Lord knows there has probably been no one who has recorded and directed as many video lessons as myself, and the experience has always been a fascinating one! I basically developed a method of being very natural and “off the cuff” in front of the camera, which goes along with my self-taught approach to the guitar. In many instances, when I had Hot Licks Video, I would direct many other artists on their videos, and if we had an hour or two left of studio time, I’d jump in and record yet another instructional tape in that remaining “bonus” time! It always made me certainly the most “economic” of all artists to film, and it always insured that we’d have me covering yet another topic I had not yet touched upon.
Keeping a decent stable of students has also always helped me with this process, and when my teaching “chops” are up, it’s always a great time to shoot an instructional video! I also always loved helping the other artists I signed, directing them, giving them pointers and basically “getting them through” this process which was often the first and only time they would do something so in-depth about their style and technique. I can remember Mick Taylor, formerly of The Rolling Stones, letting out a big sigh of relief after his video was done, and saying “that was the toughest gig of my life!” That sure surprised me, because here was a man who played with The Stones when he was just 22 years of age!! Talk about tough gigs! It also made me feel bad, as if I had suddenly put him through something so hard that it really made him feel awful…sure didn’t want to do that!
Many other artists were very difficult to get to finally sit down in that chair and give their lesson. James Burton, Eric Johnson and George Benson were notoriously afraid of the actual session itself, but once they had me to communicate with, and to help them get through it, it was always an instantaneous success with them, and helped them really relax into the process of exposing just what made them “tick.” This was an extremely rewarding thing for me, as many times, I was there directing a personal hero of mine, who was there telling me, “hey, you’re the boss, just tell me what to do!” Believe me, when you have a Buddy Guy, a Lonnie Mack or a James Burton telling you that, you must really be doing something right! More on this wonderful process in the future! Stay tuned….