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Joe Bonamassa on ‘stealing’ Eric Johnson’s style: “Every time that I see him, I always apologise to him”

“I’m like, ‘Man, I’m sorry for stealing your style,” the guitarist teased.

Eric Johnson and Joe Bonamassa

Image: Scott Dudelson / Roberto Ricciuti / Getty Images

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Joe Bonamassa is apparently such a huge fan of Eric Johnson that he apologises to the man every time they meet for ‘stealing his style’.

Speaking to GuitarWorld about the guitarists who influenced his sound, Bonamassa said, “Eric [Johnson] was another one that I learned a ton from and whom I’m still learning from.”

“Every time that I see him, I always apologise to him. I’m like, ‘Man, I’m sorry for stealing your style,” Joe teased.

And despite the frequent comparisons between the two’s playing styles over the years, the blues rock legend was quick to emphasise that “[Johnson’s] tone is distinct.”

“And I don’t have to remind people of all the amazing music he’s made over the last 30 years. He’s easily one of the best out there and has been for a long time. He can cover any style or whatever he needs to. He’s a joy to watch and listen to.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Bonamassa also addressed Jimmy Page’s ‘sloppy’ guitar-playing allegations, saying “A lot of people like to call Page sloppy, and that’s fine.”

“You can call him sloppy all day long, but can you play it? …Try to play The Rain Song as well as he played it. You won’t be able to. Not a chance,” he said.

“The thing about Jimmy Page that most people don’t realise is he was a very in-demand session guy before the Yardbirds and Zeppelin. He did boatloads of amazing things before he even was in those bands… Call him sloppy, but he was a once-in-a-generation talent.”

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