QUESTION: Ohhhhh so it's really Robert. I really thought your name was Tyrone. Sorry, I didn't get the joke 'til now (duh).

ANSWER: Yes, the name Tyrone Shuz was bestowed upon me by my great great great uncle from the Middle East, Sheik Tie'm Yousef. I don't know to what joke you refer, Sir or Madam.


QUESTION: So here goes, when you were in "Hawaii" were you living in Hawaii?

ANSWER: No, that band was a bunch of East Coast Rats who met out in Hawaii, and turned to each other because they weren't kama'aina's! The singer decided to head back east, and the rest of the band soon followed. I knew the singer from way back, and it was a natural fit. Even Marty came back for a short spell before going back (but to LA, not HI).


QUESTION: Have you ever been so distracted by a female in the audience that you started playing the wrong song in the wrong key?

ANSWER: I don't need that kind of distraction, I can do that without any help. Actually, in the old days, when there were actual stages to play on, the clams were always a result of trying to be too cool for the room. Often the pursuit of said coolness was precipitated by a fetching female form, but the actual duffs and clunkers (see "clams") were the results of failed pirhouettes and needless over-the-neck antics; all in the "pursuit of happiness!" But it worked. I had women DRIPPING off me! It wasn't till years later I realized they weren't in fact star-struck, but DUMB-struck! I'd merely garnered the sympathy vote! But hey, any port in a storm, I always say...



QUESTION: Who is the best drummer you ever played with and what made him/her the best?

ANSWER: There are two that come to mind that I've had enough experience with to qualify, and several more from limited experience. Timm Biery (Danny Gatton, Nils Lofgren, Deanna Bogart, Frank Marino) is clearly the most decorated of the bunch. An all-around monster who is also a phenomenal studio producer and engineer. Timm is NOT a drummer. He's a MUSICIAN whose main instrument is the drums. Timm drives a band without peer. He has a flare for the dramatic, and the subtle. He plays music, as opposed to merely kickin' it. He's an intense listener. If I start a rhythmic idea in a solo, he's all over it.

John Coale (Slim Man, Deanna Bogart) is as sturdy and reliable as a Timex watch, but plays like a Rolex. The man lays it down. I've probably done at least 6 dozen gigs with John, and we have a wavelength. Sometimes a whole year would go by, and it comes right back. He's another great listener. He can funk and swing, my two favorite things. We did just over a year of Wednesdays playing in a blues trio that was absolutely orgasmic.

I've also been lucky enough to play with Mike Aubin while touring with Deanna Bogart for a couple weeks. That was a great experience and he's a mean drummer. Again, good listener, and great groove. I see a pattern here! Greg Phillips is another utility guy that's played with some big names. He crushes, drives the band, sings great and makes his presence felt. And I mean /felt/. Fusion-y Funky grooves. Andy Hamburger, another hard hitter but with good dynamics, and tight grooves. Very solid, with great chops he tastefully employs. Did only one gig and a jam with him, and seen him play a few times. I'd love to hit with him some more. All of these guys are wonderful on the gig.



QUESTION: Same question as question #2 but regarding bass players, who was the best and why?

ANSWER: I like a bass player who will lead the band through a tune. I do a lot of fill-in work, and if the bass player's doing his job, I can play a song I've never played before and tell where it's going. A good bass player lets you know the bridge is comin' from a mile away. I'm also a time freak, and I think the best bass players meld into the kick and snare. The best I've played with is Tim Camp, who is now "Slim Man", on the smooth jazz charts. A fantastic musician whose main instrument is bass, but he also plays good keys, and has a great voice.

Props also to my brother Kenn. He understands what a song calls for, and plays appropriately. He's also good at telegraphing chord changes (though I've never had to follow him on a gig). I was lucky enough to do 3-4 gigs with a bass player named Wade Matthews (Nils Lofgren, among others) and this guy combines it all. Incredible chops with extreme musicality. Last but certainly not least, I must mention BT Richardson of Tyrone Shuz and his Funky Bluz. We also play in a Tux band together, and do some jazz hits. He's another good feel guy and plays the right notes. We're developing a wavelength, and I like it.


QUESTION: I know they are all different but which of your guitars gets the best tone?

ANSWER: That's like asking is it Phoebe, Monica, or Rachel? If there was only one "best", I'd have it and a backup. End of story. But, since you asked...(GEEKY STUFF TO FOLLOW! SKIP TO THE NEXT QUESTION IF YOU DON'T WISH TO BE BURDENED WITH SPECIFIC TERMINOLOGY LIKE "SKRONK", AND "RUDE"!)

Best warm Strat tone is from my '64, with my MIM '60's w/Bill Lawrence 280 pickups coming in second. Best bright Strat tone is my '63, with my FDP LE a close second. "Rudest" tone goes to the Nocaster Relic. It's absolutely rude and inappropriate! If I need SKRONK with some balls, this is the axe! "Creamiest" tone goes to my PRS Hollowbody II. "Ballsiest" tone is my PRS McCarty purple one-off. Les Paul is second, because it's also a tad harsh, and not quite as "round". "Jazziest" tone from my Gibson L4C. Hey, it's a Jazz Box! Hollow PRS a close second. Aren't ya sorry you asked?


QUESTION: If you could study and take lessons from any guitar player alive today who would that be and why?

ANSWER: Jimmy Bruno or Kenny Burrell for jazz. The former for the blazing fire in his single note lines, the latter for his smouldering understated phrasing with interesting harmonic choices. If I wanted to do the country thing, Brent Mason is the cat.


QUESTION: Ever stood on a jack lead in the middle of a song and couldnt find the pin in the dark?

ANSWER: No. What's it like? If that happened, I'd fire the roadie that didn't put the cable through the strap!


QUESTION: Have you ever dropped a pick and realised there were no more in front of you whilst your eyes scour the floor?

ANSWER: Maybe at a rehearsal 20 years ago. I've used coins before at rehearsals in emergencies, but I've carried spares forever. I'm extremely paranoid about that. I keep an old film vial full of picks in each rig's briefcase. I may have to finish a song with my fingers, but there are always spares close. If there are two guitars out, each has a pick in its strings, so I can get that one.