The Who

20th Anniversary Edition

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A Collection Of Our Most Intense 20th Anniversary Rants Selected Especially For You!

How It All Began…

On April 5, 1967 The Who’s rave up, “Pictures of Lily” was released, and it changed everything in the world of a 16 year old guitarist in Indianapolis, Indiana. Go ahead and cue it up on your phone or PC while we chat – it’s on YouTube. We’ll wait.

The name of the band was The Early Times, comprised of Brock Howard on drums, Bill Clark on guitar, Mike Byrum on bass, and yours truly sporting a brand new 1967 Sparkling Burgundy ES 335 played through a 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb. One of the guys tripped over the guitar stand and broke the headstock on my National Westwood, so the band contributed to the purchase of a new guitar. Later on the Deluxe got cut down to a head with the reverb pan intact and a 4×12 cabinet loaded with Utah speakers. Yes, we did that. Back to “Pictures of Lily…” It was those breezy, smashing chords that Pete Townshend launched that set a young guitarist on a path to modest fame at the infamous Barn and the frat houses in Bloomington. We were just young kids, but we had a booking agent, we were in the musician’s union, and we could play. “Pictures of Lily” became our teen anthem – we nailed the harmonies, Daltrey’s high, bleating vocal was perfect for pubescent vocal cords, our drummer wantonly pounded the Slingerlands, the guitar chords were a crushing, ripping cinch, and that song just seemed to make people happy. Well, why not – it’s a song about a teen aged fantasy inspired by circa 1929 pinups given to a boy by his dad. So that’s how it all started… A very personal tone quest ensued with “Pictures of Lily”, and as you have just been reminded, it’s still a great, great song with a freaky French horn break in the middle, the drumming is tribal and the guitar playing is posh.  We bet you’ll play it no less than three times…

And so it’s been twenty years since we first began churning out issues of The ToneQuest Report, and it’s been a gratifying and often wild ride. We have reviewed a ton of gear and spoken with a fascinating assortment of guitarists, and the people who tweak the gear we play, always with the intention of tangibly enhancing your relationship with the guitar. Well, we also wanted TQR to be entertaining, and not just a dry, dull and repetitive dissertation on how something may or may not sound… You can get that from the magazines. Our goal has always been to inform, inspire and entertain, and it’s the fascinating personalities we have queried over the years that have made TQR what it is. We have also lost a few dear friends, and we especially want to pay tribute to their lives and work.

In this 20th anniversary issue we have selected excerpts from many of our favorite interviews and article intros to provide you with a vivid glimpse into the past that celebrates our enduring love for guitars, the music they make and the players that play them. It’s all for you, with our heartfelt gratitude for your support of the Quest.

David Grissom “What Passes for Love” recorded live 10/01/2019
 
Sonny Landreth & Eric Clapton Promise Land (Crossroads 2010)
 
Jackson Browne with David Lindley – Call It A Loan
 
Storyville Live 06 Don’t Make Me Cry
 
Elvin Bishop ‘Old School’ Live at Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley