The Buddy Cage Story
Interview By: Robbie Bossert
Introduction Taken From Personal BIO. Submitted By Mr. Cage.
As one of the NEW RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE, Buddy has sold over 4 million records in that 10 year period. Cage has performed on 8 gold and platinum albums; "Panama Red" (NRPS), "Blood On The Tracks" (Dylan), "Biograph" (Dylan), "The Official Bootleg Tapes" (Dylan), plus 4 gold and platinum LP's with Ann Murray.
Buddy Has also recorded with Grateful Dead Members Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Micky Hart & "Dead" lyricist Robert Hunter (Tales Of The Rum Runners), The late and great John Cipollina (founder of Quick Silver Messenger Service), Mario Cipollina (Huey Lewis and The News), Rick James, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson (The Band), David Rea (Fairport Convention and Mountain), Allah Rahka (Ravi Shankar Ensemble), Ian and Sylvia (Great Speckled Bird), Folk greats Brewer & Shipley (Rural Space), The Shondells, David Bromberg (W/Bonnie Raitt), Pappa John Creach (Hot Tuna), Sly Stone, legendary jazz flutist Charles Lloyd, master cowboy-jazz fiddler Vassar Clements, George Hamilton IV, R&B star Lester Chambers (Chambers Bros.), and the late jazz genius Lenny Breaux, The Chili Brothers.
Buddy has appeared on numerous T.V. shows & specials including: Della Reese, Joey Bishop, Mike Douglas, Bobbie Gentry, Ann Murray, Richie Havens, Seals & Croft, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash (Grand Ole Opry), Don Kirschner's IN CONCERT & ROCK CONCERT series, and MIDNIGHT SPECIAL shows as hosted by Wolfman Jack.
Buddy is the founder of the legendary Bay Area, Hard-Rock group THE SAN FRANCISCO ALL-STARS. From its inception on June 28, 1978 to the present, many other famous Bay Area musicians have toured under this name and used it as a trademark and thereby, tacitly given to the rest who followed the imprimatur to "Play To Outrage!"
Cage worked a trio with Rick Danko in '87. And in '88 toured Australia with The Band.
In '90 he worked on an avant-garde jazz project with one on NYC's premier new-music jazz composers Bobby Previte.
In the commercial vein and in the "grunge" theme, a la Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Sound Garden, etc. Buddy is currently working on an album project with John Grossbard, involving some exciting new artists from the Rhode Island School Of Design.
A new CD has been released by Columbia Records of Artist Tribute to Bob Dylan. This includes the New Riders' recording of "Farewell Angelina"; incidentally the piece that caused Dylan to call Cage for the "Blood On The Tracks" sessions.
I'd like to share with you now, a portion of a letter that I received from Buddy dated 6-15-94. It reads:
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"Buddy Rich was of the opinion that 'a gig is a gig. What else am I gonna' do on a Saturday night?'. I respect BR's opinion as I would a prophet. Yet, it doesn't quite handle my feelings about performing. I'll put this as lyrically as I can: I won't work in shitholes, for shitmoney, paid by shitheads."
As you can see, Buddy is brutally honest and truthful when it comes to discussing aspects of the music "business." Consider this a disclaimer, Buddy sometimes uses strong language to get his point across. It may offend the one or two of you perfect people out there (Yeah Right)! But, I truly believe that in order to preserve the integrity of this conversation, it really needs to be left AS IS!
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Robbie- Let's discuss your musical background. Do you come from a musical family?
Buddy- My mother graduated grade ten piano, but considered the experience "forced" and chose to forget all about it. She refuses to dwell on the memory even today. She never plays. My father didn't play any instrument whatsoever. Still, they both loved music and my first memories of their shared tastes were Big Band stuff of the thirties & forties. Andrews sisters, Spike Jones, and other fantastic wartime artists bent my head as well. Also, from my mother's "Rural" relations, I was introduced to country music: Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers, Hank Snow, Ernest Tubb, Webb Pierce. I'm less than generous about my appreciation for this kind of music at about ages 4-5-6. That would change later on. I'll get into that.
Robbie- Where were you raised?
Buddy- I was born (in 1946) & raised to adolescence in Toronto, Canada. I've been in the United States, off and on, since about 1947; permanently since '68.
Robbie- Who do you consider to be your greatest influences musically?
