What Happens When The Great Guitar Players Of This Country Come Together? This Is How I Started “Guitar Heroes”
The “Guitar Heroes” came about as an idea around 2005. I was running the Liverpool Academy of Music and had gigs, function type gigs like weddings and the like, all was going well but I really wanted to play with great musicians so I needed a vehicle or excuse to get the best guitar players together.
Creating a “hall of fame” for Australian guitar players was my idea.
I envisioned it to have 3 aspects
The 3 Key Components Of Guitar Heroes
Firstly I’d make a series of cd’s recording classic rock & blues standards with the best guitar players in Australia ( and of course the best drummers and bass players)
Secondly we’d play at the most prestigious venues, and we did.
We played at rooms like the Basement in Sydney and the Esplanade Hotel in Melbourne, with an unbelievable list of great guitar players and musicians
Thirdly I wanted to interview all of the great guitar players that participated in the recordings and or shows and then have those interviews on the Guitar Heroes website to create something that people could spend years watching, enjoying & learning from those interviews.
It was going to be a huge project and it is something I’m very proud of.
The Great Phil Manning
Phil Manning was a big part of it. He recorded with me (that was a great experience), he performed with me (again a great experience for me) and I interviewed him (needless to say yet another great experience for me).
Phil had been one of Australia’s great guitar players and it was my privilege and honour to get to play with him and I would say also to know him. …Really a wonderful human being.
The first time I played with him was at The Basement, I flew him up from Melbourne, we did an acoustic set together just Phil and me.
It was Phil singing and playing guitar with me playing slide on my Dobro. He stomped his feet – he just exuded pulse, time and rhythm. It was infectious, he didn’t need a drummer he was so powerful time wise.
When we finished our little set I said to him “your timing is a lethal weapon”.
He laughed and said “yeah I got that from playing with Bo Diddley”. Of course Chain (Phil’s band) would be the backing band for American acts that would tour Australia, people like Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley so his level of experience was awe inspiring.
I think that comes across as you watch this clip.