GV Welcomes Roger Mayer! | Jimi Hendrix’s Tech, Pedal Builder and More!
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/_Yy-IYE-YsY
Check out Roger’s range of pedals here: https://bit.ly/3XJB4yQ
Roger’s Website: https://www.roger-mayer.co.uk/
A list of the artists that Roger Mayer has worked with over the years is as impressive as it is extensive. From braving new sonic territory with Jimi Hendrix to working in the studio with Bob Marley and Stevie Wonder, Roger has personally known and worked alongside many of the 20th century’s musical giants.
A close friend of Guitar Village, Roger joins Sam in this video for a discussion of his early life, influences, and time spent working with Hendrix.
Hi Sam from Guitar Village here and today I am joined by the legendary pedal Builder Roger Mayer when you look at some of the artists that have used Roger’s pedals over the years it’s incredible and I want to get to know Roger a little bit better and find out how he got started so Roger welcome thank you very much for having me yeah it’s nice it’s nice to come out to see you and the team in Farnam that’s brilliant well I would like I’ve got lots of questions for you but yeah I would like to start at the beginning if that’s okay I want to take you back to 1964. um that’s not quite a beginning yeah but we could start from from around the area yeah for sure so what yeah what what were you doing at the time you you were employed uh basically I I grew up and started my my uh you know quest for time right back when I was 15 or 16. and I was still at school and um I hadn’t at that point joined the ability research laboratory so at that time uh I used to go out and see the local bands that were playing locally and the people that played in those Bands then were people like Jeff Beck Jimmy Page and the uh the Rolling Stones were just beginning you know around the 1962 1963 and so I I got to to see these beds in their actual Genesis and um that’s very interesting and uh my sister went to Martin’s art school so she was very hip to what was uh you know breaking at the time which was the actual beginning of the uh London r b scene with with the with with the London take on the American r n b because uh r n b and Soul music and this that was probably more popular in England than it was in America at the time especially with the white audience you know so uh yeah that’s that’s that’s how I first started and uh I used to go back um to Jimmy Page’s house in Epsom and we’d listen to all today this American records that he had sent over with Jeff back at the same time and we were very interested uh in why the American records sounded so great you know and and so different so that was really what got me interested in what makes the uh you know records sound different you know and that was that yeah that’s what got me started and at that time uh Jimmy Page who is two years older than me he was just about getting into the um London session music scene and um he introduced me to you know several session musicians you know one was Big Jim Sullivan and we he was the first people to actually use one of my first Buzz boxes that I developed back then on a hit record you know and uh yeah so started very young so I was about 18 when I was actually involved with like first number one record with uh pigeon Sullivan flying behind PJ Proby and uh Jimmy Page was playing with uh a lot of the afternoon coming young people as well because he was playing on an awful lot of recession you know like all kinds of Records you know with the Kings you know all kinds of people and so yeah I I got I got into the um London uh music scene very early we we’re top top session musicians yeah there’s some great names and actually you’ve got Jimmy Page Jeff Beck and they’re Victory Sullivan massive uh session player big flick who did of course the James Bond theme yeah it was another early years ago of Roger Myers stuff and uh uh then I I I also did I I want to let you know a little bit later I I did I was the first person in England to Electrify a piano that was used by the national team’s live and so we uh I I developed a special contact microphone that was used by John Horgan who was a guitar player but the national teams and that uh yeah and they they went on tour with a lot of people who American uh visiting artists such yeah it was you know we we were breaking ground you know you know not only on just on the piano but on the guitar side as well and uh using you know quite a few of the early uh Records um David can teach they might start to guys indeed purple use my stuff and all kinds of people who were up and coming you know they they were just breaking through then so was this the same for you I guess at the same time you you were kind of Designing these panels looking out to use and they were going straight to Young Musicians well they the the idea well the the the real aim was to to have the the pedals used on hit records I’ve always concentrated on that I I don’t make pedals you know for people just to play in the bedroom I I want the pedals to be used in anger on a record because that’s the only way you could judge your success if if if your electronics is not being used on a hit record by the top artist you’ve done something wrong absolutely I think your career speaks for itself you’ve been doing it for six decades well yeah yeah but I’m just saying that yeah that’s by trying hard and also by be by being absolutely brutal with uh your analysis of what sounds good it’s not necessarily what I think sounds good but you develop a sense of how it might sound on an amplifier next to you and then how it’s actually going to sound on a record or on the radio station it’s that transition that people forget you know they think oh well I’m gonna listen to a record you know that’s that’s the most fatal mistake I would say that people make is they listen to a record right doesn’t matter when what error and then I assume that they can sound like that in their own living room right now this is this is totally wrong and I I dispose I completely dispel that myth because they haven’t taken into account the full manufacturing process of recording it going into production going into you know whether it’s cut and vinyl whether it’s going through tape whether it’s being remastered I mean the actual sound is you get on a in a recording studio at best is seven generations away from watching