About 30 years ago I bought a gross of guitar picks, and I recently discovered that I was down to about six. So when I was atGuitarCenteron Pico to drop some of my meager funds on some other items, I was dismayed to find that they were out of my brand (Fender extra heavy, if you must know). So I rolled up to West L.A. Music, where I encountered sheer mayhem – I hadn’t heard that they were going out of business, this particular Saturday was their final day in operation and the store was packed with musicians looking for deals. Turns out they didn’t have my picks either. So I called McCabes, and, thankfully they had my brand in stock.
But as I was driving home it dawned on me that I should probably go back to West L.A. Music and see what there was to see. As I was sitting down to play through a Fender Custom Shop Vibrolux Reverb amp, a very respectable gentleman came up to me and complimented me on my playing. I’m a sucker for compliments, so we struck up a conversation.
The guy was named Del Casher. And it turns out I had read an article about him in the N.Y. Times about a year ago, describing how he was the inventor of the wah-wah pedal! We exchanged numbers and as I was leaving (with the Vibrolux in my hand and my wallet empty) he mentioned that he played at the Luxe Hotel up on Sunset Blvd. on Wednesday nights.
So I went up to the Luxe the following Wednesday to hear him. There, he works only with an upright bass player, and together they play an amazing variety of styles, from standards (I suspect he knows about a thousand), to bluegrass, to surf music…the list goes on. And he has some truly imaginative techniques, from Ted Greene style harmonics to fretting with his left hand upside-down! And I subsequently learned from his website that he has played on a ton of movies and TV shows and has worked with, among others, Frank Zappa, Bob Hope, Peggy Lee, Danny Thomas, Sonny andCherand Phil Spector, to name just a few.
You can catchDelat the Luxe Hotel at the intersection of the 405 Freeway and Sunset Blvd. on Wednesday nights from 7:00 to 1:00 PM.
Here’s a link toDel’s website:
But back to guitar picks. Now, it’s common knowledge that you should leave them scattered about the house, whether in drawers, jars, suitcases or coffee cups, as well as in your car, and anywhere else your feverish brain might conjure up. But the far lesser known fact about guitar picks is that you must carry exactly three picks in the little pocket in your jeans – no more, no less. You’re gonna have to trust me on this.