Standing Pat? Not this cat ...

Metheny's been setting the pace for a long time

June 18, 1999 by Riva Harrison for the Winnipeg Sun


As a youth growing up in the '60s, Pat Metheny was an avowed Beatles fan -- until the day his older brother Mike brought home a Miles Davis record.

"I heard one 30-second snippet ... and it was like the sky turned purple and lightning bolts went off," recalls the 44-year-old guitarist, who is in Winnipeg at month's end for a special concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Jazz Winnipeg Festival.

"It was the greatest thing I'd ever heard, and I was instantly a massive fan. It required absolutely no explanation whatsoever, and I always loved all kinds of music, but with this, I had to know everything about it. It wasn't like a gradual thing for me, it was instantaneous."

Metheny, who was only 11 at the time, didn't waste a minute becoming a professional musician. At 19, he joined Gary Burton's band and embarked on a career that would include backing Joni Mitchell's 1979 Shadows And Light tour and recording 23 albums in 21 years, about half of them with the acclaimed Pat Metheny Group.

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