anybody can hear yeah at home snowing Generations away so it’s it’s it’s nowhere near but but you but everyone’s up against the uh the same problem you know and also the the when when where you make a record especially back then you had to be you know mono 45 it has to go on a jukebox has to sound loud it has to sound good on a high-end radio station it’s got that good in a pickup truck it’s it’s got to have a particular you know sound or stack to the sound that’s gotta improve in someone’s memory so that you you you can listen to say an Elvis Presley records eight seconds you know it’s Elvis but yeah no question about not because of his voice but because of the way the record is being produced the same thing would be true you know Buddy Holly the same thing would be true um some of the rockabilly artists so it’s very very important and people used to concentrate an awful lot back then on getting a personal sound because they could sell that you can’t you can’t Market yourself if you sound like everybody else can you definitely not it would be like you know if yeah I mean it must be unique or you’ve got to be as unique and as uh apropos to the moment in time and history that you could make it then you you’ve got to talk to being successful if you’re if you’re six months behind the curve especially back then you’re out of a guy yeah just it’s just me you’re totally out of the day so so with your your first designs with pedals yeah you said some of these great players were using them did you get feedback from them and change them of course yeah because there will be no reason if you if you’re an electronic designer from scratching you know by then I was looking for the government there’s so many variations that you can make that there would be no reason to use the same sound for one track because you would for another why would you if you could change it you wouldn’t would you no that sounds it would be like you know an artist um making a painting and he’s got a palette in front of him he’s going to mix up each color for each part of the picture isn’t it okay and it goes from day to day and there’s the lighting changes he changes his colors and and the tonal quality in the planet which is which is the approach that the people I was working with that’s the approach that we had there were there would be no point in making the next record with the same sound as you use as an alarm for yeah waste the time so it gives you this this new sound and when when you were developing these so would you work in closely with Say Jimmy Pech on developing this yeah because yeah because we’re about sitting down in the same room and and tweaking the photos and they say oh that’s a great step I I tried out tomorrow on a particular session that’s great and let you know how I got on and then a week later you know the record’s been released you see so that’s incredible so you you’ve built a unit too many pages and you have developed it together in the same room you sat there and then he’s taken it away were you nervous you know waiting to hear his feedback why would we be nervous because it it it’s it’s already been auditioned by us yeah so we said oh well that’s the best we can do today so what’s it to be no sir nothing fair enough just just you’re a better man than me just just just just find a price on on the track that they they can use it so a particular producer would rely upon one refer or or a two bar roof and a record to get to make the record sound different and get it over you know whether it’s on the intro it’s a solo or whatever you know I mean records are made like that with with iconic risks I mean you could listen to moto my girl that just the bachelor at the beginning you hear that yeah well it’s it’s an iconic sound you know and yeah that’s that’s the way I’ve I’ve always approached it sounds we’ve been all the artists that I’ve worked with they they don’t come to me to sound like anybody else did I why would they no and so what else was around when you were you know what are the panels amps what are people using well basically
people you know making a record you would use what was uh appropriate for the session you know if you were doing a rhythm part you would use an amplified that was good for that you know there weren’t that many amplifiers around the base is 64.65 I mean obviously you had the um you had the fender amplifiers he had a few Gibson amplifiers there there were a few uh English ones I’m not sure Vox voxy hang out with it with the Beatles but they they weren’t particularly used on on an awful lot of Records because the sound wasn’t uh very um adaptable to many uh different genres of music it was too kind of focused so you know it would it wouldn’t be as University users maybe say offender I was obviously I found around before it was it is the most universal amplifier one that could cover lots of ground well yeah because it it interfaces very well with with other pedals and other processing and it’s a traditional um and before it’s been used on hit records you know from country to to it’s got fantastic hey you know okay I mean you know I I voice all my pedals initially on a friend around okay and I voiced it 157 founded super so because I know if it sounds good on that we we could we can transfer it to other MP4s you see yeah well like Marshall like uh Jimmy was using quite a lot wasn’t he yeah but that that yeah Jimmy used Marshall for performance wise now in the recording in the actual recording now he used a bunch of different amplifies he is Fender he is sound steady you know and a few other room before us because you cannot get all the sounds that you hear on a say axis Bolt’s love from a martial it doesn’t happen and didn’t happen that way how did you meet him I met Jimmy um a few days after my 21st birthday uh at um at the Bag of Nails Club in SoHo and basically I this music has it come to my notice not only from his first growing reputation within the London music scene but also he had appeared on Reddit steady go and it performed Hey Joe now everybody who obviously I thought I knew you know that Christ you’ve really got to go in here this guy play because he’s totally out of sight you know it will blow your mind you know so after my 21st birthday party I rocked up to the back of the house and I went down and saw him now at this particular Club it wasn’t a great big Club but everybody could say I mean