That time Roy Buchanan told me that David Gilmour was just a bluesman at heart


By Steve Newton

I’ve been getting quite a few hits lately for a blog I posted last year about Danny Gatton, which included an audio excerpt from the interview I did with the underrated guitar genius back in 1993.

So I figured maybe it was time to treat that particular group of Ear of Newt readers–the ones who really know their shit when it comes to mindboggling but relatively overlooked players –to a similar blast from the past.

Back in April of 1988 I did my second and final interview with the great Roy Buchanan, who had actually been a huge influence on Gatton–as well as another of my other fave pickers, Jeff Beck, who dedicated “Cause We’ve Ended as Lovers” to him on Blow By Blow.

Like Gatton, Buchanan was a master of the Telecaster, technically scary and soulful as hell, effortlessly blending blues, jazz, country, rock, and rockabilly stylings.

And also like Gatton–who committed suicide at 49–he lived with a lot of demons. Buchanan only made it to 48, dying in a Virginia jail cell after a domestic dispute and arrest for public drunkenness. He was found hanged by his own shirt, although bruising on his body caused family and friends to suspect police brutality rather than suicide as the cause of death.

Whatever happened in Fairfax County lockup that awful night, just four months earlier, when I called him at his Virginia home, Roy sounded quite positive. He’d just gotten back from shooting a video at the Crossroads Nightclub in Maryland to promote his new Bluesmaster signature guitar, which he was excited about.

At one point in the interview I asked him about his recent tour in Australia, which saw him jamming with David Gilmour and other members of Pink Floyd at a bar one night.

David Gilmour and Roy Buchanan trading licks? Now that I’d like to see.

Have a listen:




3 responses to “That time Roy Buchanan told me that David Gilmour was just a bluesman at heart

  1. Roy was absolutely right. Listen to Shine On You Crazy Diamond and tell me that’s not a blues song.

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