Buddy- James Brown, Bob Dylan, Grateful Dead, Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell, Hendrix, Zeppelin, Joe Walsh, Freddie King, Steve Cropper, Sam & Dave, most Stax/Volt stuff, Oscar Peterson, Diz, Miles, Brubeck, slow (morning) ragas, Uillean (Irish bagpipes) pipes (dirges, preferably), Scottish pipes playing funereal, death themes only (!) are among my passions. All that and Ralph Mooney!!!!!!!!!!!!
Robbie- Have you had some sort of formal musical training or are you a self taught player?
Buddy- I took Hawaiian guitar lessons from a guy, (a Canadian player by the name of Ken Near) starting at about 11 years of age. He took me right into the world of pedals and broke his goddamn back preparing me for lessons, performance adjudication, etc... He died about 8 years ago from cancer; I hadn't been able to see him for more than 20 years and to my great regret, I will never be able to thank him adequately now. He set up my first pedal job (Fender 400) when I was 13, in the new (at least, to us!) E9th tuning and I took over from there. At that point, the roles were reversed. I easily understood that tuning, but Ken had a hell of a time with it and I got to show him some stuff. After that we drifted apart. As a matter of fact, he introduced me to Emmons guitars and Ron Lashley in their embryonic stage (I think he ended up with #4 off the production line, such as it was in those days). He personally shoved me into the faces of, what were to become my own favorite players: Emmons, Charlton, Chalker. I was to meet my other idols through my own chutzpah and other assorted weirdnesses: Crawford, Weldon, Jimmy Day. But it was Ken who started me on the serious road to realizing my own characteristic obsessions. It was in his teaching studio that I first discovered that girls were attracted to the guys who played the best. Isn't that why we ALL started practicing?
Robbie- Can you recall your first professional playing job?
Buddy- Oh yes, indeed! I was 14 or 15 playing in a bar/dance club. Got drunk, threw up. More on that. Then I took anything that came along, right through till I was about 17 and found a steadily touring group. This group would play nightclub/hotel situations for a week or two at a time. We'd get room and found, as well. Lottsa practice in the daytime. Stayed "on the road" till I was about 21, then got married (took a hostage) and chose gigs around town where I could fit in an increasingly busy recording schedule. Mostly country stuff at that time.
Robbie- I'm sure that most of our readers would agree after having read the introduction to this interview, that you are not the stereotypical steel guitarist. You have worked with a number of artists who's individual styles are as different as night and day. How do you account for the unique and diverse direction your career has taken over the years?
Buddy- An astute observation on your part. I've militantly avoided being stereotyped for a variety of reasons, far too complex for me to determine from a psychological standpoint. However, I'll try to get into some kind of explanation, for the record.
I was raised on Rock & Roll. I suppose I fancied myself a cerebral Neanderthal; I was an argument waiting to happen. Heard my first Little Richard stuff when I was 8 or so, (Bill Haley and Elvis too) and that blew the lid off any musical containment I had theretofore acquired. I got the "Penniman" album 'cause of the cover- no other reason, just a prepubescent flash. It was a multiple, primary color separation of Richard, knees bent, looking sassy as hell in a zoot suit! That pencil thin mustache and his extraordinary, Brilliantine hair just took my breath away! I pleaded with my folks for the LP and they acquiesced. (They should have had me locked up) When I played it, I was immediately obsessed with the cut, "Talkin''Bout My Mother." it just killed me.
I went through all the good rock of the fifties and very, early sixties until "Like A Rolling Stone" came along. I was sitting in my car, just having driven up to one of my first road gigs (I might have been 17 or 18), heard Dylan and my life changed forever. I was altered in my perception of music and life, all in that three minute-plus piece. From that moment on, I would never play the same, nor would I ever think the same. About ANYTHING. Forever altered! Tampered with.
I'd heard James Brown in '62 and would adopt him as my hero for life, thereafter. Probably the best. No, definitely the best!!!
When I was hot into sessions (mid '60's) producers were given more latitude for experimentation and steel was beginning to intrigue them somewhat. Because I was a product of my experience & my imagination with a lot of defiance thrown in, I played sub-standard country; which translated to some pretty good rock & roll. They used me a LOT!
