[% title = ' A Talk With Steve Morse' %]
This interview with Steve Morse was done by Kevin Ferguson and taken from his homepage (Check out his new CD of fiery classical [Paganini, Sarasate, Vivaldi, Bach, and more] on electric guitar: STRAD TO STRAT)
Kevin was also one of the participants in the Information Superhighway Stars-project. Why not check out his contribution: Woman From Gaza? (.au 309k)
Steve Morse was grinning ear to ear for most of the 2 hour concert I attended on 9/22/94 at the Aladdin Theater. His enthusiasm makes Kenny G. seemed depressed. The music as well as the crowd's reaction reflected this sentiment. No wonder he was so pleased: he's doing exactly what he wants to do. Along with his virtuoso band mates who have each won popular votes from players of their respective instruments, Steve utilized nearly every conceivable combination of jazz, classical, rock, blue-grass, Celtic and derivatives.
Since forming the Dixie Dregs at the University of Miami, Steve has won 5 consecutive titles as Overall Best Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine's Reader's Poll (and has subsequently been banned to allow others a chance), been given many Grammy nominations and won at least one for Best Instrumental Artist in fusion, and worked with dozens of famous guitarists of various musical genre including Paco DeLucia, John McLaughlin, Al Dimeola, Allan Holdsworth, Pat Metheny, John Petrucci, Eddie Van Halen, Rick Emitt, Albert Lee, Eric Johnson, Ronnie Montrose and Peter Frampton. In addition to the Dixie Dregs, The Dregs and The Steve Morse Band, he has recorded and toured with Kansas and is currently (10/94) touring with Deep Purple, replacing Joe Satriani on guitar.
After the concert and all of the autograph signing that followed, I got a chance to interview Steve. I wanted him to have an opportunity to set the tone of the interview:
Q: You've been doing interviews for many years. Is there anything you wish someone would ask you?
A: I wish that somebody would do something maybe to change the direction of the media, and all that, you know... (Interview interrupted by stage hands moving equipment). (We resume moments later in a new spot)
Q:You said that you'd wish somebody would do something to change the direction of the media. Have you been following what's been going on on the internet?
A: Somewhat, Yeah.
(We're interrupted again. We're given a quiet office. Steve continues)
The internet and all that stuff, that's obviously the way of the future. I think it's going to be hard for them to deal with the fact that now everybody wants to use the internet for commercial purposes rather than for alternative forms, and things like that, which I think was the original idea -- information exchange. Now the information exchange will be thinly disguised (laughs) promotional things, you know.
But the general media: I would like to see more possibilities for people in every home. With small satellites you can get millions of radio stations on the sub-carriers of the satellite stations. People don't know that. They have no idea that that exists. And furthermore, the people that are sending the satellite feeds don't cater toward a niche audience because of that. They're just like any other. They're just super stations or they're following the same old format. So we have the possibility to have so many different kinds of really open radio such as when radio began, where people could choose what they wanted to play. Whereas a D.J.'s personality was more than just shocking the people with foul language in the morning.
Print-wise: Of course I'm a little disappointed to see music magazines not just following the trends but crawling on their hands and knees to chase the trends.
I know what a tough job it is, that with the recession or depression or whatever you want to call it -- The fact is that people are being told by the television to stay home and rent a movie rather than interact with other humans. They're being told that if you just have the correct game cartridge that everything's going to be O.K. And the personal computer is the center of life rather than the town hall was back in ... a hundred years ago or whatever.
We're _scared_ to go in the center of our cities without flack-jackets and kevlar vests and at least semi-automatic weapons -- Well, all right, I would go I guess with a bazooka, hand grenade -- No, you know we play in the center of most cities and over the years I've seen them get worse and worse as far as more bars in the windows, more chain link with barbed-wire, more urban decay and just more bums on the street. Not bums that can't work, but just real arrogant, pushy, get-in-our-face and hassle the crap out of you bums. It's unrecognizable.
So everybody's fleeing and now it's just like we're having little miniature repeats of the same thing. It's not location that's doing it, you know. I'm getting too political already. (Laughs over) We were talking about media, O.K.?
But part of the media's problem is that people don't want to go to shows. They don't want to deal with going somewhere and making choices and buying music and stuff like that. They'd rather go to a mall and have everything they need there. Like you can go to a mall and get software for your P.C. You can get all the things that malls have. And a record store in a mall is going to have the top 40 records and that's it.
