Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 90

Anthony with a
Gibson L-5 Wes
Montgomery model.

JAZZ BIG-LEAGUER

H

oward Roberts and Tommy Tedesco were his mentors; both recognized his extraordinary talent and relentless work ethic. ■ When
L.A. session guitarist Mike Anthony elected to leave the studio
life after many years, Tommy Tedesco threw him an unforgettable
gala retirement party that was populated by so many guitar greats it was
chronicled by a feature article in Guitar Player magazine. Virtually every
name guitarist from the L.A studio and jazz scene attended the send-off; the
list included old-guard players like Al Hendrickson, Bob Bain, George M.
Smith, Bill Pitman, Herb Ellis, Allan Reuss, Tiny Timbrell, Tony Rizzi, Ron
Eschete, Dennis Budimir, George Van Eps, and of course Tedesco, while the
young lions were represented by Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour,
Mitch Holder, Grant Geissman, Tim May, Jay Graydon, and Barry Zweig.

BY JIM CARLTON
A protegé of the great Howard Roberts, Anthony spent decades as a first-call session player
and second-generation member of the famed
Wrecking Crew, the studio stalwarts who played
on countless hit records and TV/radio commercials. For instance, that's Anthony playing
the gorgeous arpeggios on Diana Ross' hit, "Do
You Know Where You're Going To?" the theme
from Mahogany. In addition to TV credits for
"The Bob Newhart Show," "The Brady Bunch,"

"Dallas," "Charlie's Angels," "The Flintstones,"
"The Carol Burnett Show," "Happy Days," and
many more, a few of his film credits include
Moonraker, Funny Lady, Mahogany, Day of
the Locusts, The Fox and the Hound, The Eiger
Sanction, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,
Lady Sings The Blues, The Last Detail, and others. During his studio years, Anthony was also
in-demand from Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett,
Barbra Streisand, The Fifth Dimension, Frank
VINTAGE GUITAR

90

March 2017

Sinatra, Nat Cole, J.J. Johnson, and Groove
Holmes. And few musicians can cite career
highlights that include working with Miles
Davis and Luciano Pavarotti.
Today, in addition to concerts that honor
other jazz-guitar greats, Anthony teaches jazz
guitar at the University of New Mexico and
gigs with his acclaimed First Take Trio. In
June of 2014, he was honored with a Lifetime
Achievement award and another for Best Instrumental Performance from the New Mexico
Music Awards.

EARLY YEARS
In 1955, Anthony's family settled in California. He attended Van Nuys High School where
at 14 he discovered three players - Les Paul,
Andres Segovia, and Bo Diddley - who inspired
him to consider a career playing guitar. His
pursuit was enhanced with lessons from the
great Jimmy Wyble.
"In 1959, I started college at age 17," he said.
"I still dug Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, but
through a friend I learned about Howard Roberts, who was playing the cool guitar parts on
the TV series 'The Deputy.' For the soundtrack,
producer Jack Marshall gave Howard free reign
to play whatever struck him. By then, I'd decided to study with a studio player; becoming
one was my goal, and I contacted Vince Terry


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