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Thread: Is John Watt the most progressive Progressive Rock Guitarist?

  1. #16
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Everyone now expects progressive rock guitarists to do their own artwork,
    so here's the first painting I finished in my newest residence.
    I recommend staring at the center and letting your eyes go,
    to let it envelop you, as the larger than eyesight scene it is.
    The close-ups are here to show the detail of the rain and background.
    This is a view from the Lake Erie shore north of Crystal Beach.
    The original is 30 inches wide and 26 inches tall.
    This domain works so nice it's just photo fun.

    And... if the as-yet-untitled Frederik Magle sees some Lake Erie inspiration,
    the fresh, cold rain in the northern wind that comes down this great lake,
    feel free to use this any way you want. It's here already, voluntarily.

    Is John Watt the most progressive Progressive Rock Guitarist?-rainy-lake-erie-nightIs John Watt the most progressive Progressive Rock Guitarist?-close-up-1-jpgIs John Watt the most progressive Progressive Rock Guitarist?-close-up-2-jpgIs John Watt the most progressive Progressive Rock Guitarist?-close-up-3-jpg

  2. #17
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    I just had one of the most incredible co-incidences of my life.
    This mail order left-handed Stratocaster, in pieces in the box, $149.95 plus taxes, is really nice.
    That's just looking at the body and neck, seeing the offshore style electronics that can't be good.
    I play with a right-handed neck on a left-handed body.
    I had a left-over right-handed neck from a previous offshore guitar I used instead of an acoustic,
    so I compared it to the one with the kit and found the heel and depth measurements to be the same.
    I was surprised when the one screw holding the neck in the corner of the bottom went in easily.
    I used a wire to poke through the body into the neck in the other screw positions,
    and it went in all the way, and so did the screws.
    I screwed the neck on half-way, wanting to keep it as fresh as possible for the final build,
    and using a piece of string to check the alignment, it couldn't be better.

    These two photos show the neck from front and the back.
    This right-handed neck has a fret-board that juts out at the end a little,
    enough to have one more frets. More notes, it doesn't get better than that.

    Here's a link to the Toronto music store I ordered it from.
    The left-handed version is $10 more than the right-handed one.

    https://www.solomusicgear.com/


    Is John Watt the most progressive Progressive Rock Guitarist?-sam_0616-jpgIs John Watt the most progressive Progressive Rock Guitarist?-sam_0614-jpg

    I've been looking for a left-handed tremolo unit in the Niagara Peninsula for two years.
    I had enough wood left over from my first semi-solid-body to build another.
    But I didn't have another left-handed tremolo unit.
    In 1972, I sent Fender $150 to get on a waiting list for a lefty tremolo plate and block.
    That took six months.
    This year, I phoned Ring Music in Toronto, where I got my neck custom made.
    Speaking with Jon, the owner, he said they didn't have any left-handed units,
    or a left-handed Strat of any kind, and they have guitars going back to the 50's.
    While we were talking, he said he found one in a music store in California.
    He said it was a 1970 and they were asking $5,500. Yowza yowza!

    One day, I decided to look at a Solo Music ad, thinking they were jamming up Kijiji.
    When I saw left-handed Strat kits for $149.95 plus taxes, I had to phone.
    Matt McWaters, oh yeah... I had to love that name, got into it with me.
    His measurements of the tremolo were the same as mine, so I ordered one.
    That was just for the tremolo unit. When I saw the body I decided to build it.
    I got a machinist to convert a right-handed block for a left-handed plate given to me,
    by another local guitarist. That was a wonderful thing to get. Thanks again Ron Horton.

    If I have one guitar, it's got to be natural wood. That's what my semi-solid-bodies are.
    Having this lefty Strat-style is the first time I'm painting a guitar to be decorative.
    I could go on about my plans for my red maple guitar, or sugar maple guitar,
    or maple syrup guitar... yeah... probably going to call it the red maple guitar,
    but I'll leave it here and get back when I have something to show for it.
    I'm going to order another one for an aquatic theme.
    Last edited by John Watt; Oct-20-2018 at 15:44.

  3. #18
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    Hey John, I know you appreciate good covers and since I could not find a good thread for it, I hope you don't mind I post it here. But check out this heavy cover (studio and live):




  4. #19
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    I can't understand this horrible din!

