♫ Guitar Man ♫

I try to leave some space between songs by the same artist or group, and I do realize that I played Bread’s Lost Without Your Love on February 1st, but this song has been stuck in my head all day long, and it really needs to go!  And anyway, you all seemed to enjoy Bread, so surely you won’t mind one more, right?

David Gates

David Gates

The song, released in 1972 was, as most if not all of Bread’s songs, written by David Gates, and is a mixture of the sounds of soft rock, including strings and acoustic guitar, and the addition of a wah-wah effect electric guitar, played by Larry Knechtel.

According to Gates …

“James (Griffin) went out and tried to play a solo that wasn’t sounding right, and I went out and tried it and didn’t have any luck either. Larry plays a little guitar, so I asked him to try it. He hooked up a little wah-wah pedal, and came up with all those things on the spot. I bet that wasn’t more than two hours of work on his part.”

I found a pretty interesting interview with Gates from 2003, if you’re interested.

Guitar Man

Who draws the crowd and plays so loud, baby, it’s the guitar man
Who’s gonna steal the show, you know, baby, it’s the guitar man
He can make you love, he can make you cry
He will bring you down and he’ll get you high
Somethin’ keeps him goin’ miles and miles a day
To find another place to play

Night after night, who treats you right, baby, it’s the guitar man
Who’s on the radio, you go and listen to the guitar man
Then he comes to town and you see his face
And you think you might like to take his place
Somethin’ keeps him driftin’ miles and miles away
Searching for the songs to play

Then you listen to the music and you like to sing along
You want to get the meaning out of each and every song
Then you find yourself a message and some words to call your own and take ’em home

He can make you love, he can get you high
He will bring you down, then he’ll make, make you cry
Somethin’ keeps him movin’, but no one seems to know
What it is that makes him go

Then the lights begin to flicker and the sound is getting dim
The voice begins to falter and the crowds are getting thin
But he never seems to notice, he’s just got to find another place to play

Fade away
Got to play
Fade away
Got to play

Songwriters: David Ashworth Gates
Guitar Man lyrics © Kipahulu Music, David Gates D/B/a Kipahulu Music, KIPAHULU MUSIC CO

14 thoughts on “♫ Guitar Man ♫

  1. Jill, you have been serving several slices of Bread the past few months. This is a softer version of what I envision a guitar man to be, but remains a good song. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A sweet song, maybe too sweet. There were lots of guitar men: Hendrix, Clapton, Harrison, Bachman, the list goes on and on. But few of them were sweet, they were loud, and they were electric. That is how I would have played, had I known how…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, there are lots of sweet songs by all guitar players, but Bread was always sweet, while others showed a wider range of capability. Green Tambourine was about the wildest Bread ever got. But this is my personal taste. I’ll take Tales of Brave Ulyssess any day. Or What Love (Suite) by The Collectors, a Canadian band you have probably never heard of.

        Liked by 1 person

        • You’re right … I had never heard of The Collectors, but did Google them and listened to one of their songs. Definitely different … I didn’t dislike it, but it didn’t grab me, either.


          • Which song did you listen to, the one I suggested? There were two bands called The Collectors, one from 60s Vancouver, and one many years later from Holland, I think.
            If you listened to What Love (Suite) I can kind of see you not liking it, it’s long and intense, and you may not have heard the whispered line: Love–a secure world for happy children. Safe–a secure world for happy children. Does someone hear?
            It is a song far ahead of itself, a song more appropriate for today. Except musically, it would suck the brains right out of most post-millennial heads…

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            • Actually, after double-checking, I find that I listened to the wrong one last night. I listened to “What is Love”, not “What Love”. So, I went back and listened to part of What Love. It’s odd … I loved the guitar at the beginning, but not so much the pulsing sound, nor the vocals. I know … my musical taste is shallow. I think you and my friend Herb would be musically compatible, for he and I share almost no common music … his is dark and deep, while I go more for the straightforward, happier tunes.


              • Yes, I know what you like, pretty much, but some tunes have to be listened to to best appreciate them. This song is about what many people can believe love is: What love is it that I can gain by stepping on all my friends? Lust is masculine violence! Questions raised, statements said, all to the violence of the music. Then the soft phrase, Love is a secure world for happy children, as I stated before.
                But now that I have tortured your ears and mind, their second album was quite different. They were asked to write the soundtrack for a play, Grass and Wild Strawberries. It is much different.


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