MORE NICHE PLAYERS
A few years ago, I was astonished by a GT response to a request for more articles on less familiar guitarists, the gist of which seemed to be, ‘Well, Richard Thompson doesn’t sell millions of albums so the public must be right.’ Although this aspect has been addressed to a degree, the implication seemed to be that, for example, Bert, John and Davy didn’t sell so well either, so why bother? However, in the same mag there was a transcript of a piece by French player Pierre Bensusan, hardly a household name.
Although an admirer of Clapton, Page, Jimi, Stevie Ray and so on, my heart does sometimes sink when I see your latest edition with one of these guys featured yet again on the cover. I also don’t think that you have adequately covered the staggeringly original Jeff Beck. Or, say, Ollie Halsall, whose solos made me want to run despairingly from any Patto gig. I can’t remember seeing one of Ollie’s solos transcribed. Perhaps you could feature Dzal Martin - still doing the business for various artistes. There are many overlooked or up and coming black and Asian players (Tinariwen?). However, I do love the features and reviews in GT.
Dave Jack, Usk
I can’t believe I would reply in such terms to a request for lesser known players, but I understand the point that was being made. People usually complain about the prevalence of the Claptons and SRVs on guitar magazine covers, without taking onboard that we need the big names to sell issues (or seeing what else is covered inside). We have to be proportionate when it comes to the mass vs niche appeal of artists, so it’s not really surprising that some feature more than others. There are great guitarists in every town, but it would be impossible to have them all in GT so we have to go with our best instincts. I’m sure we’ve covered Ollie in the past, have featured Jeff on many, many occasions and similarly Messrs Jansch, Renbourn and Graham. Not touched on Dzal or the wonderful Tuareg group Tinariwen, but we did a World Music series a while back. We do try our best to cover most things, but it has to be in some kind of proportion.