Funny, but I would resent other players (rock varieties: Acid, Funk, Hard, British, Fag, Pop) who would start crawling around my guitar with curiosity when I would start setting it up to play on their sessions. I suppose that I wanted them to accept my guitar as just that: A GUITAR! Not some bendy-string, country novelty. If there was a preferred distinction, it would have been that they were SIXSTRINGERS and I'm a TWENTYFOURSTRINGER.
When Larry Hilt (up in New Hartford, CT) was designing and building the guitar I play today, I noticed a potentiometer on the end which only acted as a tone control. I asked "What the fuck is THIS!?" "Tone" he answered. "Unnnh!!! Change it to volume-ONLY!" I snarled.
When he asked why, I told him that tone was completely useless to me. Superfluous. Playing rock for all these years has taught me (among other things) that whenever I play, I'm in direct competition (at least, volume-wise) with sixstringers. Sometimes it can be a war out there. The usual way a sixstringer does a soundcheck is with conceited deceit. When the sound guy asks if that's all the level he's got, he says "Yes." A patent lie! We all know that he's got his guitar volume control set at 3 or 4! And without a like knob, I'm buried from the first tune. Besides, when have you ever needed a tone change that could be effected with any modern quality through a one-knob rheostat?
Robbie- What sort of connection or business relationship, if any, did NRPS, Commander Cody, and The Grateful Dead have with one another? It always seemed like they worked together often, as well as some players working for more than one of these bands on occasion.
Buddy- The Grateful Dead began NRPS, all due to Jerry Garcia's love for pedal steel. After he had completed the first album (Columbia), he turned the gig over to me. The New Riders needed a full-time member with their newly found career. I was the choice. I walked into a situation which was already a package: I was supposed to bring more kickass "country" presumably, to what was already a pretty skanky New Riders' scene however, that wasn't exactly what was on my mind. ROCK was the direction I was headed and fortunately our band and the GD had no rule book, bless their hearts!! The "Dead" never used an opening act, but NRPS had been incorporated into their show as a more extensive GD performance. We would play for two or two and a half hours and the "Dead" would play for another 4 hours!
However, after the first two albums (the second, with me, was POWERGLIDE), we were required to headline our own large shows: Enter, "The Commander." They were a brutal opening act. They were so fucking HOT, that if we relaxed too much, we were dead ducks as headliners. They pushed us to some pretty spectacular performances.
Robbie- After having worked every size venue that could possibly be worked, do you prefer a large or a small room? Why?
Buddy- I have no preference as all have their own charms. Or at least the potential. Yet, when there are open air, festival-type dates, there's more opportunity to see and hear the other artists, meet up with them, get some fresh ideas, make new friends. You might be surprised at how friendly and curious your contemporaries are.
We (Riders) did one indoor date a number of years back, when we were pretty damn high on the prestige list- and VERY aware of it! I always checked out the opening acts, out of respect, curiosity, amity and so forth. They like (I know I do!) to see other players around when they're performing; it's helpful in a lot of ways. Anyway, the rest of the guys were up in the dressing room doing their shit, whatever that happened to be at the time, and remained fairly aloof from what was going on at stage level. What WAS going on at stage level, was "John MacLaughlin & Mahavishnu!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I ran upstairs and told the guys that it would behoove them to get their asses in gear and get the fuck downstairs: Something REALLY BIG was happening and they were missing it. They just kinda' looked at me with polite disinterest. Tough. I went back down to enjoy the experience and witness "Mahavishnu" DESTROY the audience. OUR audience!
After the debacle, our band came down and assumed playing positions, completely unaware of what phenomenon had just gone down. Blissfully ignorant. We proceeded to play our hearts out (in retrospect, I think a more mellow tack might have spared us) to ABSOLUTELY NO AVAIL!!!! The audience was in a fucking coma over MacLaughlin & company, I know I was. Forgive me for designing an Aesop's fable.
The kinds of facilities I loathe & despise are the indoor arenas, particularly the ones with a gazillion, murderous steel girders. (Are there any other kind?) These atrocities (the arenas) manage to split and bend ONE note into infinite fractious cousins that reflectively merge upon their return to your ear, causing a most hideous abortion of the original note you sent out. A disfigurement so gross and gnarly that tuning one note to another is rendered an impossibility. Tuning standards would help, you say? DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH!!! No one has bothered to uniformly refine the gauging measurements in the little, crystal-based motherfuckers as yet. The Spectrum in Philadelphia goes down as the most heinous of all facilities I've ever played, in that respect.