you know everyone from the beat was the you know it’s like a who’s who I have music and we’re all sitting down in the room and then Jimmy comes on and he does his performance because you know it’s unbelievable not it was unbelievable because you’d never seen so much Showmanship and so much control of feedback you’ve never seen it before so I mean it’s I mean you saw him play Hey Joe on the TV or my minute too yeah that’s one thing you know but seeing what he could you know was capable of in a small club with the uh the audience he’s playing for electric unbelievable so I just I just went up to him after the show I said hey you know listen I’m I’m very into guitar sounds and I’ve been working with uh you know 80 and the two up to 200 at Jeff bank and this and I I’ve been really I’m really into the guitar sample and said I’ve I’ve got a brand new sound that um I think you’ll be able to handle it it’s really really unique wow what’s it about so I started talking and talking to him and we both discovered within five or ten minutes of talking we we had an awful lot of common uh a lot in common because you know Jimmy was into science fiction and uh into the the way the sound can affect people you know I’m gonna get we can get into that later but so so he said why don’t you bring this device to a club I’m playing in in a few weeks which is at the chiselhurst caves which is just outside London and Kent so um I I I went I went there and um with the project work they’re all prototypes a prototype of the Octavia and uh said to Jimmy right do you want to have a listen to he said sure So we were in the dressing room we had a small little practice setup and uh Jimmy plugged it in he said
it’s unbelievable he said I’ve got a new song I’m coming up he said and it’s going to be perfect for that he said for the solo part maybe for another song that I said oh great he said boy don’t you come along two weeks time after a geeky was playing in house though at the Ricky tick club and after the gig we’ll go down to Olympic Studios and I’m going to open up
to these two new songs and that’s after the gig well Jimmy was playing in the gig he actually had a Stratocaster he had a very very low City maybe a little bit higher than this one but yeah you know it took it’s all went through the ceiling of course you know did the Machine Head you see but the machine himself oh Christ what are we gonna do now we can’t use we can’t use this guitar because he only had one guitar then you know I mean you know it was times the top as you may just be starting out so uh no when he had he had to run home and went to run one of his friends and he borrowed a Telly so he could go back to the studio and that it’s a telecast that it was used uh to be called to solo for two iconic tracks one of which is Purple Haze and the other one was fire what now you’ve got to realize that was maybe two or three weeks after I met Jimmy and and Benin uh when purple eyes was erasers I I think you know sometime early March now he went from playing her ballot great sallow in a ballad to to you know Purple Haze and I just set the music music industry I find he couldn’t believe it where’s this guy coming from you know he’s out of space he’s an alien you know all the rest of it you know and uh yeah so that’s basically as they say that’s the story of meeting him and that’s the beginning of the end you know well yeah so you I mean that that’s an incredible story in itself I mean oh yeah I mean but but that’s the way it happened so we we realize when when purple eyes was released and you know it was released a great time you know and this really was the beginning of psychedelia you know you know that’s the stupidity track back then no one ever played anything like that up to that or even attempted It in America or anywhere it was not because you know anyway we decided to charge Wilson we all set up at the flat in Upper Barkley Street saying wow you know this is great you know this is Jimmy Jimmy said yeah but are the public ready for for what we can do because in the meantime we’ve had I’ve had another six weeks with Jimmy and hanging out with him and playing with sounds and we said and Jimmy guy yeah yeah we could do this we could do that um I see yeah yeah it’s about they’re not ready for it and then Chad said yeah you’re absolutely right you know uh if we came up with another soul that was the same intensity and and the same genre as Purple Haze it would have been like planting the seat too early you would have caught Frost you’d see in it wouldn’t have germinated correctly and so the you you you wouldn’t you would have lost momentum in in a way that do it was perceived because they might not understand we say we wouldn’t understand because it’s too far advisable so Jimmy play the you know when Christ Mary was an accident yeah so you go Hey Joe purple yeah yeah when Christ Mary and then that led on to you know a few other songs and then in at the same time as you know times moving on now March April way then the then yeah there was a concert coming up Timmy was interested in and that was going to be Monterey um we we were we were getting as much recording studio time as we could and uh these tracks were were being cobbled together because we knew by early summer we had to have an album because because of the momentum of Jimmy performing live uh you know in England and we did one or two gigs in France and and other places but we needed an album and so Jimmy put together we put to put together these tracks uh Olympic and other Studios and that became how you experienced yeah but but that was recorded like and basically on the Fly and as Jimmy was uh touring you know grounding and fitting in the sessions um but it wasn’t recorded with a fixed plan in mind so around about May but we we were talking and we were talking about what we could do because I experienced first of all it was recorded in Monarch see there were there weren’t many stereo records that that had come out I mean in the summer of 67. uh I think one of the first major stereo records to come out would be Solitude purpose maybe it’s Israeli Gears of the cream and a few other ones but when Jimmy’s album came out you know I experience that really really took took the wind out of their sales a lot but then we were planning back in my the uh the recording sessions at access Boulder [ __ ] which would be um set the recording will