Members of the community packed in to the PBS39 Public Media and Education Center on Thursday for a day of taping Behind the Guitar, an interview and acoustic performance series hosted by well-known local musician Craig Thatcher. The day’s three individual tapings were made possible in part by Martin Guitar.
“This is a dream come true. I hate to use that cliché, but I had this idea that was a small seed of doing a show, and it has morphed into this,” Thatcher said. “We did a show last year with good friends of ours (Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady from the bands Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane), and it was a good, groundbreaking way to start.”
For Thursday’s tapings, Thatcher welcomed Laurence Juber, lead guitarist for Paul McCartney & Wings; G.E. Smith, former lead guitarist of the Saturday Night Live Band; and Woody Mann, jazz, blues and American roots guitarist.
“I think we’re getting a little more experienced with each show, and now I think it’s really coming up a bit,” Thatcher said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re excited about it, and all of the artists are so willing. We have these great names that want to come in and do this.”
Juber was the first of Thatcher’s three guests, and enjoyed the opportunity to engage with fans on a more personal level.
“The acoustic guitar is a very intimate instrument,” Juber said. “We are obliged to make it big for big stages, but there’s nothing like a small room to get the true intimacy of the instrument. It’s very satisfying for me to be able to work under those circumstances.”
The guitar virtuoso also enjoyed his visit for an entirely different reason – the ability to behold history on the SteelStacks campus.
“I want to get my camera out and take some pictures of the stacks,” Juber said. “It’s just an amazing sight.”
Although official airdates have not been set for these three episodes, Thatcher indicated that viewers can expect to enjoy Behind the Guitar on PBS39 sometime this fall.
“You’re going to see a solid half hour show. We’re going to have all of the artists’ songs that they played on the show,” Thatcher said. “They can expect to sit back and enjoy a nice evening of all acoustic guitar music.”