So it's a tough situation now for the entire music business, including the media, and I recognize that. But, from T.V. to radio to magazines, everybody's kind of focusing on the most shocking or the most trendy things. And it's a little bit cliche. (It's) more than a little bit.
The best parts of the magazines I see are the ones where they focus on new people and new things that are not well known and they kind of buck the trends a little bit. That's my favorite part of any radio show, T.V. show or magazine: anything that's different from what they normally do, because what everybody's normally doing is not holding _my_ interest anyway.
(This is almost a segue into my first preconceived question:)
Q: You're quoted often as describing your music as electronic chamber music. I was wondering if there was chamber music that you've been exposed to that inspired you to think in those terms, write in that way or focus in that direction.
A: Sure. Listen to any of the Bach pieces. I can't think any specific pieces at the moment, just things that I've heard. Seeing a string quartet play, it's all intricate, but with recognizable themes. And there's energy. There's emotion. There's dynamics. And there's different levels of like terraced dynamics. It starts from one and then add two and then three and then four and things like that, building up.
Q: What are the ways that you think of "levels"?
A: It doesn't necessarily have to be chamber music to do this. But when I write a tune, I like it to have different levels of interest. That is, like an architect will design a building. You want it to look good from a distance, but when you get to it and structurally check it out, everything stands up to close scrutiny.
My favorite example, I think would be--well, it's not my favorite example to say, because I've never said this to anybody, but-- "The Simpsons." It's a cartoon show. From a distance it looks like a kids show, but you look at it and the closer you look the more just really great irony and humor is in there. That's a good example of what I'd like to do with my music.
Q: You first saw (classical guitarist) Juan Mercadal play at Augusta (GA) and it was sponsored by the Classical Guitar Society of Augusta, coincidentally. (Steve: Yeah!) Do you remember which pieces inspired you to attend the University of Miami?
A: It was just the overall thing. He was playing classical guitar with a lot of energy. He was playing a lot of stuff by maybe Venezuelan composers and things like that from South America. But at the time I was a teenager and teenagers will...you know how they are. It was very energetic and for a teenage kid who was playing Led Zeppelin I could just see it. I said "Wow! Wouldn't it be great if I could do that too! Then I could be a _real_ guitar player!" That's what it was. It was that simple.
He was playing everything, like the real melodic and yet real powerful and there was nothing apologetic about it.
Q: And you went on and studied with him. Is that correct?
A: Eventually. He didn't take beginners and I was a beginner when I went to the college.
Q: Did you end up playing that same "South American Classical" style?
A: Yeah, that's what the studies that he had us play were: A lot of Sor, Segreras, Aguato and Percasi.
But it wasn't so much the repertoire that I wanted to learn from him. They're not the lessons that stick out. It was things like when you'd be playing a run down low and shift into position to a run, just the simplest lessons. Like he'd say "Steve, you are stopping this note to get to this other note. Who are you to say which note is more important. Why don't you play them both?" (Laughs) It's a simple thing. But yeah, you're right, Juan. I was cutting this off to make the shift. So just play the note as long as it should be and then make your change _quicker_ so that it doesn't sound like you're chopping it. Everywhere you see people play that are not that experienced, that's a big mistake they always--well even experienced people do it.
Q: Did he give you a particular exercise or just focus your attention on that particular spot?
A: It was just the fact that he would listen to me play a section and the fact that he would analyze it instantly and be correct with everything he said. That's what was so valuable. As far as specific exercises, I could figure that out for myself. One of the hardest things to do, for instance, is going from your 4th finger to your 1st finger, a shift like that (motions his left hand in an ascending direction along a string). Say you'd be going up 1,2,3,4 and then you have to shift up to your 1st finger, a shift like that. So I'd just practice 4th finger in first position to 1st finger in the 5th position, and things like that. I would have no problem making up exercises.
But another thing he was really good at is that he would get a powerful vibrato. He kind of proved that you can take the guitar and you can play it with a lot of energy. And not all of his vibrato was real hard, but some of it was just incredible. And he could do it slow, too; Slow and powerful vibrato.
