Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - 104

neck pickup. I was talking to
[Guns N' Roses/Dead Daisies
guitarist] Richard Fortus
about Juniors and Specials,
and why it is that Juniors seem
to sound better and feel better than
Specials. And he brought up the point
that the magnetism of a neck pickup
robs a little of the tone from strings as
they vibrate. I'd never thought about
that. People talk about the way the
pickups are mounted - whether a
dog-ear P-90 will sound better than
the soapbar... and that's debatable, of
course. But I started to wonder if you
could factor that in with an Esquire,
too. That there's no neck pickup to
encumber that beautiful sound.

something about rosewood is
just spongier... not as bright,
friendlier, almost. And the
'63's got that in spades.

How did Keith Nelson
become involved in your songwriting process?

He called one day last year while
working in his studio. He asked what
I was doing, and I said, "Trying to
get geared up to start writing for our
next album." And he told me he had
some ideas. It was nothing we'd ever
approached together, but his input
really kick-started my songwriting
and before I knew it, we had six or
seven songs I felt were pretty special. I
kept four because they felt very much
like Blackberry Smoke songs. I think
he agreed.

Do you have any maple-board
Esquires?

You and Robert Randolph ratchet
up the playing a bit on "I'll Keep
Ramblin'," which is a high-paced

No. I have a maple-board Tele
with a B-bender that we used quite
a bit. It's a newer one, but good. But

7

8

7) Starr used his '48 Martin 000-18 to record "Let Me Down
Easy" on the new Blackberry Smoke album, Find A Light. 8)
Starr calls this '66 "the best-sounding D-18 I've ever heard.
It belonged to a close friend who begrudgingly sold it to me
because he wanted to buy a '49 D-18. He played several beVINTAGE GUITAR

9

fore he landed on this one, and it's a perfect example of that
D-18 voice. As you can tell, somebody strummed the hell
out of it." 9) Acquired after the making of Find A Light, Starr
believes this '38 National Duolian was refinished in the '60s.
"It's rusty here and there, but it's a good one," he said.

104

June 2018

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

Contents
Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - June 2018 - open - IFC
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