♫ Guitar Man ♫

I actually had another song on the schedule for this morning, but then I woke up to see a notification on my phone that it is a certain someone’s birthday today and that one of his most favourite groups is Bread.  So, I moved the other song to tomorrow’s schedule and am playing one for the birthday boy, our friend, John Howell!  Happy Birthday, John!

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

31 thoughts on “♫ Guitar Man ♫

  1. Bread were a band which had an indefinable magic. I could never quite put put my finger on why a Velvet Underground / Steppenwolf etc follower should like Bread too, but there you go. ‘Guitar Man’ and ‘It Don’t Matter to Me’ as classics.

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  2. My wife really likes Bread. For me, an old classic rocker, Bread was a bit too light for my tastes. But, being a good husband (well, sometimes!), I dl’d their greatest hits double album and mixed it in with the songs on my phone, which is our private radio station in the car. So, I’ve had some time to take in the Bread experience.

    It should be noted, I’m a half ass guitar player, and back when I started all I wanted was heavier rock distortion and gain. As I got older, and picked up experience playing with local bands, and spending time in a good studio, I learned a lot along the way. Here’s the kicker: Clean is MEAN. It cuts through a live mix, it records way better, and it makes you play better because you can’t hide behind distortion or effects. You are on an island playing clean. One flub and the world knows it.

    So, knowing what I know now, having traveled a road well worn, I have an earned appreciation for a band that played very clean, and Guitar Man is one of my favorite Bread tunes.

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    • You are, indeed, a good husband!!! My ex subjected me to country music (of which I an NOT a fan) anytime we were in the car together and wouldn’t consider any Motown, which is my all-time favourite.

      I tried to learn to play an acoustic guitar when I was a teen many decades ago, but being nearly deaf it just didn’t work out, so I admire anyone who has the talent to play any instrument. I like your thinking, though … I don’t care for a lot of harsh electronic sound, but much prefer a cleaner sound. I’m glad you liked this song!


  3. Jill, Bread has a string of great songs, this being one of them. David Gates has this gentle voice that lends itself to the themes of his songs. If you really want to mellow out, put on a Bread CD. Keith

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  4. Hello Jill. You have a talent for showcasing songs I have enjoyed but never knew who sang them or the story behind them. Thank you for giving me a broader appreciation for the songs I enjoy. Hugs

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    • I’m much like you, Scottie … often I don’t know the title or the artist and can only remember a tiny bit of the lyrics. Luckily, I can usually put that tiny bit of lyric into Google and it will find the song, then I can track down the rest of the info! I’m glad you’re enjoying the music posts … I have much fun doing them, too! Hugs

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