And one of my favorite things is that he had part of his fingers cut off on his right hand. So, he didn't really have finger nails, just with almost like callus fingers on the end. And he would just change the angle on his fingers and get different tones. I loved that, that it wasn't that big a deal if you kept breaking finger nails, 'cause I always do playing electric guitar. I never have 'em (laughs). You see this one right now is gone (shows me a stub of a nail on his right hand). That goes a lot.
Q: Did you take any lessons from Pat Metheny when you were there (at U. of Miami)?
A: No. I was in a guitar ensemble with him. And I was lucky enough to be able to jam with him sometimes outside of the classes. My favorite time was right before the end of the semester or something. We sat and just recorded and played, free jammed, just the two of us. That was really neat. Somewhere I have the tape. But it's hidden, you know.
It was great. The guy was obviously so talented. He was a great influence on me. And Stan Simone, one of the teachers there, was a great influence.
Q: How did each influence you? Say, take one at a time, Pat. How did he influence you?
A: Well, the main thing was he didn't really care what anybody was saying was cool. He was just doing whatever it was, just real musical identity. Kind of like same as Holdsworth is a good influence in that way. No matter what, you know that Holdsworth is an individual. He's going to stay an individual. He's going to do what he wants to do. Pat is that way for sure. Pat Metheny is just so cool. You know how he comes up with an all acoustic album. It starts out with him strumming chords after everybody's hailing him as a updated be-bop guy, but more melodic. Then he comes out with this Brazilian sound. He just does what he wants. That's so great.
Stan Simone was a teacher there. He's the one who got down to the real knots and bolts of 'here's how the modes work and here's how everything works in real life.' And he was the closest teacher to the kind of teaching that I do in the column that I write. Stan Simone explained things very realistically. And he was brutally honest about himself.
Randal Gallahan came there later. We tried to get him into the Dregs. He's still the head of the Jazz Guitar Department down there. He played a couple gigs with us, but he just didn't want to go on the road.
Q: Is that why T. Lavitz --
A: T. was latter on. We had a lot of keyboard players. Keyboard players were always quitting because they could get work anywhere and we could never offer much in the way of steady work or money. A keyboard player can work solo in a lounge. Not that a guitar(ist) can't, but most often keyboard players are way ahead of the game as far as having options to work.
Q: We've been talking about musicians from your past. Can you think of some musicians, say outside of The (Dixie) Dregs, that have inspired you lately?
A: Sure! Yeah. Just about everybody I have the opportunity to work with does. Where should I start? Jeez.
I played with Rick Emmitt of Triumph. That was really neat 'cause he was into doing some acoustic things right there in the album. He kind of allowed me to come in and write a little bit with him.
I got to sit in with Lynard Skynard. That was great. Is was proof to me that the foundation is everything. It seemed like I could barely play at the time that I did that recording. I was a full time pilot at the time, a commercial pilot.
Q: When was this?
A: '86. But they brought me on stage and it was just like 'a guest performs.' They started playing a tune that I really didn't know the arrangement of and I still hadn't even plugged the amp in when they started.
Q: How long had you been away from the guitar?
A: Not away from it. I just hadn't been playing gigs for about 6 months, (and) but not practicing as much as I normally would have.
Q: Who were you working for as a commercial pilot?
A: A regional airline that doesn't want to be named.
Anyway, I sat in with them and it was just so easy 'cause they were just so right on the money. I just got off stage and saying (said), 'Well shoot, if you can't jam with that band then you're dead. You haven't got a pulse.'
So, all the people that I've worked with that helped me so much... When I play with Albert Lee it's always a pleasure because he's just such a natural soloist, and just a natural musician.
Van Halen is the same way. Very intuitive.
Q: I wasn't aware that you'd played with Van Halen. Was this recent?
A: We did some gigs with Albert Lee, me and Van Halen, as part of a group called 'Fifth Baby's All Stars.' It was a while back, about 3 years ago. Van Halen would play rhythm part just so musically. And everything he did had a nice variety and balance, as opposed to just thrashing and wailing. That's what I really loved. That's one of the influences that I got there.
All the stuff I did with Eric Johnson, he's definitely been an influence. We toured with me and Holdsworth with our bands. And the same with them: His influence is just that he's such a drastic unyielding individual. You know, 'I'm going to do my thing and I'm going to do it the best I can.' That's a great influence. Well, actually Eric Johnson is the same way. But, I guess the first thing I noticed about Eric is how immaculate somebody could play, with such good attention to detail. Actually that goes for the both of them (laughs).