be set over a period of two or three weeks coming up in in the mid-autumn you know yeah earlier than it is today in October but anyway so we we could plan that you know and that’s that’s what we were working through and we were also working to fully understand what what needed to be created with the actual movement of the sound using stereo you see and the various Echo effects and various other recording effects to to give that mystical uh uh movement because Jimmy wanted to um you know if you’re recording once again uh if you’ve got the talent you know you can play and you’ve got the talent it’s it becomes not whether you can apply it well what should we play you know because it’s an open book and so yeah that it was very very interesting leading up to that and so we were looking forward very very much to recording the uh the new album which would be then released around Christmas time and that would be accessible as love so we went into Studio together and uh you know I was there for most of it and um you know helping Kimmy not only with the sounds but we went there at home and hanging out and discussing what was possible yeah so very very interesting you know absolutely you’ve spent quite a bit time on tour with Jimmy as well no no I only did one tour we’re doing in in in America but I I I was present you know like in England who I seen Jimmy Page live maybe 80 90 times yeah I said that’s a lot it’s quite a few so I mean but actually on tour now I I I don’t like touring it you know I mean the actual thought that we went on in in America was very exhausting it’s considered one of the worst the most uh debilitating rock and roll tours ever you know no no planning now backstage management we we had no staff you know we traveled very light you know only five of us there was Jerry stickles myself and the band that’s it oh nobody else so small team then oh yeah we’ve spoken a few times before about Jimmy’s strap you you rewired them slightly for him didn’t you well yeah but basically you know you see Australia cards if you understand how the guitars work um if you don’t it it does secret it doesn’t really doesn’t make that much difference if if you can’t hear the difference but depending upon the wood of the Stratocaster you don’t really need that that television Target it’s the furthest away for me nobody uses but it just gets in the way you can take that one out you know okay but uh we just used to leave a lot of tight how much to take that one out and then we have a concentrate just on maybe you know the two controls that are there you can’t um I’m I made one guitar for him uh it was used in you know we put in some other toggle switches and where where is where the three position the switches yeah uh for recording we had one that had three toggle switches that turned the pickups off and on so that gives you seven combinations of pickups whereas even with the three of three way that then became a five-way uh in the studio it doesn’t matter to Clicker so you can have all of them you can split them you can do this you can do that now you do that seven combinations if you put the toggle switch into your business which is interesting and of course in the studio it’s great you know but for performing live no the most important in performing live was to make sure that the guitars uh didn’t get stolen number one number two that they didn’t get too destroyed the similar angry and put them put through the ceiling or put it allowed to because cider down before we go yes that is the rip out for France and uh do damage or he had sex with a guitar against the amplifier so that that was that was the most damaging uh actually he could do because then the the pickups right back then the pickups were staggered pole pieces yeah yeah on the fender now when Jimmy’s going to stay in front of the amplifier hump in the amplifier uh the the actual magnets get get bashed down right here breaks the coil yeah so so then we would end up with three guitars saying the decimal of which we’ve only got like maybe two pickups of work so because all the rest of the elements have been destroyed so then and what are you going to do you know the the next day you’ve got to take the guitars apart you’ve got you know cobbled together the actual pickups that work are still working I I put them back into into a guitar you know and then at the end where Jimmy did you know like all right have your last number we have what will be called like a sacrificial film I said that’s the one that he he accounts and he would break up in the faces or set on fire or or whatever but uh that one normally was wired up with no controls in it straight the lead so think about what Jimmy did that sound coming at me you know you could jump when they do this you know it’s still gonna it’s still gonna you know it’s still gonna work yeah
and um if any any of the other parts inside the top of itself we never met you know so how many would you say you got through a month then hard to say because we we didn’t have that much money even back then and the guitars of course were very very expensive I mean let me let me give you an idea one hour’s recording at Olympic right 38 pounds in 1968. what would that equate to now it works out about you know maybe 800 pound an hour yeah to record wow so the the actual recording costs very expensive and you had to be able to play and you had to get in and you had to be serious I mean a strategize a guitar 1964 was 140 guineas so that’s about 150 and 60 quid now the you could buy a brand new Mini for 500 pounds so it’s a third of the price of a car yeah so why would you think should we use feathers or struts specifically why why is it bestselling guitar for them they’re enough and also also he plays upside down I remember that but it didn’t make any left-handed guitars back then you had he couldn’t buy it I I never saw a left-handed guitar till about 1970. it never so it seems crazy now doesn’t it but not really but not you see they not many people can afford static clusters it was a professional guitar it wasn’t a you know you had to be a professional musician to buy one I mean it’s just like you just can’t you can’t rock up and you know go down to some place like you know I don’t know and buy Stratocaster I mean I mean the price of stratocon 3 in in the Euro now I suddenly quit so I mean you know I mean it was the cheapest guitar you could buy like a Stratocaster back then would be a good buy six thousand pounds yeah that’s that’s standard is what they cost it’s yeah to me I mean that now is is a custom shop strap Masterbuilt in fact says you know well they didn’t have Mastery or all the only what you had to do was you were lucky to find them when we were buying Stratton in um you know New York I mean we’d go to manage and listen now if money’s had a ship that came into every box you know we’re looking you don’t have to pay the guitar just put your hand around it and you know if it felt right you know you saw everyone said yeah
