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Allan Holdsworth

Unrewarded Geniuses

Guitar Player, May 1993

Endless thanks for the recent update on Allan Holdsworth (Feb.'93). I feel obligated to send a letter of encouragement to all those players who. like Allan, suffer with the frustration of attempting to break new ground while being rewarded with so little recognition and compensation. Please keep going. Others like myself will support you as best we can. I know the scene well: G.I.T. graduate, in and out of performance and teaching, the pain of having to compromise so great I work the straight job and attempt to satisfy only myself musically, rather than play something my heart cannot support.

Jon B.

Welches, OR

Every time I read any Holdsworth interview, it's always the same thing: "Oh, I'm no good. I can't take this music biz anymore. I'm gonna have to find a real job." Poor baby. Some of us do have to work real jobs, and we don't get to make albums, get interviewed, or have manufacturers send us gear to check out. You and Robert Fripp need to get together sometime. Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way, eh, Allan? Before you do another interview, chuck the piss-and-moan attitude and count your blessings. What a weenie.

Wayne Terdley

Coffee Corner, MO

It was great to see the photos and mention of my work in the recent Allan Holdsworth article (Feb.'93), but some clarifications are in order. The guitar on page 65 is actually a Steinberger with a spruce wood top I made as an experiment. After noticing how different in sound two apparently identical stock plastic tops were, we decided to try a few different woods for the top. Allan's regular 25½" scale DeLap hollowbody can be seen in the ads for his new instruction and performance video from REH. The two baritone guitars pictured on page 68 are a blonde 38.2" scale hollowbody and grey 36" scale solidbody. The last few years have produced a dozen prototype instruments ranging from a 19"-scale soprano guitar to the 38" baritone, all of them headless designs featuring Steinberger tremolo bridges. Allan knows the qualities he wants to hear and feel in an instrument, so it can be demanding but rewarding to work with him. He is a constant experimenter, a true innovator with music and the tools he uses to create it.

Bill DeLap

The Guitar Lab

Monterey, CA

California Weenie Vs. Mr. Terdley

Guitar Player, November 1993

In Feedback, May '93, Wayne Terdley of Coffee Corner MD, complained of Allan Holdsworth:

"Holdsworth always says the same thing: 'Oh, I'm no good. I can't take this music biz anymore. I'm gonna have to find a real job' Poor baby. . . before you do another interview, chuck the piss- and-moan attitude and count your blessings you weenie." Holdsworth responded with the above headline and the following:

While 'tis true that I do moan a lot, 'tis also true that I get off my ass, get out there, get on with it, and have done so for the past 30 years, as well as doing countless day jobs. Were it not for the fact that I make my own records (with the help of some of the most wonderful musicians on the planet who generally work for jack cheese or less) there would not be any Allan Holdsworth albums. Perhaps if you'd get off yours and do the same, we could all look forward to hearing your music along with an awe-inspiring, eye-opening interview with the Coffee Corner wuss in Guitar Player. No offense.

Allan Holdsworth


Transcribed by Per Stornes
Updated: February 1, 2001
Scheduled update: None

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