“Jimmy” D’Aquisto’s Farmingdale, Long Island, workshop in 1973 for a fret job, it was the beginning of a lifetime friendship that cemented my fascination with the archtop guitar, an instrument indelibly fixed in the collective consciousness due to the big band craze of the 1930s, and its role as the instrument of choice amongst jazz guitarists from Charlie Christian on up.
Like many youngsters, my first encounters with archtops took place while trudging my way through the Mel Bay Method for a succession of teachers with bad complexions and big Italian cheesecake guitars, generally the Excel or New Yorker models crafted by the Lower East Side luthier John D’Angelico-D’Aquisto’s mentor.
“It’s pointless, but people got attached to that look and that sound and I was kept from advancing all my ideas for close to 15 years because no one wanted me to change. Well do it on Joe’s guitar, don’t do it on mine.’ Finally I got tired of building a goddamn D’Angelico. ’ ‘Hey, I’m not experimenting on you, I’ve been doing this for years-of course I know.’ And they wouldn’t give me a chance. And if they do something wrong, and it turns out good, they scratch their heads and wonder, ‘Gee, what the hell happened?
You see, when you begin to wrestle with these materials, you get used to dealing with it according to your experience.
So people like Jimmy and I used to think about things a lot from a player’s point of view, and that gives you ideas, and when you have ideas, you tend to want to try them out.
Read More I appreciated the straightforward approach from Lennie and Frank.
They didn't play any games and they didn't waste my time.