Joe Bonamassa believes Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen is a bigger guitar geek than him: “What he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing”

“There are tons of people that make me look like a hobbyist.”

Joe Bonamassa

Image: C Brandon / Getty Images

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Blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa has revealed there is one other player out there who he believes gets even geekier than he does about guitars.

Bonamassa released his new live album, Tales Of Time last month (14 April), which was recorded and filmed at Colorado’s Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

In a new interview with Classic Rock Magazine, Bonamassa was asked if he has ever met anybody who was capable of “out-geeking” him on the subject of guitars. He confessed, “Oh, look… There are tons of people that make me look like a hobbyist. I’ll tell you the craziest anorak I’ve met, and it’s Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick.”

Given that Neilsen is a widely known collector of characteristic guitar gear, and that he owns three Hamer five-neck guitars, we’d say that makes sense. As Bonamassa concluded, “What he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.”

Later in his interview, Bonamassa also spoke on the criticism he received in the past that he was too prolific with putting out albums, as he has now slowed the pace: “We don’t make records at the velocity we used to. A decade ago the music business was a whole different model. Now it’s almost like the fifties because it’s all about singles again,” he explained.

When asked if he cared about the “haters” who have criticised the amount of releases he has put out, the guitarist shrugged and said, “Somebody likes what I do – I’ve sold nine million records. The detractors can say what they want. These days I’m a lot more comfortable with myself. We live in a free world. Anybody can grab a guitar and microphone, record some songs and make their own record. The playing field is so much more open then when I started.”

You can get your hands on Tales Of Time and see the full list of tour dates at JBonamassa.com.

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