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by elderpiano View Post
    I can't understand this horrible din!
    Is metal version of the Doobie Brothers song:

  6. #21
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    I was in a full time band and played "Listen to the Music" and "Long Train Running" when they were on the charts.
    Some people thought The Allman Brothers were doing something different, until they started to find out.
    The Doobie Brothers, and yes, saying "doobie", slang for a marijuana cigarette, were hot back in those hippy days.
    They began as a biker gang with their own farm outside L.A., and began to record when they got the money,
    after building strong ties to the recording industry down there.
    It was surprising to everyone around here when they came out with "Jesus Is Just Alright".
    After a while they hired Michael McDonald and got into some mild L.A. r'n'b, what I really can't call funk.
    "Minute by Minute" was a favorite song of mine.

    When I was in the band doing the Doobie Brothers songs, Seals and Crofts were big with "Summer Breeze".
    We did that one too. They were B-hai, having group meetings with their audience after their shows,
    and that was seen to be as much of a spiritual move as being a "born-again Christian".
    They were one of the few bands to have a Billboard hit back then that featured a mandolin.
    I used to play two strings together on my Stratocaster to get the same sound for the lead line.
    The James Gang, "Funk 49", "Seems to Me", Carole King, "I Feel the Earth Move", were other chart hits we played.

    That was the only band I ever played in where the bassist played a Les Paul bass.
    That could have been too much of an electric tone, a too deep bass, flat and one dimensional,
    but he used a stack of two GBX bass amps that had four ten inch speakers, softening and widening the tone.
    Some guitarists used a GBX bass amp stack for guitar, getting a close approximation of a Marshall stack,
    just not as loud. I was using a 100 watt Marshall stack at the time.

    Being a progressive guitarist also involves being a progressive bandleader for your musician friends.
    Sometimes it's not what you play, especially if you've been playing the same set-list for a long time,
    and it's not where you play, because once you're inside most stages and venues are the same.
    No... it's the road trip, where band members really get to sit back together and listen to new tunes,
    or just be quiet, watching the world pass by, taking time off from the pressures of being together in public.

    Here's a road trip back in time, a view of 1911 New York as recorded by a Swedish film company.
    With 7k cinematics, if we were sitting in a state of the art mini-theater,
    you really would think you were there in the scenes yourself.

    yeah... lights... cameras... action... when it's not yours...


  7. #22
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    Interesting but hey about that mandolin,

    They were one of the few bands to have a Billboard hit back then that featured a mandolin.
    Johnny Winter used a mandolin on this track:


    Apparently also used mandolin on this track:

  8. #23
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Despite being a Jimi Hendrix freak, with more purple haze coming from Deep Purple,
    it was the first two Columbia Johnny Winter albums I had that I could play along with,
    getting into blues progressions.
    Rolling Stone had a big article about him.
    That's because Johnny Winter got the biggest signing bonus in musical history, $100,000.
    Sure, that was as much hype as his skin colour and being from Texas, but he was for real.
    His version of "Highway 61 Revisited" is probably my favorite song by him, fast and serious.

    When Rick Derringer joined his band for an album, "Johnny Winter and",
    "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" became a big song for bands to jam at matinees and backstage.
    I'm willing to say that Johnny was one of the best acoustic slide guitarists.
    His electric guitar style was known as being a chatterbox, and while he was energetic,
    I expect more from electric guitar. I'm sure if he could see effects on the floor he would have done more.

  9. #24
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    One of the best things about getting into Johnny Winter was finding out about his brother, Edgar.
    I bought "Edgar Winter and White Trash", a big rock band with horns.
    They weren't swamp rock, cajun or bad copy blues, they were a soul band with a great lead singer.
    Edgar Winter had a huge synthesizer hit song when he was making new sounds, "Frankenstein",
    and he was one of the first to use a portable keyboard, standing onstage and walking around.

    All the "White Trash" videos just have a graphic, but that's the rockin' Edgar Winter.
    Here he is sitting solo at a grand piano, singing a song with very meaningful words.
    And when I say meaningful words, this is retro music, but the words apply to America today.


  10. #25
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    No... no... I can't just leave Edgar Winter hanging off the keys all by himself.
    I've been listening to Edgar Winter and White Trash songs and now this thread needs one.
    The bass tone might be a turn off, not the best mix,
    but you can see what I say about not swamp, cajun or blues, but some kind of innovative rock-funk,
    with horn works and solos that have a jazz style.
    To put them in the context of the time, Chicago, the first album, was an exciting combination of horns and rock.
    Their percussion solo was something most bands got into back then.
    Blood, Sweat and Tears sounded more like a college band of wannabe jazz cats,
    and Edgar Winter and White Trash were up there with them.
    What kept Edgar from the same level of fame and touring success? Drugs.
    I remember coming home to watch him on a late night talk show and he was wasted.
    Johnny died too young. Rolling Stone showed him lying naked in bed with needles on the table.
    I might be down on that, but if that's the life you want and the publicity that helps take you higher,
    yeah... now it's life after death, your voice and music behind a graphic on YouTube.

