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Barry Mitchell interviews Reinhold Bogner
Bogner was the featured guest in Guitar Center’s Sessions Series initiative. The April 23 gathering was open to the public (as are all Sessions Series events) and attracted a standing-room-only crowd into the cozy confines of the GC’s vintage guitar showroom. There, on a small stage surrounded by exquisite vintage guitars and a phalanx of Bogner amps, Reinhold Bogner shared details on his background and design approach with interviewer Barry Mitchell, a longtime associate of Bogner’s who now works for Line 6 and is deeply involved in the recent partnership between Bogner and Line 6.
The 75-minute event was capped by fierce guitar playing by Mitchell and Rafael Moreira, who joined Bogner onstage following the interview portion of the event and demoed the new Bogner Alchemist amp to an appreciative audience.
The freewheeling evening was frequently punctuated by Bogner’s trademark quirky humor and it covered numerous details of his remarkable 20-year career. Born and raised in southern Germany, Bogner began experimenting with electronics as a youngster and was initially inspired by the iconic Marshall sound. His first amps emulated the classics, but he noted that “after you’ve tried a few of the original schematics you make little changes and start to add your own flavor.”
Smitten by guitarists such as Gary Moore, Rory Gallagher, Vernon Reid and Steve Morse, he began to actively seek out pro players who were visiting Germany. “I went to concerts in the afternoon and I would sneak in through the back door during sound check and tried to introduce myself. Most of them were pretty friendly and they all pretty much said the same thing: ‘What are you doing here? You should go to LA.’ That seemed so far away at the time.”
Rafael Moreira (right) plays through the Alchemist as Bogner looks on
The April 23 event followed a similar Guitar Center Sessions event at GC’s main New York City location on April 16. On both dates a Bogner Alchemist 112 amplifier was raffled off to a lucky attendee. Guitar Center Sessions is an ongoing series of events that features interviews and panel discussions with artists and musicians. The events are free and open to the public.
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