lot of people hate Evan Johns' voice, but I love it, and you can pick up some cool shows on Evans' Jellyroll Records label. They are expensive, but if you prefer Danny's rockabilly/rock n' roll/blues side, check 'em out.
     
  7. Mark Schultz

    Mark Schultz TDPRI Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Gatton Lessons are in route for everyone who sent contact info.

    The tape starts out with me and Danny playing a blues swing , He then says go ahead and play. I play lead while and he plays an advanced bass chord pattern. then we switch:arrow:
    The tape then leaps 2 years ahead.With Jay Montrose taking our breakfast order.
    My playing improves after the break in the tape, so I know it was done in two takes

    Danny runs me thru licks and styles I should know. " So, what else do you want to know, Oh I know something you don't know" then he shows how to play in the key of A# while in A. We end up on a slow blues,
    This was recorded at Holly lane in Md in Dannys living room and his garage. At this time, I was in my late teens to early 20's
    Last note, I was not someone "at that time"who used his right hand -fingerstyle guitar. So there is plenty of repeats for us mortals.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2010
  8. firewire

    firewire TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    75
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    SoCal
    I can understand why some folks say they like Danny's playing but not his music (but I'm not one of them)...

    To me, his albums, especially his studio stuff, are not what Danny is about. His gigs were where you got to really hear what Danny was all about. So yes, if his records are all you know about Danny, then you probably won't like his music. But if you saw him live, it was just unreal magic...real exciting MUSICALITY.

    I feel so blessed that I got to hear him at least once a week for several years, and take lessons with him...and experience all the incarnations...fat boys, fun house, and the stuff with Tim Biery...
     
  9. Ignatius

    Ignatius Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,865
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    This thread rekindled my interest in Danny so I downloaded a copy of this book.

    I've always had great admiration for his playing on a certain level, but I'm not sure I ever really 'got it'. He's obviously a very deep well of musical knowledge with the chops to back it up. But musically there are times when I've been drawn in and other times where he just seems too busy and in your face.

    I'm only about a third of the way through the book so far, but I'm struck by anecdote after anecdote that refers to some kind of "contest" mentality, where some other guitar player would be blown away, humbled, silenced, left in awe, or whatever. There are numerous other quotations about how fast he was.

    There's another section about Liz Meyer becoming frustrated at his ever increasing volume and longer and longer guitar solos.

    Was this Danny, or was it the culture of the DC music scene at the time?

    This may be a very unpopular viewpoint given the amount of admiration this guy gets around here, but could it be that he never saw that wide acceptance as an A list player because he was an absolutely great guitar player that didn't understand his role in an ensemble of other players, or leave ample space in the music?

    I've been an admirer of his for a long time. I have some of his music and I'll continue to listen to it. This book is an really interesting read so far, and it has given me some new perspective on the guy. Looking forward to reading the rest of it.
     
  10. charriman

    charriman TDPRI Member

    Age:
    49
    Posts:
    88
    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    Location:
    Huntingtown, MD
    Looks like I got it today. Thank you very much!
     
  11. Tim Armstrong

    Tim Armstrong Super Moderator Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Posts:
    19,376
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I'm a big admirer of DG, and growing up in DC got to see him a fair amount, but I do know a few bandleaders who had similar frustrations with him as a sideman. The thing is, his kind of brilliance was really unsuited to the role. He was a heck of a lot of fun to go see as a bandleader, though!

    Tim
     
  12. livepulse

    livepulse Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    209
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2008
    Location:
    Netherlands
    DG Lesson

    DG was a bit like Jeff Beck imo... only play when he wanted too but not too much hassles...
     
  13. doublee

    doublee Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    345
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Location:
    The Hudson Valley
    Mark Schultz thank you sir! $4.90 for postage on its way to you....

    eric
     
  14. Stevie 202

    Stevie 202 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,422
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa

    Ummm...Mark, I sent you a PM too.....
    :?:
    (I realize you prob'ly got lots of requests for this, so I sure don't wanna be pushy)
     
  15. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    6,635
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Location:
    Ohio
    His style, described so well in an 1982 GP article, is what set me on a Tele quest, as was Clarence White's.
    Since then it has been intersected by Jerry Donahue, Albert Lee and Scotty Anderson.

    Now when I play, I sound like a guitar version of-
    Right Said Fred/Men Without Hats...



    /
     
  16. Stevie 202

    Stevie 202 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,422
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Ottawa
    Mine just arrived today.

    Mark, You are a gentleman sir! I will be sending along $5 for postage.

    Thank You!!
     
  17. Mark Schultz

    Mark Schultz TDPRI Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    27
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    Very Cool guys, Thank's for throwing me a bone on postage.
    Any reviews or opinions?
     
  18. RockinCarl

    RockinCarl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,525
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    The first song I ever heard of Danny's was the Sun Medley off of Cruisin Deuces. I grew up listening to Rockabilly, and hearing the way he played Rockabilly seriously changed my life. Listening to him is like hearing all my influences rolled in to one.

    A lot of people think Danny wasn't much of a showman, but to me, that MADE him a showman. Watching videos of him playing is refreshing for me- He'd play stuff that was near-impossible, and not show any emotion. That is more entertaining (to me) than a guitarist barely bending a string and making faces like they were shot in the back. To me that gets boring and embarrassing. And because of his "lack of showmanship," that might be one of the reasons he didn't "make it." He didn't make the faces and movements that a lot of guitarists do to make the audience believe that they're playing extremely hard stuff. Danny was a guitar player, not an actor. :)
     
  19. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,779
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2008
    Location:
    Cologne
    sure he was a showman. watch this stunt:
     
  20. RockinCarl

    RockinCarl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,525
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    Exactly! How could I forget the bottle.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.