Robbie- In your opinion, how does today's equipment compare to what was available 20 years ago? What is your current set up?
Buddy- My current setup is almost exactly what it was 20 years ago. I play the aforementioned steel built, designed and engineered by Larry Hilt. It's a double-twelve monster with 10 on the floor and 14 under, most of which operate both necks. Yeah, E9th & C6th, nothing terribly unusual there. This guitar is simply the best thing I've used in my lifetime. If I were to change anything, it would be the materials. The kind of hybrid plastics they're making these days, that, and the new metals (much as has been used on mountain bikes, of the 21 speed variety!) would reduce the weight by half. Mine weights 96 lbs. in the case. Larry is an eccentric, little genius and I reckon that with any kind of financial backing, he could come up with a steel guitar that would knock anyone out. Too bad he couldn't get the funding for the production of the kind of guitar he built for me.
As for amplification, that's about the same too. Two Fender twins (optional) that have been reworked by Dan Healy. Dan is the legendary sound wizard behind the Grateful Dead's quality performances. God calls him God! These are the same twins that (Jerry) Garcia uses today, as well.
I used to power these twins with a MacIntosh 2300 for the big halls. And for these large gigs I used 8 to 12-12" JBL's. I still use JBL's today.
With the exception of the amazing Boogie & the standby Marshall, there is nothing else! All the solid-state shit is useless to me. All the fucking processors as well, at least the relatively affordable ones they seem to be marketing. I maintain my collection of analog effects. The biggest fraud to date is that piece of shit Peavey line. GARBAGE! Suitable for one's living room. Gadgets, smoke & mirrors; designed to give you a fraudulent, gimmicky quasi-sound. Pure trash. State of the art? My ass! Only if you believe Hartley Peavey's brochures. I've got to give it to him as a marketing Guru, though.
Robbie- What is your opinion about some of the players working today?
Buddy- Don't know the players working today.
Robbie- We've all heard the kind of material being cranked out of Nashville's music machine these days. It features plenty of steel guitar, but in a lot of cases it seems to be getting real stale and boring. What is your opinion? Where do you see the steel guitar in 5 years?
Buddy- Um. I don't really know what's coming out of Nashville these days that's remotely of interest to me. None, probably. Same as it ever was. Commercial. A big business. All that's ok & good, as long as I don't have to participate. And I don't. But I do remember some good, old stuff. Perhaps I should take the time to pay homage to players & singers who inspired me. After all, it's highly unlikely that I would have taken steel any further than getting laid, if it weren't for some decent country music.
For starters, when I was about thirteen, my dad bought me a record of Buck Owens, for whatever reason. Neither of us knew what was inside. I can't remember the album title, but there was Above & Beyond, Under Your Spell Again, Tired Of Livin' (Scared Of Dyin'), Second Fiddle. And the steel playing simply devastated me! Mr. Moon. I was stunned, intrigued beyond words, beyond imagining. Thirty-five years later and I'm STILL not recovered, even in distant memory. The most unique player to ever touch the instrument. Apparently, his sacred status, held by the other players completely mystifies Mooney. I don't doubt that. George Jones is evidently the same way, Buddy Charlton another. It's easy for a player of my limited talent, to believe that the ichor of gods runs through their veins.
In my hot pursuit of world-class players to copy (to steal from), I had to go through certain channels. If, for instance, you HAD to hear what Emmons had recently bought down from the mountain on stone tablets, you had to get yourself a whole bunch of Ray Price records. If you wanted to hear what Charlton (he quickly became my personal favorite and remains so, today!) was doing, you had to develop a fondness for Ernest Tubb. And I did! (Try listening to Mr. Jukebox sometime). For old time inspiration, I learned to love the early fifties hits of Webb Pierce. Talk about balls.
I got into a lot out of Bluegrass. The Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, the Osborne Brothers- My god! "Della Mae?" "Ruby?" Un-fucking-believable!!!!!!!! The Louvin Brothers!!!! Oh man. Harmonies to kill for.
What do I see for the future of the instrument that has given me so much joy? About the same. Just another hillbilly guitar with a sideman's potential/status. All these players bitchin' about their lot, being "behind the eight ball" as it were.
You all know of the great things Scotty has done in bringing attention to this instrument over the years; astounding devotion, actually! But it still remains a sideman's axe. I DO hope that I've been able to contribute favorably to steel's universality through my own performances and associations with the other side of music.
