Vintage Guitar - March 2018 - open - 92
He's been with me for 17 years; can't imagine
life without him. Of course, I have to say all
this or he'd fire me."
VG caught up to the guitarist to discuss
with Television's Richard
Lloyd in the '70s
through his time
with The Bongos and includes
the past 20 years as owner of
The Guitar Bar, in Hoboken,
New Jersey, which has helped him find very
That was a great experience. Being in my
early 20s, traveling the country with your
best friends playing music every night... you
couldn't ask for better. Playing with Richard
Lloyd prior to that set the groundwork. We
didn't tour as extensively, but we were playing
all the time and that was an amazing education
for a 17-/18-year-old. I was in high school at
the time and lived about an hour west of New
York City, so we'd play CBGBs or Max's and
I'd get out of there at 3 a.m. then get home just
in time to go to class (laughs).
s one of the guitarists in Ian Hunter's Rant Band for
the past 17 years, James Mastro is responsible for
providing some of the texture that gives the legendary singer's songs depth and definition. * "James is
a thinking guitarist," says Hunter. "By that I mean he
colors beautifully. Boschie (Mark Bosch, Vintage Guitar, October '16)
can do things Mastro can't, but Boschie can't do what James does.
It's an ideal combination. Mark is a great organizer and an ultra-decent
chap with a great sense of humor.
Mastro in 1978
James Mastro: Justin Purington. Instrument/amp photos by Dennis DiBrizzi. Mastro '78 courtesy of J. Mastro.
With The Bongos, you released two majorlabel albums and toured constantly in the
'80s. What was it like in the days of MTV?