Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 109

CHECK THIS ACTION
Evan Johns,
2012.

Tallent, beginning
with Link Wray, and
then Roy Buchanan
and Danny Gatton.
Evan came out of
that area, with these
unbelievable guitar
players, like Steuart
Smith.
"Evan was kind
of born Evan, but
I'm sure he picked
up a lot of stuff
- certainly from
Gatton - but he
wasn't a 'schooled'
guitar player," Tallent continues. "I
would pick his brain
about, 'How do you
do this? How do
you do that?' and he
really didn't know.
He would even play
chords a cer tain
way, and I would
sit down and show
him, 'You know, all
you have to do is
change one finger,'
or how to do chord
p at t e r n s w it h i n
two frets. He'd go,
'Wow!' He just had
the energy and went
for it. I think sometimes that's more
important than all
the knowledge you could have - if you've
got the fire. And he certainly had that."
With H-Bombs Ivan Brown, Mark Korpi, and drummer Jim Starboard, Tallent
details, "We basically cut an album and a
half. I was learning how to engineer and
produce. I was kind of shocked when I saw
the first live show - what a crazy man he
became - because he was very funny and
outgoing in the studio, but you never got the
idea he was such a wild man on stage. He
was a force of nature, full-tilt all the way."
The Springsteen bass man continues,
"When we were recording, he would get
up at 4:00 in the morning and ice down
a six-pack of beer, then go back to bed, so
that when he got up he'd have cold beer.
He had 'Love Is Murder' and 'Day Go By'
and all these great songs. I really thought
that this guy could be a star, and it didn't

EVAN JOHNS: FORCE
OF NATURE, PART 2
By Dan Forte

Evan Johns: John Grubbs.

T

ake a look at last month's installment
on the late Evan Johns, where he's
pictured in his prime with Tele and
wife-beater, 29 years old. Here, he's just
shy of 56; alcoholism took a toll on him,
and he sometimes resembled a man 25 to
30 years older. And, he put on more than
a sloppy show or two. But virtually all of
his albums are worth owning.
Though he was as impressive a songwriter
as he was a guitarist, perhaps his most
revealing CD is 2016's Evan Johns Does
The Great American Songbook, Vol. 1, in
which he covers a gamut embracing Hank
Williams, Sticks McGhee, and Pete Seeger.
His mid/late albums Love Is Murder
and Bombs Away, produced by E Street
Band bassist Garry Tallent, are probably
his best known. "I believe there's something in the water in the D.C. area," says

January 2018

109

happen for a lot of reasons, but he was
still making music up 'til the end - a little
cottage industry."
This was especially true in his last 20
years. Kristen Anderson, wife of H-Bombs
bassist Ivan Brown, says: "He was a wizard
when it came to getting the music in him
out of him. From his one-room apartment, he wrote, recorded, directed the
artwork for, played most instruments on,
produced, and put out them out. They were
full CD releases - printed, packaged, and
manufactured."
Johns recorded two strange-bedfellows
albums with avant guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. "Some think Vermin Of The Blues
is my best recording," Chadbourne reveals.
"I was highlighting both Evan's cheesy
organ playing and the nasty sound he got
on his Gibson Firebird, as well as second
guitarist Mark Korpi's terrific blues style.
"I noticed a pattern working with Evan.
He would get completely out of it drinking,
and would become totally useless; then
after some rest, he'd be back, bright-eyed
and fresh, yelling, 'Let's cut!'"
Dan McCann, who succeeded Brown
as H-Bombs bassist, states, "By design,
driving down the road was the time we
were at work; playing the show was when
we didn't know exactly what was going to
happen next."
One road ritual appropriately involved
explosives. "The object was to get the fireworks, launched by Evan in the passenger
seat from a two-foot section of 1.5" metal
pipe, to come straight down, so we drove
under the descending rocket as it exploded
on the front windshield of the van. A bull'seye. It was customary for Evan to give the
ceremonial yell, 'Launcher loaded!' Pause
for effect, then, 'Evan loaded! Fire it up!'"
But along with the high-jinx, McCann
says, "Evan always took time to go to a
point of interest during tours as a matter
of course - whether it was the place where
Bonnie and Clyde got machine-gunned
near Rustin, Louisiana, or the highest paved
road in the U.S., Evan said that these were
the things we would remember later in
life. As we drove up to the highest paved
road, Evan stuck a Radio Shack amp out
the window and introduced a small herd
of Rocky Mountain goats to a serious blast
of guitar talent. As they tilted their heads,
he laughed, 'Fresh ears, fellas! Fresh ears!'"

VINTAGE GUITAR

© 2017 Dan Forte; all rights reserved.


http://youtu.be/ObIaJwiAONU http://www.vintageguitar.com/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 3
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 4
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 5
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 6
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 7
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 8
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 9
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - Contents
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 11
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 12
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 13
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 14
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 15
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 16
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 17
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 18
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 19
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 20
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 21
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 22
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 23
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 24
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 25
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 26
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 27
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 28
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 29
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 30
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 31
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 32
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 33
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 34
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 35
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 36
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 37
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 38
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 39
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 40
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 41
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 42
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 43
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 44
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 45
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 46
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 47
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 48
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 49
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 50
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 51
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 52
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 53
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 54
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 55
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 56
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 57
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 58
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 59
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 60
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 61
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 62
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 63
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 64
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 65
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 66
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 67
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 68
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 69
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 70
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 71
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 72
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 73
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 74
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 75
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 76
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 77
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 78
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 79
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 80
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 81
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 82
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 83
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 84
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 85
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 86
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 87
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 88
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 89
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 90
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 91
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 92
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 93
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 94
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 95
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 96
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 97
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 98
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 99
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 100
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 101
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 102
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 103
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 104
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 105
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 106
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 107
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 108
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 109
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 110
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 111
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 112
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 113
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 114
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 115
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 116
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 117
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 118
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 119
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 120
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 121
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 122
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 123
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 124
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 125
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 126
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 127
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 128
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 129
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 130
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 131
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 132
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 133
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 134
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 135
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 136
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 137
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - 138
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - IBC
Vintage Guitar - January 2018 - open - BC
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201903_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201902_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201901_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201812_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201811_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201810_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201809_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201808_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201807_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201805_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201804_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201803_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201802_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201801_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/2018priceguide_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201712_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201711_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201710_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201709_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201708_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201707_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201706_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201705_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201704_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201703_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201702_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201701_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201612_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201611_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201609_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201607_v2
http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/vintageguitar/201606_v2
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com