Happy Birthday Bill Frisell

Here is the maestro as a youngster at the beginning of his tenure with the greatest musical aggregation I have ever seen. A year before this concert, he came into Rudy’s Music in New York, where I worked. He had a Gibson SG Junior and wasn’t happy with the noise from its single-coil P-90. For my sins, I convinced him to replace it with a Seymour Duncan JB and arranged for the installation. He must have also had this regular SG or purchased it later.

Cut to 1991—Bill was celebrating his 40th birthday playing with Robin Holcomb at the Great American Musical Hall in SF. I had lobbied hard for the opening slot with my band because I knew Bill would be in Robin’s band. Bill had a cold that night and wasn’t having the best birthday, nevertheless he was kind enough to help me carry my gear to my car. He is not only one of the all-time guitar greats, he is a helluva guy. Happy Birthday Bill.


3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Bill Frisell

  1. Happy Birthday Bill Frisell ? my first time seeing him was at Pooh’s Pub in Boston, in 1979 with Tiger’s Baku featuring trumpeter Tiger Okoshi , Kermit Driscoll on bass and Tommy Campbell on drums, even then , many of the elements of his style were in evidence, his wonderful neck bending ( poor SG) pitch warbles, is beautiful sense of space , minimalist harmonic approach and deeply melodic phrasing.

  2. Wow!! Happy Birthday Bill Frisell!
    The first time I saw Bill was at the now closed club NightStage in
    Cambridge, MA in the mid-1980s consisting of Kermit Driscoll on bass, Joey Baron on drums, and Hank Roberts on cello. It was amazing to see these guys just playing off each other, and having an amazing time! About a year, or two later at the same venue…..John Zorn’s Naked City with Mike Patton
    on vocals…..Holy Smokes!!! What the….For two hours… they leveled the club! Like the Led Zeppelin of Psycho-jazz! As soon as the first show was over…..Right to the box office to get a ticket for the second show that night! Amazing again….

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