Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 91
1) This '55 Guild X-500 was
Anthony's first professional
guitar. 2) Anthony bought this
'47 Gibson L-5 from John Pisano,
who used it on Duets with Joe
Pass. 3) This late-model L-5 Wes
Montgomery L-5 was one of the last
made by Gibson's Custom Shop.
at CBS. He told me about Howard, who
was so big at the time I thought he'd
never be available. I was so lucky to
start with him when I was 19."
FIRE IN THE STUDIO
"I'd been making my way teaching
nearly 60 students a week at Lively
Arts Music," Anthony
continued. "One day,
I received a call from
Howard, who said,
'Mike, come over. I
want to give you an
Uncle Howie talk.'
I was 25 at the time,
and he asked if my goals
were still the same. I
said, I want to be a
great jazz guitarist and studio
ready because you
have t he
for both, but
all day. To make
the transition, you're
going to have to take a risk
because you'll need to be available. At
first, when you get called it's because they can't
get the regular guys. It'll be last-minute and
you'll have to be ready because if you're not,
those calls won't keep coming.'
"I discussed it with my wife, and quit giving
lessons. Then, Howard started taking me to
sessions. The most memorable was at Capitol
Records, when I got to fill in for Bill Pitman
and play on Howard's session. Pete Jolly was
on organ, Carol Kaye on bass, Earl Palmer on
drums, Larry Bunker on percussion, and Bill on
rhythm guitar. I was in the booth and so excited
to be there and witness what was going on."
"From the booth, I saw Billy Pitman approach Howard and they were having a serious
conversation. Howard turned and waved me
into the studio. He said, 'Mike, have you got
your guitar?' I don't know what inspired me to
bring it that day, but I had it and my amp in the
car. Bill had an emergency; his son was being
rushed to the hospital with appendicitis. I ran
from my car with my Guild X-500 and a little
Fender amp, and my hands were shaking - you
can imagine my nerves.
"The first thing they put in front of me was
a bass part! I had to double Carol Kaye's line.
The tune was 'Comin' Home, Baby,' which I
had to read in bass clef. I got through it with
Howard's help. I also got to play on 'Danke
H.R. AND TOMMY T.
"Another night I was at Howard's house,
playing through the changes of songs he was
going to record. His phone rang and I heard
him say, 'No, I have a session that night, but
I've got a guy here who's a great player and the
new busy guy in town.'
"He totally lied, because I wasn't doing anything. He asked me, 'Are you available tomorrow
morning?' That endorsed what he'd told me
about being available. Then, he put me on the
phone and the guy just wanted me to play jazz
chords. It was a dogfood jingle, but I heard it on
and off for seven years as a TV and radio spot.
"Tommy Tedesco and Howard respected
each other so much, and Howard would sometimes recommend players to Tommy. Once, I
had a jingle session where I knew I was going to
meet Tommy for the first time. During a break,
I went to tell him how much I admired him and
he said, 'Hey, Howard told me about you. You
play really great and I'm going to recommend