Why John McLaughlin?

Why him? How can I even pick just one when there are thousands of incredible guitarists in the world?

1979 – Bob Greenburg’s house, Western Ky

Those of us music lovers who were in Bob’s inner circle were summoned. The new John McLaughlin and the One Truth Band album, Electric Dreams, was out and he had it.

The living room had the stage monitor speakers setup and ready to go. Chairs were lined up in the acoustically appropriate location and we chose our seats.

The needle dropped on the vinyl and I was never the same again. It was the crisp sort-of sound found in Steely Dan – Aja but this was not only on a whole different level, I also heard love, can’t think of any word better than that. I still hear it. And the cleanest, sharpest, most tantalizing dancing across the strings which is dear enough to bring tears to my eyes some forty years later.

Starting at around 4:14… just listen to that.

And not just Johnny M, the whole band is fabulous – legend…

  • John McLaughlin – Electric Guitar, 6 + 12 + 13 String Acoustic Guitars and Banjo
  • L. Shankar – Acoustic and Electric Violin
  • Stu Goldberg – Electric Piano, Moog Synthesizer with Steiner Parker Modifications, Prophet Synthesizer, Hammond Organ
  • Fernando Saunders – Fender Bass, Acoustic Bass, Vocals on “Love and Understanding”
  • Tony Thunder Smith – Drums, Vocals
  • Alyrio Lima – Percussion, Amplified Chinese Cymbals

So, John McLaughlin is my favorite guitarist because he blew me away 40 years ago and continues to do so to this day and his fine-wine age of 70something. He surrounds himself with musicians of the same inner glow and mind-blowing talent. And last, but definitely not least – he’s always full of love and glowy, positive energy, which is so nice.


  1. You are so right. Thank you for introducing me to this legend 20 years ago.

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