John Petrucci (of Dream Theater), we wrote a song together. He's got incredible technique and he's so _bright_. We were working together and he was keeping track of all this stuff.
Q: Has this song been recorded?
A: No. It was maybe going to be recorded. We were just doing a demo that day. I was spewing ideas, but he as keeping _track_ of them and _remembering_ them! (Laughs) He came up ideas, I came up with ideas. It was really neat because we were bouncing stuff off of each other, but I was just so impressed with how he learned something really fast but _remembered_. I saw what an advantage having an awesome mind could be for a guitar player, as well as having a brilliant technique, which he does.
Recently I've been transcribing some songs from a live concert that Joe Satriani played, 'cause I'm going to be taking his place, finishing the Deep Purple tour in New Zealand. In the process of listening to him play stuff that I'm going to be playing over, it's a really good opportunity to see how imaginative he was with the electric guitar.
When I worked with John McLaughlin, Al Dimeola and Paco DeLucia, that was a great influence on me, too, because Dimeola's got just _unbelievable_ perfect timing. And McLaughlin has the monumental technique and vision. He picks every note just everywhere, anywhere, anything he can think of, he does. Paco has got the most massively macho flamenco thing happening with the energy. It's like heavy metal on the classical guitar. Those guys were real inspiring.
These are just some of the things that come to mind. And an early influence, Steve Howe changing the way I play guitar because, 'Wow! He's playing a classical guitar and he's an electric guitar player! Wow, maybe you can do both!'
And Steve Vai, when I saw him play with Frank Zappa...
(He's reminded that he has a radio interview to go to next).
Q: There's a quote from a "Steve Morse Band" review in alt.guitar on the internet that says "The most amazing thing about Steve Morse to me is that he is still getting better. Almost every time I see him he has a new technique or two that I haven't seen before." (Bob Schneider, Date: Thu, 6 Jan 94 14:11:51 PST) What is your strategy for constantly improving and learning new techniques?
A: To me necessity is the mother of invention, that's all, just for variety. If I was doing all rock music with a similar beat I think I'd have a lot more different techniques than I do now. At the moment my strategy is more to write music and just do whatever it takes to play the part. When I have a trio sometimes we have stuff with a lot of parts that will have a lot of taps and things like that just to have a different sound come in. And there might be some tunes that are more arpeggiate and some that are more linear just to have a different sound. But if we were playing even in a more restrictive environment it would force me to do even more. You know, I'd probably have a whammy bar and a more accent on the solo being the biggest deal. To me the soloing is just a small part of the package. Soloing to me is an absolute expression of how I feel at the moment though. You could see tonight. There were some moments where I new the sound man didn't quit have the idea that I was soloing there, so I was just in absolute frustration, just (makes slipping sound) like let go (laughs) for a second. It's a mirror to the soul, that's for sure.
Q: You mentioned that your strategy is more to write music and just do whatever it takes to play the part. A recent Guitar Player Magazine article (October, 94) mentioned that you write every note played in the (Dixie) Dregs.
How much do you use notation?
A: None. I mean if I have to I'll write it out. With this band, I have recently, for the studio album, but only as a last resort. Even then I just played on the keyboard and spit it out with a computer. I _hate_ writing stuff out. (Laughs) And sure enough, our keyboard player (Jordan Burdess has replaced T. Lavitz) learns stuff fast with charts that he wrote out. I dictated some of it and he could hear almost every bit of it. But, there's dependency on the paper. You see, he has the music stand out there every night. He's hardly looking at it, but he can't take it away. (Note: at this point Jordan has been an offical member of the band for 48 hours and has played a total of 10 gigs with the band.)
So, in real life, with a band, I much prefer everybody learns the stuff without paper in front of them. If you're so busy that you can only be in the band between 12 other sessions that day then obviously you read it. But it's not that much of the band then.
I the big city you have to read, I'd imagine. It's kind of a small town thing, being in band. You want people to play because they're feeling it, not because it's written on the paper.
Q: How do you communicate your ideas to the other band members? Do you play it on the guitar or keyboard for them?
A: Well, there's different things. Sometimes I'll do a bunch of what I really feel are the correct voicings on the keyboard and put it in the computer as a sequence. And I'll say here, if this is a problem, why don't you just take...like we modem'ed some stuff up to Jordan from my sequences for him to learn, just to get the exact voicings.
