I can definitely say that there never was such a thrill as my early days as a player who was getting “hot”. This means that my playing was truly starting to be “in demand”, and I was getting many calls for recording sessions as well as tours. It may sound like a lot of luck was involved, and sometimes it was, but I believe that you make your own luck, and the fact that I was so aggressive and so believing in my own abilities also had a great and positive effect on my career at the time.
You HAVE to believe in what you do, and in your ability to adjust to many different musical as well as personal situations, because it all plays into the equation. I can literally remember certain times where special things I may have said, regardless of how corny they may have sounded eventually had a great effect on my career at the time.
I can recall being in an elevator, going up to my audition with John Prine for his 1975 tour, and talking to his manager, Al Bunetta, who is still a great friend of mine today. He turned and asked me, “do you play slide guitar?” Well, I turned to him and I said, “I wrote THE BOOK on slide guitar!!” It certainly was true, and I was very proud that at the age of 22, I had already published a book on Slide Guitar for Oak Publications, that is still a classic even today, and that had broken all of their initial book sales records for first time releases!
Of course, that statement could’ve gotten me in trouble for sheer cockiness, but it struck the right chord in Al Bunetta, who to this day, still quotes me from that particular conversation! He also, to this day, never stops commenting on my cockiness, and on how much I believe in myself and my guitar abilities. This inner drive was what made me teach myself, move to Woodstock at 18, start Hot Licks video, tour for years, record many sessions and albums, and is still what pushes me on even today.
So, listen to that inner voice you have that tells you that you can do it, because that personal drive is what will pay off one day, and one day, you too, will “get hot!”