Unrewarded Geniuses (Guitar Player 1993, reader's letter regarding 1993 article)
Guitar Player, May 1993
Endless thanks for the recent update on Allan Holdsworth (Feb.'93). I feel obligated to send a letter of encouragement to all those players who. like Allan, suffer with the frustration of attempting to break new ground while being rewarded with so little recognition and compensation. Please keep going. Others like myself will support you as best we can. I know the scene well: G.I.T. graduate, in and out of performance and teaching, the pain of having to compromise so great I work the straight job and attempt to satisfy only myself musically, rather than play something my heart cannot support.
Every time I read any Holdsworth interview, it's always the same thing: "Oh, I'm no good. I can't take this music biz anymore. I'm gonna have to find a real job." Poor baby. Some of us do have to work real jobs, and we don't get to make albums, get interviewed, or have manufacturers send us gear to check out. You and Robert Fripp need to get together sometime. Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way, eh, Allan? Before you do another interview, chuck the piss-and-moan attitude and count your blessings. What a weenie.
Coffee Corner, MO
It was great to see the photos and mention of my work in the recent Allan Holdsworth article (Feb.'93), but some clarifications are in order. The guitar on page 65 is actually a Steinberger with a spruce wood top I made as an experiment. After noticing how different in sound two apparently identical stock plastic tops were, we decided to try a few different woods for the top. Allan's regular 25½" scale DeLap hollowbody can be seen in the ads for his new instruction and performance video from REH. The two baritone guitars pictured on page 68 are a blonde 38.2" scale hollowbody and grey 36" scale solidbody. The last few years have produced a dozen prototype instruments ranging from a 19"-scale soprano guitar to the 38" baritone, all of them headless designs featuring Steinberger tremolo bridges. Allan knows the qualities he wants to hear and feel in an instrument, so it can be demanding but rewarding to work with him. He is a constant experimenter, a true innovator with music and the tools he uses to create it.
The Guitar Lab