Johnny "Guitar" Watson
3 February 1935, Houston, Texas, USA, d. 17 May 1996, Yokohama, Japan. Before Watson made a name for himself in the 70s playing funk R&B, he had a long career stretching back to the early 50s. His father played piano, which also became Johnnys first instrument. On seeing Clarence Gatemouth Brown perform, he convinced himself that he had to play guitar. He inherited a guitar from his grandfather, a sanctified preacher, on the condition that he did not play the blues on it - that was the first thing I played, Watson later said. In the early 50s his family moved to Los Angeles, where he started playing piano in the Chuck Higgins band and was billed as Young John Watson. Switching to guitar, he was signed to Federal and recorded Space Guitar, an instrumental far ahead of its time in the use of reverberation and feedback. He also played Motorhead Baby with an enthusiasm that was to become his...