maybe one or two yeah they’re gonna learn that money consult the rest of them there’s one or two that were the ones that that would be good well well they they have to suit your hand don’t they yeah so you know that’s the thing I mean I mean instantly you pick up a Guitar um and you put your hand around in it you know if it suits you I mean yeah everybody’s hands different so you might see somebody else you know I mean Jimmy’s had big hands man I’ve got pretty big hands but I mean Gibson for him you know is too small it’s not real for its sausages to fit on the fingerboard that you can but it’s you can’t play the same way as a Stratocaster also the um the the actual tonal quality of the Stratocaster is is superior uh for playing live really dinner Gibson because it is it’s more cutting and more precise so you know to play Live you’ve really got to think about um a sound that’s distinct and clean and and projects well into the audience and that would be Australia partner a Telecaster on the other hand does not have enough body for blind law it does not have enough power you see you what what you actually want from a guitar uh if you’re playing live is it’s going to have sufficient power which means that the frequency response in the body right it can lock your mouth on it because you you need you need to clean attack of the sound the articulation of the guitar not only to enhance your playing but to enhance the uh actual listening experience of the audience because then they can hear what you’re playing because people forget that when you play Live you automatically inherit the Acoustics of the auditorium that you’re playing into you can’t do nothing about that is there so you’re going to pick up the Echo and all all the other nasty artifacts actually that you might have so that’s yeah so so the fender becomes a de facto most versatile guitar for that and it’s got the way we buy on it so that’s a big plus and um you can’t compare you know
the actual Bixby you can’t compare the Bixby terminal system with a strap if that one is much more expressive but much more more Dynamic and so forth you know that suits you me and he plays upside down so you know he he can get to it you know also playing upside down is quite interesting because I’ve seen through the rest of the people who might be listening Johnson uh you know recollected when when you play when you play guitar upside down not only do you inherit the um different shape of the wood because the strings are reversed you also inherit the different string lengths so the the string length of of the of the top a now becomes the shorter stream right so she’s in Reverse if it was the normal uh guitar where yeah where where there isn’t much there isn’t much extra string that’s not on the bass string before it hits the machine so that will affect the possibly the tone and the tension of the string as well well not only that is it the total length of the wire that affects your ability to bend it okay so so now you’re trying to bend the string that’s shorter than it would have been normally or on a regular one and that’s one of the reasons you know that um Jimmy might be you know sometimes detune to guitar so you’ve done a lot of work at Olympic Studios with Jimmy and then you work there after that is that correct you move yeah that’s all uh I uh basically I was I came there and um I got married in New York and then I know I came back to England started working at Olympic for a little while and uh was still developing the the pedals and it’s that and building some of the recording studio they put the concerts for them and then um I went back to New York and uh I I got married and I lived I went to live there but still we could go back with some water even so did with recording consoles things like that most of them nowadays you could just buy something cut off the shelf and again now you couldn’t you couldn’t buy a recording studio cards so all the all the major Studios including like Emi Abby Road CTS Deca all day Studios had to build their own right and the reason they did that was obviously because they wanted their own particular sentence so then it came down to the um the the subtlety in in in in the way the microphone parent before is and and and the the topology you know of this console how people wanted the equalizers to be and where the stuff was positioned and so on and so forth but that’s that’s how it happened they you had no option if you wanted to build a Top Line Studio that’s totally state of the art you have to build your own console it’s a it it really was pioneering I guess at that point you know recording well it is so much was changing so quickly yeah it’s changing and also that’s the competition wasn’t it you see so when well when I went to America and you know normally in America and uh on visiting all the major studios in in New York and uh thank you very well to me I was right there at the beginning of you know obviously electric ladyland Atlantic Studios we did the record block made us down Columbia old amazing Studios by about 1971 all over RM equipment in it you know and it equalizes limited noise Gates all that said my major business then was supplying them with uh unique pieces of of equipment that changed the sound of the records once again I’m talking I was always been interested in in making Electronics to change it the sound of what people hear in the record not what they’re probably in the bedroom the actual stuff the professional side of it because you know that’s the that’s the fun part you know absolutely yeah that’s that that and that’s putting your brains against the best in the world and that’s how you have to look at it I um when I come up with a new pieces where it drives or salads out talks about my stuff they’re gonna we’re gonna we get to the whole industry