I'll never forget going to a Buck Owens show when I was 14 or 15 and bugging Tom Brumley after the show. He was willing to talk to me, but allowed that he had some business to attend to, first. He packed up his guitar and proceeded to haul the bitch out to the bus, load it, all after changing out of those neat stage clothes. Seem routine? Yeah, I guess. I do somewhat the same thing today. But something went down in my brain that caused me to see the country circuit as less than a desirable path. I could see the trillions of miles traveled, that one would be cooped up, with fewer freedoms than I previously anticipated. Frankly, the bus deal, never appealed to me; 260-plus dates a year? Get a fucking life! I guess I just had grander dreams, even if they were less realistic. A BIG FUCKING PLANE!!!!!!!!
Robbie- What do you consider to be the highlight of your career to date?
Buddy- Highlight? Highlights!!!! In the plural, please! I suppose I would have to count the Dylan/NYC sessions as a most important highlight Robbie, however the train trip across Canada; Osaka, Japan; Australia, Europe '72 tour with the Grateful Dead; Carnegie Hall were all mindblowers of great substance. Did I mention we played in front of Elvis at the Palomino in north Hollywood, CA?
[There' a story in the Dylan Sessions]
Robbie- What do you consider to be your best recorded performance to date?
Buddy- There are many with different styles employed. Certainly "Meet Me In The Morning" (Dylan); "Gypsy Cowboy" (NRPS); a 6/8 thing, our drummer Patrick Shanahan wrote and sang, on an MCA album I believe, sounds like "Satisfied Mind" but isn't [confused?]/ on the same album some stuff that our bassist (Steve Love) sang; a couple of the old Ann Murray things, can't be specific; a lot of stuff on the "Panama Red" album; the Columbia "Live NRPS" album was hot, (Jerry) Garcia mixed it and most of the selections were his picks.
Robbie- What is the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you while on stage?
Buddy- None. Amusing? I can think of a few. Some on stage, but mostly off. In the studio too.
Robbie- When did you get the job with NRPS and how long did you tour with them?
Buddy- Ah yes. I was playing with Ian & Sylvia (my mentor, Amos Garrett on guitar) and in June or July of 1970 (after returning from Expo '70 in Osaka), We hopped aboard a privately leased, passenger train in Canada. We were bound for the major Canadian cities, all football stadia, with a Rock & Roll package which exceeded anything ever done previously (or since): The Band, Janis Joplin, Delaney & Bonnie, Grateful Dead/New Riders, Sha Na Na, Blues Image, Eric Anderson, Buddy Guy, Mountain, Rick Derringer, and on and on and on!
In motion, between city stops, the idea came up for Garcia and me to set up our steels and we became the focal point of a Folk/Country/bluegrass jam. Janis, Sylvia, Bonnie, Ian, and Garcia all sang on "No More Cane(On This Brazos)" as an example. Many More. And a few months later, when it became apparent to the Dead/NRPS that with a burgeoning career the Riders were gonna' have to get their own steel player, (Garcia would be going back to his regular job!) they settled on me as the ringer to replace him.
We toured and recorded as originals till 1982, making 11-12 years for me. Remember, that I had already been touring or otherwise professionally active for 10 years prior to that time. There was a gap of 1 year, '79 I think, when I left the Ridership to play some serious (?) Neanderthal-rock with John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service). The move was exacerbated by the diminishing satisfaction I felt in the management and direction of the band at that time; the desperation and fear in the band at that point was turning me into a paranoiac as well. It stopped being a free association with music and more of a grasping for a seat on the lifeboat. I'd seen it before; it's never pleasant.
I came back in at the behest of the band, 'New Management' (Spencer!?? Un-Fucking-Believable!!!!!) and new record label. A&M, to give it one last shot. The record never made it onto the shelf. It was another disappointment and I was ready for something else by '82. I left California for good and hid away at my girlfriends house in Massachusetts to take up a life of denial and alcoholism. I remained in this state for 7 years, until I found myself crawling to the doorstep of my first A.A. meeting. I got sober in '89 and have remained abstinent a day-at-a-time to the present.
Robbie- What sort of projects are keeping you busy these days?
