Interview

Linda Manzer

By Marek Komar - December, 1997

Pat Metheny Group Newsletter, Issue No. 30, February 1998, pgs 5+6

Marek: How did you get in to guitar handcraft?

Linda: I Made a dulcimer from a kit in 1969 and after that made a few more dulcimers in the art college wood working shop, eventually I left art college to be an apprentice guitar maker with Jean Claude Larrivee 1974-1978. I also studied archtop guitar making with Jimmy D'Aquisto in 1983.

Marek: Do you play guitar yourself and if so when did you begin?

Linda:I started playing guitar after I heard the Beatles, 1964-5 I was about 12.

Marek: Do you work entirely by yourself or there are others involved?

Linda: I work 75% alone, I have just recently had someone help me with correspondence part time and I have a part time helper who helps me with some fundamental aspects of the building.

Marek: What type of music do you personally listen to?

Linda: Jazz, classical, some pop. All music fascinates me.

Marek: How did you run in to Pat Metheny?

Linda: I sent a letter backstage to him when he played in Toronto in 1982 [Convention Hall], I had nit expected to meet him. His manager came out and looked for me and told me to come backstage. I was with my then apprentice - Peter Jacobsen [from Denmark] and it was wonderful.
Pat played two of my guitars and then finally ordered one. It was magically.

Marek: Were you a fan of his before you began to work with him?

Linda: Absolutely!

Marek: Where did you study and what with regard to music?

Linda: I studied classical music in high school [played violin] took a few guitar lessons but am mostly self taught.

Marek: How many time did you spend to project and realize Pikasso-guitar?

Linda: I spent four months designing, five month building it. It was a wonderful collaboration with Pat. We had a lot of fun designing it.

Marek: Do you have a fovorite guitar you made?

Linda: Definitely the Pikasso. It was an adventure.

Marek: To develop the extraordinary virtuosity of Pat, do you have to invent some particular strategy?

Linda: Basically Pat tells me what he wants in a few sentences and I try to build him what he asked for.
(He's very precise and clear this is extremely helpful to me) I often have a few questions for him once I get designing and start building but he really just lets me do what I want to do. I think about his playing style and the neck shape he likes as I build it and I simply try to make the best instrument possible for him.

Marek: Are the instruments you do for Pat played by other musicians too? If yes, who are them?

Linda: Lots of people have ordered the "Manzer" model (what Pat calls the Linda-6) it's definitely my most popular model and I have made a few Sitar guitars, plus I made a Pikasso for Scott Chinery.
Any model I make for Pat I am happy to make for anyone else. I have designed about 12 instruments for Pat and many of these models have become part of my catalogue so lots of people have these instruments.

Marek: Do you test the instruments you project or do you prefer to have an opinion of other collaborators, before you submit them to Pat?

Linda: No I let Pat check them out first, once in a while someone else will see it before Pat if they happen to be in my shop before he gets it but mostly I just test them myself and send them to him.

Marek: Are there any other artists that you constructed guitars for?

Linda: Carlos Santana, Bruce Cockburn, Stephen Fearing, Larry Campbell (he plays with Bob Dylan, K.D. Lang etc.) Heather Bishop, Marie-Lynn Hammond, Stan Samole (Pat's teacher in Florida), Scott Chinery, Roy Patterson, etc, etc...

Marek: Do you make all types of guitars (acoustic, electric etc...)?

Linda: I make all types - except solid body electric and flamenco.

Marek: What different types of wood do you use and what is their origin?

Linda: European spruce, western cedar (from western Canada) Indian rosewood, (India) Ebony (Africa, Ceylon), Mahogany (South America), Maple (all over the world).
I try to use enviromentally 'friendly' woods when ever possible, sometimes it's difficult to know the real origin of the woods and I am trying to research this more and more. I try to never buy from clear cut forest and ask wood suppliers as many questions as I can. I am also a member of several enviromental groups and do what I can to help.

Marek: What do you think about Pat Metheny Group latest release "Imaginary Day" and what is your favorite album or tune of the Group?

Linda: I love the new album, I think it's the best yet. I've always trusted Pat to take me new places with his music and this seem to be the the most adventurous journey to date. Missouri Skies is of course a very special album for me because it's so beautiful and of course it's mostly my guitars.
I had tears in my eyes when I first heard it.
After these too I really have a hard time picking favorites honestly, I love As Falls Wichita and Off Ramp and I love Secret Story and We Live Here.
I sort of love them all and could actually listen to any of them at anytime and totally enjoy them all.
I like the Tony Williams album plus the Jack Dejonnete, and Q+A.


maintained by Thomas Hönisch TOP last update: August 9, 2001