Interview with Roland GR User Pat Metheny

May 1986 by Nicholas Webb for Guitarist 1(12), pp28-31


Nicholas Webb: Youíd been playing a semi acoustic 175, and suddenly there was this guitar synth. What happened? Was it love at first sight?

Pat Metheny: Basically, the people in our music store got this thing in and asked if I wanted to try it, it was that blue Roland box, the GR300. Iíd tried every other guitar synthesizer and had even bought a couple of them, the Avatar and the Patch 2000, which I messed around with for two or three nights then put in my closet, because they were just unplayable!
Theyíre still there actually, I think Iím going to start a synthesizer museum at some point, because Iíve got them all now!
I just picked the GR300 up and I couldnít believe it, because it worked! I could play all my kind of weird phrasings and it translated. Iíd always had people design these guitars so I could play up an octave, but they never worked; the frets would always run out, whereas I wanted another 8 or 9 notes. I wanted to buy this thing there and then, because I knew if everybody gets hip to this theyíre all going to have to have one. This was five years ago, and to this day, with the exception of John McLaughlin and Adrian Belew, few people are buying a guitar synthesizer! I just donít understand.

NW: Did you start by playing your old licks when you picked it up, things that you happened to be playing?

please visit Wayne Scott Joness' site to continue reading


Note: Not only was Nicholas (Nick) Webb an insightful writer, but he was also a very talented guitarist and composer in his own right. Nick Webb was the founder and principal architect of the British instrumental group, Acoustic Alchemy. Nick worked for years with fellow guitarist Greg Carmichael in Acoustic Alchemy, appearing on ten albums, before passing away from cancer in 1998. I had the chance to meet Nick and Greg in Los Angeles some years ago, and can personally add that Nick was also a very kind and gracious person, as well as an excellent musician. -Wayne


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