no I’m not worried about it you know you you have to attack it you know and you know that that’s how you can it’s how you get respect you see you have to take it on and like you know I mean the other year I got invited inducted into the law to find you know innovators here see so I mean that’s in America so let’s but but yeah that’s what you have to do you know we’ve talked about some iconic guitarists but yeah I’d like to talk a little bit about Stevie Wonder yes Stevie Wonder yeah now I go involved with Stevie Wonder because he was recording or beginning to record the uh Trio of albums that were recorded at Electric ladyland now I hope I I got pulled in by an English engineer called Malcolm Cecil who was working with another American Uncle Bob Marley and these guys had been been working but they were building at that time they started to build the first multi-term rule uh synthesizer because there wasn’t one around there all the um all the synthesizers you could buy would be mild art and a few other manufacturers uh if I freeze it that was just one ton see yeah so they they come up the idea that they use two or three manufacturers to with different uh different algorithms to produce at different times and then we we link all the keyboards up together so we get multiple sounds from One keyboard and never be done before and uh it it turned out to be shh about this bat the width in this room and if you see a picture called Tonto it was called and um if it’s the most advanced analog synthetic Outsider in the world and I ended up building about 30 percent of it okay so um well yeah but I I built the interfacing of the modules I didn’t I didn’t you know we took modules we took art modules okay and then we we took the interface in between the keyboard and and now added a few other like like um State they are um you know digital manipulation so you could all play them together uh and that was used on three albums by Stevie Wonder music of my mind talking in the Visions which probably a lot of people say they were the best albums that he did you see so I mean but they were that was that was the blending of uh three basic very very good sound sources together done well with Stevie yeah so I mean great songs you know so you you so this would have been in the 70s then see yeah early 70s yeah uh Jimmy was still alive and um um in fact you know I was in one session with Stevie Wonder uh at the media center when we heard Jimmy guy yesterday so I was in New York and there was another so yeah yeah I I went on for Jimmy because Jimmy wasn’t you know really recording in the same way he had before and then the opportunity came to do this which is brand new brand new Breaking the ground I literally laid it yeah yeah let’s do that and then then after I did that
um obviously I I moved on to work with the um uh Steve Stevie I had a car accident and then now he recovered from that anyway we went out of California or whatever anyway I went on to work with Elijah once because uh they called me out and I didn’t really want to work with them and they need to be out to them and I said I met early in all my family and that was so nice and but it was great and he could play great so then yeah so I started with him I did about I did all the albums with him uh I didn’t pretended 10 of 11 hours a day so it was helped to help helped himself about 25 million 30 million records that’s incredible and we’d be working as a studio engineer no no no I I just work workers that no I don’t be in the studio all that time I just worked to help them realize their sound give them the equipment and and all the inspiration of how to use the sound see or if they’re playing live or you know yeah there’s a few things you can do to help an artist you don’t have to be there all the time over and overly yeah and if they’ve got a problem you know they can call me up because I’m not ready for hire but my laptop Works fair enough so but but and that leads you to Bob Marley yeah well we’re not when I was working in the Isis and they said we got some time then I’ve got a friend of mine I was a friend of mine Mario medius he was working with Atlantic and he he was the head of the president of monticor Records which is Emerson Lake and Palmers uh record label
he’s fantastic yeah yeah he loves Jimi Hendrix and this and that so I I went out to see the guy I said yeah I think I can help him you know and that was my beginning of my friendship with Junior Marvin from the violence well it wasn’t with the violence then so we did these albums and uh I helped Junior and um then then I went on to record um an album with Junior in England and a bunch of other session musicians back in about 76 we did it in Canton you know and that album was the album because we we were mixing it and recording it around either records that was the album that got listened to by Chris Blackmore they got him signed to Bob Marley in the movies so then Junior went to be having guitar player with the waiters and uh anyway so the tracks that we that we recorded we just finished the album we still got them but we’ve got probably gonna release him next year now you got contacted by Stevie Ray Vaughan I believe yeah that’s right uh yeah I used to drink in this Pub which we call the office in in in New York near where I live you know and uh that was the publicist we used to drink in a published called Charlie Coleman he was the Beatles publicist previously and he led to New York and he he obviously nervous me and he said oh man right he said I’ve got this guitar player we’re trying to break you know Stevie Ray from from Texas and say oh no right he said yeah you really should have a hear him you’ve got to hear him because you know he wants to meet you and hear about Jimmy and so forth so I said fine it’s great yeah it’s like can you give me a couple of tapes to listen to it I said oh yeah yeah that story is in New York basically so so that’s how I got introduced him by his publicist what did you think when you first turned them was it hear him play yeah when I first saw him live first of all the first met him very very nice guy self-spoken very generous you know it’s time to go you know instantly you feel like oh with no ego he left his League way down the road you know no yeah so we we go on stage yeah you could play and you could can you hear some of the the Hendricks influence in his playing but he’s obviously influence