Q: So he was listening to the CD's (in preparation for this tour)?
It's real neat to be able to it slow down and speed it (the sequence) up. You've got the same computer and everything. So, that we do. And with Dave (LaRue), my bass player, I can do that a lot because he's got the same computer also. I just give him the sequence. And that's much better because he can choose to print it out if he wants or whatever. But the good thing is that you can hear it, too.
Q:(Jokingly) So you're getting hooked on that computer from the mall, eh (laugh)?
A: Well, it's always been a compositional tool, and that's as far as I've taken it.
I don't like to perform with a computer. But will certainly like to perform with it more with some ideas I've got coming up. Not for music, but for other things: automating some human tasks that don't seem to be happening so consistently (laughs).
Q: On Rod (Morgenstein)'s solo tonight, was he playing with a sequencer?
A: He just played a DAT which mysteriously stopped right before the end.
Q: As far as phrasing is concerned, you've been quoted as using breathing to control phrasing, to make it more natural when you improvise. Is this borrowed from jazz players? Is that a regular thing? It obviously isn't in 'Tumeni Notes.' (Note: "Tumeni Notes" is nearly a modern day "Perpetual Motion.")
A: (Laughs) I got started with the idea of phrasing really from some rock players. The first would be Amboy Dukes lead guitar player who went on to have a career of his own and he's in the Damn Yankees. He's from Michigan (Steve's first home), too, Ted Nugent. In the mid to late sixties with The Amboy Dukes he was doing phrases, real recognizable two bar phrases. Jeff Beck was really good at that, too. They kind of helped me a lot. And of course, Eric Claptan. Those are real good influences to have.
I just played with Ronnie Montrose last night. He's a good influence for phrasing, too.
When I heard Jeff Beck play he's like, all right! Hey! He's got some meaning behind everything. Stevie Ray Vahn, the same way and some of the Hendrix stuff.
The Hendrix stuff varied, to me, according to maybe the state of mind that he was in. Some of I could really latch on to and love. And some of the live stuff I didn't latch on to so much, because I went to see him live. I loved his playing, but not every bit of it, you know, probably because he was experimenting with drugs. Now, maybe not even experimenting, probably using pretty heavy on some of the live shows. But he had really interesting phrasing and a totally different approach.
Q: How did you get such clean enunciation in the arpeggios in 'Tumeni Notes?'
A: I use alternate picking on every note, regardless of whether it's convenient to or not. That helps. Then I mute the strings that I'm not playing with both left and right hands. I use the heal and pinkie of my right hand to shield the notes (strings) that I'm not picking, and kind of form a bridge in there for the note that I am picking. I kind of drag my hand across the strings that are not being picked. And when I play an arpeggio, I lift each finger. I can enunciate each note without picking it. So all that put together makes it possible to hear the note separately.
In order play clean with distortion you have to really play _clean_. You can play clearly with distortion if you're very careful to just play the notes you want.
Q: (comment really): Sometimes I think that people who don't play with distortion don't always realize what a challenge it can be.
A: Well, yeah. Partly because you can just be hammering on and get a bigger sound than you would ever have with(out) distortion there.
Q: Do you have any pointers for playing a 3 octave scale and a 3 octave arpeggio?
A: O.K. One neat exercise that someone turned me onto, it might have been Stan Simone, was to play 4 notes per string. That will end you up with a pretty neat 3 octave scale. Put 3 in one position and then slide one position more.
Q: Does it make any difference which note you slide?
A: I guess it doesn't matter but I come from that Segovia school of when you're going down, you slide on the first finger and when you're going up, you slide on the forth, upwards. That's a very traditional approach that I use. That will get you up and down the neck pretty well.
And the other approach is to make 3 position shifts and that's it, to divide the distance. You could start on the tonic, and it depends on what you could reach easily, but first, forth and sixth (positions) should give you all the notes for 3 octaves.
Q: And arpeggios?
A: I very rarely in real life do 3 octave arpeggios or anything like that. I more go up and come down and go up a little higher and come down and go up a little higher and come down more than just go straight up. Because, incredibly irregular scale or arpeggio things, I like to keep them short to promote some level of interest, to keep it from being too predictable.