Buddy- I play mostly sessions, some appearances. I don't do gigs to maintain a cash flow. There's far to little regard given to good musicians by dint of the puny fees that are being offered (and accepted!) through the nightclub circuit. Seems like the saloons have enjoyed a bargain-basement relationship with most local bands and are tightening the noose even further. They do that by nature. These predatory motherfuckers don't get the time of day from me, let alone my appearances.
So, in order to maintain, I do odd jobs to eke out my living. Until I receive offers that meet my standards, I choose to withdraw my participation from any kind of local "Scene." Whereas, I've been doing consulting work with alcohol and drug counseling firms and that kind of activity brings me little money yet a lot of personal satisfaction. After all I've been through, anything less than total honesty is completely boring, a waste of my time and an insult to the hard work I've done in recovery. The music business is rife with crooks, vampires, frauds, and manipulators. I DO stay close to those I trust and whose company I enjoy.
It's tough for me to consider projects from new bands 'cause, for some reason, my enthusiasm is not what it used to be. However, there's a neat couple of guys (songwriters/singers/musicians) I've been doing recording with over the last year in Manhattan, and they seem to be on the verge of showcasing for a record contract. I love their material and their ideas; I share their musical goals and I've offered to go through the wall with them when they get some modest backing.
Their producer, Jon Grosbart, has also been nudging me in the direction of a Buddy Cage solo album. He also has been putting me with a few of the former Motown session players who have gravitated to NYC after the demise of the venerable old label; projects have been loosely outlined and I have nothing but time to invest.
Robbie- So, you do plan to release a solo recording eventually?
Buddy- Scotty had been trying to get me to do an album for his label for many years. However, when I heard some of the solo jobs, I was bitterly disappointed with the slapdash-technique results. If I couldn't record something better than these disasters, I'd go back home. Granted, most of these wonderful players are incredibly talented. Why couldn't they achieve a product which measures up to their playing standards? Why won't I? Don't know.
Robbie- I've always heard so much about the "Cosmic Cowboy" movement that took place in the mid-'70's down around Austin, Texas. Do you feel that, like "Commander Cody," NRPS was a part of this movement? What sort of affect (if any), did this movement have on the bands career?
Buddy- I have little reference to anything happening in Austin, except that at that time in my life, it sounded like a feasible alternative place to stay drunk. There seemed to be an array of countrified type music happening, some of which might have remotely interested me, but not for the long haul. Remember, I was in the vanguard of original stuff, at least from a Northern California, Grateful Dead point of view, and I had Rock & Roll on my mind; I pretty much exhausted any ambition I had had to infuse Things-country into any future projects. Besides, I really operate better, for some reason, where I'm near large bodies of salt water. Fuck, I'm even better at life when there's a suggestion of palm trees and a tendency toward warmth and sub-tropic climate.
Robbie- Did you ever receive any negative comments from people that felt that there was no place in rock music for a steel guitar player?
Buddy- No. The other way around: Feelings in the steel guitar world that WE had no place in rock!!
Robbie- What are the best and worst aspects of working with a successful road and recording band?
Buddy- Women. And women.
Robbie- Looking back, what was the most difficult thing for you to learn about playing the steel guitar?
Buddy- Volume pedal technique. Buddy Charlton is the perfect master of volume pedal use.
Robbie- Do you prefer session work over live situations or vice-versa?
Buddy- I've always been a "live" player; a guy who gets great satisfaction out of nailing a live performance. The adrenaline, etc. However, the prospect (through another aspect of the art) of recording something great has its own attraction. I'm not really doing this question justice.
Robbie- Do you still actually sit down at the steel and practice, or is it more of a mental process for you having played for such a long time?
Buddy- The latter. A form of self-hypnosis, would be my guess.
Robbie- What thoughts should be going through a steel player's mind while on the bandstand backing a singer?
Buddy- My perception of "backup" is radically different from the Nashville mode. I'm way too crude rude for country acceptance. Too vulgar.
Robbie- Do you have any inspiring words for the folks that are just starting to play the steel guitar that will help them through the potentially frustrating time of practicing?
Buddy- You have your own journey to take with your allotted time on the planet. No one else may take the journey for you. No one else will be responsible. If you concern yourself less with other people's opinions, you might find that you will be able to more successfully mine your own creative talents. There are always compromises, of course, but innovation takes far greater courage than imitation. Play to enjoy. Play to dazzle, play to outrage, set your punk-ass down and play. BUT PLAY HARD! Have a happy life. Peace.