most guitar players after see me die I are influenced by whether they want to be or you know it it would be hard to not to be yeah if they like playing a guitar they’d have to listen to Jimi Hendrix wouldn’t they who are they going to listen to it’s a good question I mean well we look at the list of artists on your on your books yeah there’s quite a few to pick from in there yeah but they they’re all in some way being influenced by Jimmy yeah let’s say yeah absolutely I mean you you can’t well I’m saying is you can’t get away from the fact that that Jewish music that has moved on since essentially started really it’s 1968 and once you’ve heard Jimmy and you heard purple eyes and you heard the song how can you how can you not be impressed by this is impossible yeah I certainly haven’t said that that’s it yeah I mean you know that’s the way it is it’s the same thing with uh yeah either guitar players I mean I’m the Buddy Guy with Jimi Hendrix you know I mean I mean buddy when when you know when he hits Jimmy you know well they’ve done together you know they they’re not the same but they share certain things in common it would be the same as listening to you’d have to have a good ear to be able to listen to um some of the other guitar players that played with with the soul guys back in the era you know like with picket and and there’s a few of them around but they they they kind of share a certain amount of stuff you know it really wasn’t you know I think when John Lee Hooker went electric he he kind of set the world upload you know he started playing the Strat you know I mean but but Jimmy you know Hendrix he never considers himself a bird’s man you know Jimmy wasn’t a blues Man and he said no no you know I didn’t grow up there he said I wasn’t a sharecropper I wasn’t this I wasn’t that you know so for Jimmy you know I played the blues don’t mind me don’t mind but I’m not a bluesman it’s funny blues man who are alive you know yeah because because when I first went to America the first concert we played words with um Albert King you know it was great it was Buzz one of our favorite parties you know and Albert’s great you know such a nice guy you know Wonderful Wonderful player plays upside down too that’s an absolute doubt I need to close the right hand guitar it doesn’t bother to move the strings it’s just behind something like that so that’s but but I I look I know for a fact that when I used to go around the flat with Jimmy and yeah I mean we used to play or Jam I had to play Upside down so yeah make sure I said oh it’s absolutely you’ll figure it out yeah what was it like being around so many of those great places Jimmy Page around yeah Eric Clapton too uh no Eric never never hung out in the same Circle as us okay no so just just you guys just you know in a flat or in London if we were down into the people that we used to have but obviously people like Stevie Mario I mean you know George Harrison was around a bit you know and uh no no Eric Clapton no he was he was frightened to be around Jimi
Jimi was the type of guy who would love to play the guitar so it’s hard to explain but yeah he he just wanted to have fun played in The Talk he didn’t take care of he’s playing a baseball playing a guitar he won’t have fun with people and he wanted to be around people who wanted to have fun yeah so you know I will probably sell some fun yeah and that that’s the way it was it wasn’t like Oh Let’s Jam oh what song have you got damn why are you crazy that’s not jamming you know you played the guitar you know that’s what it’s about I mean it would be like something oh I’ve got to practice myself what that’s not a solo if you’ve got to practice it
but by definition it’s not a solo I mean yeah I understand I mean part of my job with Jimmy was to get Jimmy you know be with Jimmy to get to get the confidence uh and the right sound so when we went into the studio to cut the solo or or Autumn you know the actual position of where the solo is going to be that you know what would be called the solank park that Jimmy never played before he was in the right frame of mind it was not not a case of whether he could play oh it was oh boy he’s gonna buy is just get give me an hour here I’ve got faith I’ve got feeling the right frame of mind maybe I needed another drinks you know what I’m saying they they just as important the most important thing um in in recreating it what becomes an iconic performance it’s made in it you’ve got to feel like doing it yeah absolutely it comes across as well when you know when you see a flight when you see a player live is in their element it’s so yeah it’s so enjoyable well it says enjoyable for them and then that transmits to the audience you see yeah you kind of get that feedback loop going between buttons but the hard part is once you’ve done it in the studio that energy and excitement and sound it’s got to be recorded and those are all the processes they come out the other end on allowed to speak to somewhere else in the room and still create an excitement yeah and that that’s what I personally find is is uh well yeah it’s satisfying because I could be somewhere doesn’t matter where I stay in the Caribbean thing about my purple house comes on now I’m I personally am immediately transported back to the time where we record it I’m not going to turn around by the way I was there and this is another [ __ ] yeah I I know I was there so but but that’s that’s what it does so yeah and it’s interesting to see the people really enjoyed this sound yeah you can you can definitely hear it and you know we we’ve been uh we’ve been selling your pedals for a while now aren’t we we’ve been we’ve had about five six years something like that it might be longer yeah yeah and so what makes you decide because we’re the only place in the country that does that what what might we decide because it’s quite simple but when I when I first you know met devil I came to the shop Oh I thought oh this is good because now this is a shop boy that really likes guitars and caters for people who like guitars it’s not just about you know price cutting and box shifting and this and that that the guitars that you have here is a very very nice collection of guitars stands on its own so he’s the the body of guitars you have it stands on its own as a collection see so that means that anyone who rocks in who walks through the door and you get a lot