last call

Django Reinhardt, live in New York.

Photo by William P. Gottlieb

Our Last Call columnist considers his dream Rig Rundown subject.

“Django was music made into a man.” —Emmanuel Soudieux, Django’s bassist

My friend and colleague Chris Kies recently filmed a Pantera Rig Rundown. One could argue that Pantera is the reason that Rig Rundowns exist. Pantera, more specifically Pantera’s guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell, got Kies into guitar, and he eventually—along with former PG editorial director Joe Coffey—came up with the idea of filming guitarists with their rigs. So you have Hell’s own cowboy, Dimebag, via Kies to thank for the Rundown brand of infotainment.

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A positive attitude won’t fix your problems, but accepting things as they are is a good start.

I did not enjoy the transition from childhood to adulthood. Going from a loving, nurturing home to an indifferent and, at times, seemingly cruel real world was not a good fit for me. My freshman year in college, I was adrift, scared, and, occasionally, what I now recognize as clinically depressed. Out of desperation, I took a philosophy course to get some answers. There, I read Nietzsche’s book, The Gay Science (perhaps the greatest title ever), and learned the phrase amor fati, which is Latin for “love of one’s fate.”

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Jared James Nichols performs with John Bohlinger at the “Rock to Remember” concert live at Nashville’s Gibson Garage in February 2023.

I was hired to lead the house band for a benefit to raise funds for veterans battling PTSD. Jared James Nichols, Kirk Fletcher, Dave Mustaine, and others joined the cause, and here’s how it went.

Often with multi-act shows, limited budget, space, and inputs on the mix necessitate that some acts share a house band. Because I’ve been slugging it out for 30-plus years in Nashville, I occasionally get hired to lead it. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to get the call to lead for “Rock to Remember,” a concert/live auction collab between Guitars for Vets (an organization that provides guitars to veterans struggling with PTSD) and Gibson Gives.

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