Johnny Carson: “Jimi, how does it feel to be the world’s greatest guitar player?”
Jimi Hendrix: “I don’t know, you’ll have to ask Phil Keaggy.”
This story is not true, it’s one of those persistent myths. Another version is Dick Cavett speakign to Eric Clapton, and another still of Eddie Van Halen responding to a Guitar Player Magazine writer after he won the “Overall Best Guitarist” award in the early 1980s. Phil Keaggy himself brushes it off: “I don’t think there is anything to it at all. I doubt that Jimi ever heard me play…” and other such statements.
But why on Earth would such a myth continue?
The simplest answer is because it’s something any of them might well have said. Phil Keaggy is not a household name, but among guitarists he is considered legend, with dazzling technical skills, boundless imagination, and a humble spirit. His career has spanned some 4 decades – from his garage band days in the 1960s to his Glass Harp days in the early 1970s touring with bands like Iron Butterfly, Traffic, Chicago, Yes, and others, to being a hired gun in the late 70s to signing with Contemporary Christian label Sparrow Records in 1980 (and the release of his first Dove Award winning album “The Wind and the Wheat”) to his loop-inspired live jams in the 1990s to the reunion of Glass Harp in this decade.
Keaggy hangs with the best musicians in the world. He’s jammed with Paul McCartney and played gigs with Muriel Anderson, Tommy Emmanuel, Randy Stonehill, Jason Truby, and others..and along the way pulled down SEVEN Doves and several Grammy nominations.
Wow! You can learn more about him, listen to his music, keep up with tour dates, and more at his web-site, PhilKeaggy.Com
I had a chance to speak briefly with Phil recently. Check it out!