VIDEO: Earl Slick discusses his favorite guitars
The recent release of David Bowie's The Next Day has not only reminded the world of the legendary singer-songwriter's singular talents, it has also shone a spotlight once again on the daringly inventive guitar playing of Earl Slick.
The Staten Island-born axeman, who began performing with Bowie in 1974 at the age of 22, splashes buckets of spunky colors all over The Next Day, adding robust crunch and intoxicating textures to what is surely one of 2013's strongest albums.
The other day, MusicRadar dropped in on Slick at his home in Pine Bush, New York. The venerable musician, who has lived in the cozy "rock 'n' roll cabin" for 10 years with his friendly Newfoundland named Banana, brewed up a pot of strong coffee before showing us a selection of some of his most treasured guitars.
- © Joe BossoEarl Slick and his Newfoundland named Banana, at home in Pine Bush, New York
- 1968 Gibson J-45
- © KL ManagementGibson J-200 M Trophy 75th Anniversary
- Gitane Gypsy Jazz
- © KL ManagementFramus Earl Slick Signature model (red)
- © KL ManagementFramus Mayfield (black)
- © Michael Polito PhotographyEarl Slick homemade "Art Guitar"
- © KL ManagementJames Trusart Red Star "Tele-style" guitar
- 1976 Gibson SG Junior
- © Joe BossoEarl Slick personalized guitar strap
We were curious to see Slick's Sardonyx guitar – an exotic-looking boutique model that he bought in 1981 after seeing John Lennon playing one during the Double Fantasy sessions (which Slick performed on) – but the guitarist explained that he had sold it some years ago. "I just couldn't look at it," he said. "Every time I saw it, it reminded me of John." He quickly added, "The thing is probably worth a fortune now."
Even so, the eight guitars that Slick pulled out of his impressive collection are all drool-worthy in their own unique ways, and a couple of them have appeared on some of rock's most essential recordings.