Lloyd Spiegel is one of our top guitarists.
Lloyd Spiegel is one of our top guitarists.

PODCAST: Top Aussie guitarist shares a chat

LLOYD Spiegel is a trailblazer at the forefront of modern blues and one of Australia's most recognised guitarists, recently being named in Australian Guitar Magazine's list of the top 50 Australian guitarists of all time. A touring artist since age 11, the seven -me Australian Blues Award winner has one of the most unique stories in music. Lloyd shared a Coffee Chat with Matt during his recent Australian tour.

Listen to the interview with Lloyd Spiegel here:

Matt Collins:

You were a 17-year-old Aussie kid with just a guitar on your back when you ventured to Chicago to follow your dreams.

 

Lloyd Spiegel:

Yeah, they were interesting times. I wanted to experience some of the places I had only read about in books and in the movies.

 

MC:

Tell me about that time in your life.

 

LS:

It was tough. I was only a kid and I remember my dad telling me, when you walk into a bar just go straight in and order a beer. Don't look around, just go straight to the bar. Someone will always ask you "where are you from?" and then you will be right.

 

MC:

Sound advice. And did that work?

 

LS:

Yeah it did, I stayed in the States for seven years.

 

MC:

You were always a good blues musician as a child but what did you learn about yourself as an artist from your time in the States?

 

LS:

I realised I was with my people. I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

 

MC:

Why did you come back to Australia?

 

LS:

Well, I had some health problems at 23.

 

MC:

What happened?

 

LS:

I had a heart attack believe it or not.

 

MC:

Wow! You were so young!

 

LS:

Yeah, I was on a bus travelling through Omaha to Kansas City. See, Matt back then I was taking absolutely no care of myself. I probably still don't take enough care of myself.

 

LS:

I was partying a lot. Playing and drinking every night and sleeping all day.

 

MC:

Living the rock star lifestyle.

 

LS:

Exactly. And it eventually took its toll. I was on this bus and I felt like the whole weight of the universe was right there on my chest. I eventually couldn't take it any longer and I had to get off the and find the nearest hospital.

 

MC:

The rock and roll lifestyle, it's not always glitz and glamour is it.

 

LS:

The funny thing about touring is, every night when I get to a venue there will be a group of people I haven't seen in a while and we will catch up and have a few drinks. The next day, they go back to their normal lives. The difference for me is, I move on to the next town and on to the next group of friends I haven't seen in a while.

 

MC:

Having a heart attack at 23, what changes for a person?

 

LS:

Well you certainly recognised what's important. I am not a drinker anymore. It just scares me too much to drink to that point anymore. I have just become aware of my limits. I am 39 these days so I can't do what I used to.

 

MC:

You were recently voted as one of the top 50 greatest Australian guitarists of all time. What do these type of awards mean to you?

 

LS:

Interestingly, I have never seen myself as a guitarist. I've always said I was a blues artist and the guitar was just the tool that I used. Whenever I get called a guitar player I always get a little uncomfortable. So, when I found out about the top 50 thing, my first reactions was 'Oh no!'

 

MC:

Haha! Why?

 

LS:

Because for every 50 musicians you put on that list, there are 50 others that deserve to be on it. I mean, I personally could list 50 guitar players that I would put on that list ahead of myself. The only thing guitarists recognised is the things that we can't do ourselves.

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