That time I called up Danny Gatton while he was sorting through his Roy Buchanan tapes

By Steve Newton

When it comes to unheralded guitar geniuses, Danny Gatton is right up there. He’s never achieved the fame of a Clapton, Beck, or Page, but in-the-know guitar freaks realize that he’s worthy of comparison, talent-wise.

I only got to interview Gatton once, back in April of 1993, before he came to Vancouver for a Music West appearance. A year-and-a-half later, at the age of 49, he took his own life, friends and family saying that he had suffered from depression for decades.

When I called him up that spring day, however, he was in good spirits. He’d been out in his garage in Washington, D.C., sorting through a bunch of cassettes–including “20 or 30 Roy Buchanan tapes.”

The reference to Roy Buchanan is memorable because Buchanan is another masterful but troubled Telecaster specialist who never got the worldwide acclaim he deserved. Five years earlier, at the age of 48, he’d died in a Fairfax, Virginia jail cell, either by his own hand or–as suspected by family and friends–police brutality.

After mentioning those Buchanan tapes, Gannon went on to talk a bit about his soon-to-be-released album, Cruisin Deuces.

Have a listen:


To hear the full 1993 interview with Danny Gatton, become a patron of the Newt on Patreon. Hey, it’s only 5 bucks a month! (U.S., mind you).




2 responses to “That time I called up Danny Gatton while he was sorting through his Roy Buchanan tapes

  1. “Crying Shame”

    First, I should like to answer the Newt’s call to arms, as it were, with a resounding and heart-felt “hell yes!” I believe in what you’re doing. I addition to the fact you have obviously spoken to a large and widely varied collective from among the best rock-and-blues field(s). And more importantly cats like Roy Buchanan and Danny Gaton are, finally, given their “due and proper.”

    Without fear of exaggeration I think we can say Danny and Roy, whatever else may have been troubling them, deserved to know how much love and respect was theirs in recognition of their magnificent and immensely valuable, and unique, in respect to each other and other musicians, a contribution to music
    in general and guitar in particular…

  2. I was fortunate to hear Danny twice while living in Maryland. Truly a Master of the Telecaster. I slso heard Roy several times. Both were awesome, but different. They both had a great gift, and they are missed.

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