of famous people come to the door but that means they come it they gravitate here because you have the selection and you have to Vibe so they can now choose what we can like their next girlfriend which is their guitar that they probably spend more time with the guitar than they do with their girlfriends and all that white you know what I’m saying because that’s why the guitar from becomes very very personal to guitar player so they it’s very important for them to have to write the term that that suits them and it is not about hype it’s not about publicity it’s not about oh I I want a Jeff Beck guitar because Jeff paper played it obviously that many uh replica guitars do you really I I think it’s very difficult to say because sometimes it can be you know we do sell signature models but also I think the guitars you know if you take a Cherry 335 with the Block in layers you instantly people buy Clapton Eric Johnson you know they think of those players maybe that’s a big part of it and some people just love the history of the guitar and the companies and buying based on that but at the same time is professional players who can play or people who can play that that guitar has got a certain they’re not gonna buy just because someone else used it are they I think from a lot of the session players we see they they tend to if they want to Strat sound they buy strap you know it’s it’s my signature one they’ll buy you know something that suits them um we do we do sell guitars to a lot session plays actually they come in you know and they they really got on here for what they want yeah that’s because a producer wants a specific sound and that has to be produced in that manner but that’s what I’m just saying is because you have a nice selection the the person will gravitate and then he will buy the guitar that fits his hand yeah that’s a definitely a big part you know the the one that feels right in the hands you know I think that that’s a it’s a it’s I think it’s a three-pronged attack with it price doesn’t matter too much in a lot of cases for people once they’re they’re in the shop because we we do get a lot of customers that come in and they don’t know what they want you know they know they want a guitar but they come in they they’ll look at things so first it’s visual do they like the look of it that that’s really important for a lot of people maybe it is what it is and I I I don’t know it it’s a fact of the matter is because the choice is there it’s a bit like going into a nice restaurant where you’ve got a great menu yeah it becomes a problem that’s also a problem you know we yeah well but that’s a good problem to have and there aren’t many shops that that offer that kind of uh uh selection and relaxed atmosphere to to attract people who who you know want to want to have that experience you know yeah absolutely and I think your panel’s fitting perfectly again thank you yeah well you know I mean there is no need with with the modern marketing and the um the ability of the various uh logistical companies perhaps or actually someone to not take advantage of that especially in America because in America you know the chances of you living near a great guitar store are basically zero because it’s a very large country and even if you lived in Los Angeles you can live in the other end of Los Angeles he’s still fully blocks away yeah and it’s not and it would be a nightmare to get the seat to go say Norm’s guitar downtown whatever so I mean you know the chances of you finding it and Ill yeah yeah to enter to find what people might call a proper guitar shop you know that that’s that’s dedicated to guitar you know we have lots of General music shops around us as well but you know everything but to go into a dedicated guitar shop in an old building as well you know I love your building that but it’s a nice inning it’s a nice Market town and this that’s the way I say it is you know it it’s not it’s not a pilgrimage but I mean if someone’s interested in guitars they have a they have a fantastic selection of the tunnels here really I may always say to anybody I mean you know if you get a chance and this is for anyone who lives abroad or or in England it’s it’s an experience for you to come and see the guitars yeah because it’s not it’s not like a trip to the museum it’s a Living Museum because you can actually buy one if you want to do uh you don’t but uh it’s not it’s not like going into some kind of High Street store where where the uh the salesmen have got some like like kind of attitude and this and that you know I mean that’s what people used to say oh well I didn’t like to go and that guitar store because they intimidated me as well you know yeah you do you do get guitar stores like that I said you know I’m sure most of them have disappears Yeah by now yeah it’s um it’s very old old guitar shop retail I think was that you know you go in you’ve got a surly person behind the counter oh yeah you’re not worthy type Vibes and now we’re very very much not on board with that we like to welcome everyone yeah yeah you obviously don’t get you know there’s always a niche for the best isn’t there yeah absolutely so will your instinctive good good good taste see six out the best you won’t settle for the rest but yeah well said well this has been this has been a great catch up with you it’s been uh it’s been a long time coming we’ve mentioned we were dealing with Rogers pedals for six seven years now and we’ve talked about doing this interview for at least two of those years I think so yeah I mean when you get down to it it could be the first of many many other interviews that we could talk about because there are many other subjects and you know we haven’t yet talked about the uh the the uh the actual recording methods and the recording equipment that that we actually made today that I use you know up to now and that that is a that’s a long Topic in itself isn’t it yeah that’s maybe another time but uh we we can talk uh maybe in a little while we can talk about some of the pedals I I would like to put on record for you the um some of the philosophy behind the different designs yeah and so so you would uh you’d be able to pass that on to your yeah let’s so so what we’ll do then we’ll we’ll get this uh we’ll wrap up our interview there and then we’re we’re gonna we’re gonna look at each panel individually so we’ll have separate videos for each one