Talking Heads – Tina Weymouth

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for Guitar Player

March 1, 1984

Somehow it almost seems too simple. The Talking Heads scoured New York’s underground in 1975 looking for a bassist, without luck. So Tina Weymouth, the group’s closest friend, who had never played bass before, decided to learn the instrument and join the band. In nine years’ time, Martina Michelle Weymouth, has infused fresh and imaginative […]

Talking Heads – Equipment Check

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for Guitar Player

March 1, 1984

David Byrne Travels with a total of four guitars: two sunburst Stratocasters, a Roland GR-300 Guitar Synthesizer, and a Martin D-35 acoustic. Talking Heads guitar technician Jeff Shaw says, “I’m not quite sure if the Strats are ’62s or ’63s, but he has two of them exactly alike. They look very similar – beat up […]

Talking Heads – David Byrne

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for Guitar Player

March 1, 1984

“David Byrne’s Lead work is an undefinable beast,” says former Talking Heads co-guitarist Adrien Belew. “He is a highly underrated, inventive player, especially with his rhythm work. I like the way he wrestles with new things with a childlike enthusiasm. Lots of times he looked to me like a big wide-eyed kid — sort of, […]

Brazil’s Ivan Conti

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for Modern Drummer

October 1, 1983

As the Brazilian trio Azymuth finishes its first song at a rare U.S. concert, the audience breaks into enthusiastic applause. The drummer rises quickly and begins clapping back at the crowd, an infections smile on his face. Ivan Conti, also known by his nickname Mamao, is one of the most highly regarded drummers in Brazil. […]

Duke of Funk

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for BAM

September 9, 1983

SAN FRANCISCO — Try to write a lead paragraph that sums up all of what George Duke is. It’s a near impossibility, owing to the fact that Duke’s musical career has been a remarkable series of transitions: from jazz virtuoso to rock and roll showman, from Brazilian music to space funk, recording a new “concept […]

Flora & Airto: The Free Flights of Two Rhythm Devils

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for BAM

May 8, 1981

SAN RAFAEL — “I can’t find my shoes.” Airto says as he circles the percussion—filled stage at Marin Veterans Auditorium in his stocking feet. A final rehearsal for a Rhythm Devils concert has wound to a halt, and Airto has a tough task ahead—finding misplaced shoes on a stage packed with birembaus, dunduns, gombes, angklungs, […]

Home — Music by Steve Swallow to poems by Robert Creeley

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for Musicians' Industry

May 1, 1981

Produced by Manfred Eicher; engineered by David Baker; recorded at Columbia Recording Studios, New York. In his most recent ECM release, bassist Steve Swallow walks a somewhat perilous artistic tightrope. Home is Swallow’s music, wrapped loosely around the sparse and image-filled poems of Robert Creeley, and played by musicians well suited to the undertaking. On […]

Santana’s “Voice”: Alex Ligertwood

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for BAM

April 24, 1981

SAN FRANCISCO — Listening to him talk, you get the feeling that Alexander J. Ligertwood hasn’t been living in Walnut Creek for too long. In fact, when Santana was breaking in this country over ten years ago, he was still making his way through the European rock and blues scene. Now, as the lead singer […]

Bobby McFerrin sings for the Challenge

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for BAM

March 27, 1981

SAN FRANCISCO — Being added to the Playboy Jazz Festival roster at the Hollywood Bowl last year was a big step for Bobby McFerrin. As he recalls it. “Yeah it was Chick. and Herbie, and Dizzy you know. Stanley Clarke was there, and Buddy Rich. And Bobby McFerrin from San Francisco.” McFerrin has been living […]

Bay Picker Gets A Lift From Mick

Originally published by Robin Tolleson for San Francisco Chronicle

January 1, 1901

When he comes “home” to play the Fillmore with his trio, Berkeley’s guitar-hero-in-residence Joe Satriani will have learned something by tagging along on Mick Jagger’s solo tour through Japan, from The Pouty One and his assembled thoroughbreds, Jimmy Ripp, Doug Wimbish, Bernard Fowler and Simor Phillips. “I have to really push to get my musical […]