Red Hot Chili Peppers
When "Give It Away" was released in 1991, the song became the Bands first #1 single, winning a Grammy and their exciting and innovative video for it received 2 MTV awards that year as well.
The album and single were produced by Rick Rubin who really understood the band's sound and his production approach is sparse and less complex, but so very effective. This song is one of the bands most performed and most memorable, due in part to the unique and creative video production. The song and video are known world-wide.
In the Video, FLEA is playing my Vintage 1970's Music Man Stingray Bass. I remember getting a call from a local production company regarding a rental for some instruments and gear for a video shoot, which was a very common occurrence for my shop. I maintained a very large and diverse instrument inventory in my store, which we became known for, and there was usually something there to suit almost any occasion or desire.
The Stingray bass is the only instrument of mine that made it into the video, although as you can see, except for John's guitar and a snare drum, there is no other gear!
After the initial call, a video production assistant came in, made some rental choices and off they went. Several days later, the gear returned. When I checked it in, I couldn't help but notice that my very clean and beautiful Silver Music Man Stingray Bass had a lot of “silver glitter” stuck in every nook and cranny. This happened prior to the release of the video, and we now know that everything was painted a very shiny and reflective (temporary) silver paint, including the Band and my Bass, however, I wasn't consulted and no approval was given to do so. I guess the adage "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission" applies!
Upon my discovery, I was initially a bit miffed and remember calling the production company back and sending them a bill for the additional work that I would have to do to remove the remaining silver paint remnants. They had tried and gotten much of it off the bass, but not all of it.
I recall the day I met Dwight Yoakum and Pete Anderson both. They strolled into my Sunset Blvd. shop together during the making of the 1st album, “Guitars Cadillac’s, Etc. Etc.”, so this would have been 1985 or early 1986. The album launched both of their recording careers. As I recall, they were working on the tracks at the Capital Records Studios, which was located near my shop in Hollywood.
During their 1st visit, both Dwight and Pete found some instruments that interested them, and I remember both of them becoming frequent visitors to the store as years went on. Even though we were not really acquainted at that first visit, I liked them both and I believe I allowed them to take a few things out of the shop that day that they wanted to test drive and it worked out well for all of us.
As I recall, Pete may have taken a 1950's Tele and Dwight found an early 1970’s Martin D-28 acoustic that spoke to him, which he later purchased. I remember that the Martin looked new and after acquiring it, he really bonded with that guitar which went on to become his signature guitar. He continued using it for many years and still does today as evidenced by the bottom photo, which is a promo for his 2017 CD release. The Martin D-28 guitar and original blue case are still working!
The depths of Dwight’s musical knowledge is amazing and I always learned a lot from my conversations with him. When it comes to American music and musical styles, especially from the past, he truly knows his stuff and is akin to a musicologist in my opinion, additionally, he possesses a prodigious playing, writing and singing talent that is recognized by fans worldwide. I consider him to be one of the great American-music stylists of our time.
In addition to his music talents, Dwight also pursued an acting career and has given many great performances in both major Motion Pictures and Television. When Sling Blade was released back in 1996, I was moved by his very convincing performance of the bad-ass character he portrayed, in fact, he was so good in that role that while I was watching it, I forgot that I actually knew him and was completely drawn into his story character’s persona. I never thought twice about him as the friend or music artist I knew! That performance had me convinced he was that character and I realized then just how good an actor he is!
Be sure to get over to Dwight's Website and join his Mailing List to stay apprised!
The 30th Anniversary Edition of Guitars Cadillac’s, Etc. Etc. was released in 2016, it is available from
Dwight's Web Store as are a LOT of other great items and more music!
You can see in the above photos that his signature driving-groove, rhythmic strumming style has caused quite a bit of wear and tear to the trusty D-28,
perhaps it is an earned badge of honor. I’d be willing to wager that he has played and sang "thousands" of songs with this guitar!
above: Great photo, this is posted on the homepage of Dwight's Website to promote his newest album release.
Here the D-28 he acquired from me in 1986, complete with it's original Blue case are still alive and well.
Back in early 2009, I received a call from my friend and Drummer/Producer extraordinaire, Steven Jordan.
When Steve rang me, he explained that he would be coming out to LA fairly soon to start work on a new John Mayer album, which when released became "Battle Studies." Upon it's release, the album entered the US Billboard 200 Chart at Number One, it garnered 4 hit singles and many great songs!
Steve was Co-Producing and playing drums on the album and asked I if might be willing and able to assemble and deliver some vintage instruments over to the studio for them to peruse and test drive, they had been discussing it and were looking for some different guitar sounds for these recordings.
Because of our many years of association, Steve knew that I had a very large inventory and variety of Vintage Instruments packed away in storage since I had closed my store in 2001. I wanted to participate and had agreed to do so. Steve assembled a wish-list and I went to work to excavate the items they were interested in. I remember making several trips to my storage vault and to the studio and eventually had delivered 40-50 Vintage Instruments for them to demo.
After a couple of months of tracking work, the sessions wrapped up and they had used several of my instruments on various tracks and John really liked a 1961 Gibson Les Paul SG that I had brought over that made it onto some of the tracks. At the end of the production, John asked if the guitar was for sale? I had decided to offer him the instrument, so we struck a deal and he added it to his own guitar arsenal and has been making great music on it ever since!
John's versatile musical talents, great guitar and songwriting skills speak for themselves!