Since my last entry saw me waxing existential about what I’d done with my life, here’s a post with one or two conclusive answers.
State of the Axe: Guitar Masters in Photographs and Words, was recently published. It’s a collection by Ralph Gibson, a seminal American photographer, of dozens of guitar players, along with brief writings by the guitarists themselves about their relationship to the instrument. The list of players profiled includes David Torn, Allan Holdsworth, Jim Hall, Lou Reed, Bill Frisell, Andy Summers, Nels Cline, Les Paul, and many others.
…including me. No, really.
In January of 2004, I played at the New York Guitar Festival, opening for David Torn. Ralph Gibson was at the show to take pictures of Torn, and after I did my soundcheck, he asked if he could do some shots of me as well. Some time thereafter, he asked me for some words about the guitar to accompany the shot, and the rest is… well, a pretty amazing book that I somehow got to be a part of. For me, it’s a trip to see a short-haired Andre playing a Steinberger guitar again, and while I’m not sure I still would have used the phrase “caterwauling car alarms” (ahem…) in my written entry, I’m thrilled beyond measure to be included.
Like a lot of things in the music world (and life in general, for that matter), it’s a classic case of randomly being in the right place at the right time, and happening to be heard by somebody who digs what they hear, and is in a position to do something about it.
Serious thanks go to David Torn, who invited me to play the gig where Ralph heard me in the first place (and who also gives me a very gracious mention in his own entry in the book), along with David Spelman, the director of the New York Guitar Festival, who saw fit to have me on the gig in the first place. And of course, immense gratitude to Ralph Gibson for seeing fit to put a player like myself in a book like this. I was 29 when that gig went down, so there’s at least one thing I did with my ’20s.
You can see a preview of some of the shots, along with a full list of the guitarists in the book, at this link. State of the Axe: Guitar Masters in Photographs and Words, is available at book stores and websites everywhere.