In digging through the 1970s Guitar Player archives did some of the interviews prove harder to track down than others? How much fun did you have delving into the archives?
We have a pretty comprehensive index of past issues, so tracking down articles was almost ridiculously easy. The trick, as I mentioned earlier, was deciding who to feature. The difficult phase was compiling a master list of killer '70s guitarists, and then editing that list down to a manageable number. A few tears were shed at personal favorites who didn't make the cut — and, yes, I'm keeping those names secret! But once Hal Leonard approved the final list, it was a breeze acquiring the necessary articles.
It's always a blast to dive into the unbelievable wealth of information and vibe and history that pulses through the Guitar Player archives. Anyone who loves the guitar and guitarists could lose months of their lives drifting in and out of its clutches. It's dangerous in there!
While the book's cover sports rock icons like Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townshend (among others), the book delves into many genres of music, including Leo Kottke (folk) and Larry Coryell (jazz fusion). How important was it to you to cover a range of genres when editing this book?
From its inception in 1967, Guitar Player has always been a stylistically diverse magazine, so it was incredibly important that the book mirror the publication's expansive breath of coverage. We love ALL players. Carlos Santana once told me that GP has remained his favorite guitar magazine precisely for that reason. He likes that we cover "blues legends and kids with blue hair and piercings."
I was struck when reading the interview with Leslie West, just how much of a time capsule these interviews were. At one point, West mentions some of his musical peers. It was a mixture of names folks would recognize and others that it seemed faded into obscurity. Did you ever find yourself, when editing these pieces, running across a name that you wanted to find out more about their music?
Well, I'm lucky, in that as editor of Guitar Player, I've been exposed to a lot of guitarists from myriad eras. I wouldn't say I was surprised by any of the influences mentioned in the interviews, but, yes, if I came across a player whose music I hadn't heard in a long while, I would be motivated to find and play some of their tracks while I was editing the book.
How did you go about compiling the "Dy-No-Mite" Discs sidebars for each article?