But arpeggios are much easier to do in 3 octaves than scales for me because you're only playing one note at a time with large shifts. And for some reason it seems easier to break those up.
Q: How would you normally break that up, then? Say you're starting on Ab on the 6th string and working your way up to Ab on the 16th fret of the 1st string.
A: Well I would do 16th fret or whatever the Ab is with my 4th finger, and then the 5th below it on the same string with my 1st finger, then come across in that position to the 2nd, 3rd and 4th, you know. You go to the B, G and D string playing the C, Ab, Eb and descending. Then jump back down to the 4th position and play on the 3rd string the C, Ab, Eb...
I just hardly ever do it. There is a million ways to finger it. Minor would be easier to do it than major. It's just according to how the action was. Depending on whether you could swing your finger like this (stacks fingers vertically) or if its high enough you might not be able to use separate fingers. If I can't use separate fingers, I rock my finger to simulate that.
Q: In an old interview (Guitar Player Magazine, '82) you said you decided to no longer use hammer-ons and pull-offs and just use alternate picking. On your technique tape, do you suggest avoiding sweeps?
A: No, it wasn't avoid sweeps. It was 'this is a different technique than sweeps, here's how you do it and here's why it's not sweeping.' Sweeping is a different technique for a different sound. I think people should have _all_ of the techniques, but a lot of people cannot stop from sweeping, especially in their string skipping. That, I think, keeps them from having a certain amount of precision time-wise.
Q: Do you use any special stretching techniques to keep your fingers limber for speed?
A: I don't have any real mystery solving techniques. The reason is I noticed that the more I play the easier and faster it is to play. So, it's so linear that it's almost ridiculous for me to worry to much about it.
But one thing I do to speed up the process is I work on the weakest spots first. Most people don't. They just practice repetitive things. For instance, my up-strokes are never as strong as the down- strokes. So I sit there and a few minutes each day I'll just do up- strokes. And I'll work on string skipping more than linear playing, even though in real life I play more linear playing. The reason for that is string skipping is the hardest part of linear playing. So I maximize my time that way.
I don't worry to much about anything else, the tendonitis or all that stuff. Just try to have common sense, warm up and be reasonable.
Q: What advice would you give musicians interested in making a living performing challenging, hard to classify, instrumental music.
A: I do this thing at guitar seminars all the time. First of all, keep your expenses low. Pay for your equipment. Pay for your car. And, try to live a real basic life in an inexpensive apartment (laughs) or even live at home. The idea being if you can work twice a month doing what you want for some small amount of money and ten other times a month for no money, doing what you want, that's much preferable to working 20 times a month in a band you hate the music of, but you're playing your guitar just so that you can make the payments on a nicer looking car that's going to depreciate. And you're going to pay the money to taxes, anyway.
The government has such big...The government is here to help you do your own thing because if you do have any money coming in, they're going to want to take so much of it away that it's not worth it. It really isn't (laughs). You're better off just doing what you want.
It's so ridiculous. It's like people say 'I want to be an astronaut so I'm going to go study business administration. Then I'm going to be a manager of some corporation. Then I'm going to have so much money that I can finally go to astronaut school,' or something like this. It just seems ridiculous. I mean that's a bad example.
Let me use another example. 'I want to be a musician that does my own music. So I'm going to play in a band doing cover tunes forever and wait to get discovered in that cover band and get signed in that cover band doing stuff that I wouldn't normally want to do so that I can have the money to some day do what I wanted to do in the first place.' And people never get around to doing it. The irony is when people say they want do something and don't do it. I don't understand.
I don't think people should be leeches on society. I don't think they should have welfare and food stamps just because they're starving musicians, but it doesn't take very much to live. If you have a family, it's all different. You've already accepted a big responsi- bility and you have to take that first.
Q: (Statement): And you have a family.
A: Yes, I have a family. But I waited until I was 37 to start it.
(We are stopped by the road manager reminding Steve that he's going to be late for the live radio interview. He also reminded me that I had a "photo pass" at the door that I didn't get).
Q: Just to wrap it up, what musical goals have you set for yourself for the future?
A: I've been lucky enough to do what I want to do, musically. My musical goals are to just develop it further, just develop it more. That's all. I'm doing what I want to do. I'd just like to do it better (laughs).
Q: Thanks a lot and good luck with the rest of the tour...
A: Thanks. Say hi to the folks at the Guitar Society.