I recently interviewed Marc Maron – one of my favourite comedians – for Gibson.com. Marc’s a music lover who has interviewed lots of great artists on his WTF podcast – and the snippets I’ve heard of him playing the blues have been pretty tasty – so I thought it’d be fun to pick his brain about all things music. You can read the interview here, and I also recommend you check out his latest book Attempting Normal and his TV show Maron on IFC. You can also watch his latest standup special Thinky Pain on Netflix, or pick it up in DVD, mp3, CD or vinyl LP form at Amazon.com.
Here’s a taste of the interview:
So what inspired you to play guitar?
When I was a kid my first guitar was a Les Paul gold top copycat. But then at some point I had a tube amp and about four or five years ago I figured out what the beauty was of the Les Paul TV Junior with that one P90 pickup: Johnny Thunders is what changed the game for me. I didn’t realize how much you could dirty up that thing. And then I started playing it all the time. That was my primary guitar. I didn’t distort much. I would play straight in with no distortion, just clean blues riffs like Jimmie Vaughan. But then all of a sudden that Gibson blew my brains out and I started playing it all the time. And I had an SG for years but I could never wrap my brain around it. I couldn’t work the SG. It was from the late ‘70s. I ended up selling it and I didn’t even know the neck was broken. I’ve had bad luck with guitars. But I also bought this weird old Gibson acoustic, an FJN. It’s a very odd guitar and I think they only made them for five or six years. It’s a big old jumbo body with two white pick guards, on either side of the hole. And it’s got this short, fat, almost classical neck. It’s this bizarre guitar from the ‘60s. And I loved it. It had a little bit of a buzz in it but it’s okay still. So I have that thing, and I don’t think many people play ‘em. And then I spent years looking for a J-45 and eventually I just bought one and I loved that guitar. Then Epiphone sent me one of them blue SGs with the tremolo on it, and a red Epiphone Dot, and that guitar changed my life. Y’know, my earliest guitar memories were as a big Chuck Berry fan but I never saw myself with a red 335. So I got those guitars as a promotional thing because I had Brendon Small on, so I got me a red Epi Dot and I play it all the time. It’s the best guitar I ever played.