Opens Up

Opens Up

It used to be that photos didn’t lie. But nowadays (as supermodels and tabloids have proven) that’s not always true.

But it is true that when Rod Price’s slide hand is in action, it isn’t easy to capture on film – as fans of guitarist and the legendary English band, Foghat, can attest. When Price straps on his modified late-’50s Gibson Les Paul Jr., he becomes one of the best slide players in the business.

Price plays slide guitar tuned open E, the title of his first solo album is Open (Burnside Records), and then there’s the candid manner in which he discussed his musical history and personal travails in his first real interview since the death of Foghat bandmate Lonesome Dave Peverett (VG, December ’91) in February of 1999.

Vintage Guitar: You were born in London, in 1947. Did you come from a musical family?
Rod Price: Yeah; my father was deeply into classical music, as was my older brother. The radio was also on continuously, so I got a diverse listening experience. I’d heard things on the radio like Roy Rogers’ “Four Legged Friend,” when I was a child, and I’d say to myself, “That’s not it.” It was really bizarre, because I didn’t even know what I was looking for. Then one day I heard Big Bill Broonzy, and I said, “What the heck is that? That’s what I’ve been looking for!” It was an epiphany – a spiritual experience – from hearing an E7 chord. In my world, nobody had ever added a seventh to a major chord.

Was the Broonzy song on the BBC, or Radio Luxembourg?
BBC, probably around ’59. Radio Luxembourg didn’t really happen until a little later. So Big Bill Broonzy albums were the first records I got. I played those for years; he was a won