    Last edited by John Watt; Feb-19-2019 at 07:16.

  11. #26
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    John, yes Edgar is wonderful. That is one of my favorite albums you posted immediately above, the studio White Trash. I never cared for Chicago, but did like Blood Sweat and Tears. I don't know what you mean by chatterbox style guitar playing. I always thought Johnny was one of the greatest guitarists. He jammed with Jimi Hendrix and both of them were in awe of each other, so the story goes. I also feel that Johnny was way better than SRV.

  12. #27
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Calling someone a chatterbox guitarist is a good thing, an energetic style all by itself.
    A chatterbox is an American slang term for an origami (Japanese) paper box that had predictions.
    There were maybe five Hollywood movies up to the forties that were called "Chatterbox",
    and if you even take a quick look you might be surprised to see how many people use it.

    As a musician, it means you have an energetic improvisational style that has a back and forth with other instruments.
    I'm trying to think of another musician like that so I can look for a video, but I can't.
    I just put up a klezmer video for another forum, and the violins and clarinets are like that.
    I'm thinking jazzy sax and trumpet players, as far as a chatty musical style.

    If you were a musician when Chicago came out you would have wanted to play a song.
    "25 or 6 to 4" was your basic Am, G, F to E chord progression, only they used a suspended E7th, new for rock.
    Aminor songs like that were a big part of song-writing back then, thinking of "In the year 2525".

    Yeah! You can talk about Chicago and suspended chords, when I don't think the Beatles used even one.
    Chicago horns sounded good because the guitarist helped arrange them, not jazz cats trying to play rock.
    The one song that broke down to a percussion solo also influenced almost every rock band,
    having congas onstage, even getting the audience in on beating anything they could get their hands on.
    That's just the first album. After the guitarist committed suicide, as they said, the entire band changed.

    I'm seeing a lot of Jimi Hendrix comments on YouTube this week about him complimenting other guitarists.
    Jimi talked about other musicians. That's how I got into listening to them.
    But before synthesizers, when lead guitar was hot and on top, lead guitarists had hot rock talk.
    First of all, back then, this new lifestyle was a business being built, and musicians wanted to get in on it.
    Talking about other musicians, getting into mutual admiration, saying he thought he was the best,
    was so ordinary back then and it wasn't a hostile thing, even if it got acted up that way sometimes.
    I never complained when someone said I played or sounded like Jimi Hendrix.
    Even when I was in a country band, I'd use my 100 watt Marshall head with only one cabinet.
    I got a mellow, jazzy and Jimi tone, not a stingy or twangy American country sound.
    I also did banjo and violin imitations, and played like a steel guitar player too.
    Every country band I was in would say, John, just for you, just for one song,
    you can step out front and sing and play like Jimi Hendrix, usually being asked to do Johnny B. Goode.
    That got crazy sometimes, and really made my first reputation in the Niagara Peninsula.
    And I just started it off like Jimi, getting to use distortion, until I got into Coltrane riffs,
    if you can imagine me jumping out on the dance floor to hold my guitar up and play like that.
    I really miss all that old club action, all the dancing, even the cigarette smoke.

    I'm thinking about what you said about Johnny and SRV, and that's a tough call.
    Johnny was an innovator and helped build the Texas and California blues scene.
    SRV is a modern blues guitarist, and the level of hype he had was a turn-off for me.
    If I had to chose, it's liking Johnnys' version of "Highway 61 Revisited" that puts him on top.

    That Columbia album cover where Johnny is shown twice with psychedelic blues was hot back then.
    If you were listening to him in the sixties you would know he was a great guitarist.
    I better stop typing.
    I can hear those trumpets and violins in the distance, and I hear them calling your name.
    Last edited by John Watt; Mar-17-2019 at 07:47.

  13. #28
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Huh! I didn't see this video when I was looking before, and I really was looking.

    This is Johnny Winter playing "Highway 61 Revisited" live onstage, and guess where, in Denmark.
    This is also 1984, when I was listening to his album, and jamming along, in 1969.
    It's a little sloppy, it's not as focused as a song, but just as I was thinking this is going on too long,
    Johnny started playing a single note version of a Jimi Hendrix guitar riff, "Third Stone from the Sun".

    This song might need a lyrical update.
    God said to John Watt, make me a son, go parking with your girlfriend off of Highway 61.
    I can hardly wait to make the video.



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