From: "Bill Noel" 
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 14:35:53 +0000
Subject: Clarence White

Dear Mr. Eito,

My name is Bill Noel. I am a university professor in television
production. A few years ago I produced a video documentary called "The
American Acoustic Guitar," which focused on the evolution of the
instrument from the 1820s to the present. That project focused on the 
instrument and luthiers. I had hoped to include profiles of influential 
guitar players, such as Clarence White. I am now looking into the 
possibility of producing a biography on Clarence.

I have just begun to read through the CW Chronicles; they are very
interesting. I hope you won't mind my contacting you from time to time for
information. Such as -- do you know if a video documentary on Clarence has 
already been done? If I am able to move forward on this project, it will 
probably take two or three years to research and find funding for the  
production. Any information you can give me would be appreciated.

Bill Noel

Assistant Professor
Public Communications/RTV
Sam Houston State University
I'm sure Etsuo would want to encourage readers with any relevant information
to contact Bill Noel at the email address above. -- Sub. ed.)
Thanks Bill for your interest!  Also, it was kind of you for sending me the
video of THE AMERICAN ACOUSTIC GUITARS. Watching the video you produced, I
am thinking if we could make such a video referring to all the acoustic and
electric guitars that Clarence White had owned and played...  (12/10/98 E.E)

From: "Graham Pearson" 
Subject: From your Friend in Wales
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 15:10:22 +0100

Dear Etsuo,

At last, I have had myself connected to the Internet!! I hope this Email
finds you and your family in good health. I am now up to date with all
the CWC that are listed on the Internet, it is really amazing the
distance you have covered with the Chronicles. You should feel proud of
what you have achieved, as I certainly feel privileged to call you my
friend. Looking back at our letters to each other it's hard to believe that 
we have been writing to each other since November 1993, after I had read the
Bluegrass Unlimited article on your love and devotion to Clarence and the
Kentucky Colonels. How time flies.

If you would like to add my name and details to your directory of Clarence
White devotees, I would be very honoured.

Name           :  Graham Pearson
E-mail         :
Snail mail     :  208, Ashford Close South, Croesyceiliog, Cwmbran, Wales,
                  NP44 2BE, Great Britain
Occupation     :  Telephone Engineer
Hobbies        :  Playing Guitar, Coaching football,
PC Machine     :  Win 95 200mmx
Born           :  Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.  21/11/58 
Insruments     :  Fylde Prospero 12 string 1976
                  Fylde Falstaff Custom 12 string 1977
                  Fylde Caliban 6 string 1978?
                  Santa Cruz Tony Rice Indian Rosewood 1992
                  Fender Telecaster B Bender 1996
                  Various other guitars and acoustic instruments.

When did you first play? :  First played guitar when I would sneak into my
         older brother's bedroom when he had gone out, I think it was when
         I was 9 years old. When I finally got found out and was clipped 
         around the ear by my brother a year later ( sorry about the pun), 
         my parents bought me my first guitar, an Eko Colorado 6-string.

When did you first hear Clarence White music? :  The first record I ever
         had was "The Byrds' Greatest Hits Vol. 1," which was bought for me 
         by my brother for Christmas, way, way back. I then started 
         collecting Byrds albums, not the earlier material but "Sweethearts 
         of the Rodeo," etc., and that eventually led me to The Kentucky 
         Colonels, etc. Still to this day, when I listen to Clarence play, 
         whether it is the incredible back-up he uses on the live version of
         Sally Goodin in Sweden or the electric lead of Tulsa Country Blues, 
         I often just sit and think, that is how a guitar should be played. 
         I never had the chance to actually see Clarence perform live, on TV 
         yes, but not live. The one thing that your Chronicles have brought 
         to me is the  feelings of other people who had either the privilege
         of knowing Clarence personally, or were fortunate to have seen him 
         perform live. What is evident in these people's comments and
         recollections is the type of person Clarence was and the way he
         conducted himself on and offstage. The type of musician that rarely 
         comes our way.

Any Comments :  Thank you Etsuo for being you. In these present days
         where genuine people are hard to find, it is a pleasure and 
         privilege to again say to you:

  Regards from your Friend in Wales
From: "Graham Pearson" 
To: "Etsuo Eito" 
Subject: Sweethearts Stringbender
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 11:38:31 +0100

Dear Etsuo,

After reading back through the Chronicles, I find it fascinating the
discussion of whether Clarence played the Stringbender on the Sweethearts 
album or was it before the stringbender was actually fitted. What is evident 
is that Clarence was that good, guitarists still have to listen very carefully
to decide for themselves on the "Did he or didn't he?" question. What is
great to read is that even great guitarists like Marty Stuart have seemed
to be fooledby Clarence's amazing picking.

Reading through the Chronicles, John Delgatto writes (20/04/97),
"Clarence does play the Stringbender." This is then corrected by Bill
Sweeney (25/07/97) on his discussion with Bob Warford who said that Clarence
did not play the bender which was verified by Jon Sievert(15/09/97), who was
told by Gene Parsons that the stringbender was fitted after the Sweetheart 
sessions. If that is the case, then Johnny Rogan has it completely incorrec
in his Byrds biography,"Timeless Flight." Looking through the sessionography,
on a number of occasions Clarence is refered to as playing "Pull-string 
guitar" on dates as early as 28-30 November 1966. Also more significantly, 
playing Pull-string guitar on the "Notorious Byrds Brothers" album.

In an article, "Echoes of a Country Rock Legend," by Rick Petreysik,
Guitar Player, September 1992, Marty Stuart said: "But what really threw
my head for a loop was 'Sweetheart of the Rodeo,' especially the song One
Hundred Years From Now, that bender was incredible." Me too Marty!

Well Etsuo, I could go on and on with different quotes on this question,
and although after again listening to the "Sweethearts" album for the
millionth time, tend to agree with Gene Parsons that Clarence did not use
the Bender. But then again!!!!!!!!!

I wonder what you think about the subject?

From your Friend in Wales
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 08:36:25 -0400
From: Chip Lovitt 
Subject: CWC online newsletter #14 -Reply

Number 14 of the Chronicles was great. I've always wondered about the
awful circumstances of Clarence's death. The circumstances of his death
makes the point once again of how fragile life can be and how fortunate
we were to have heard such a fine musician for as long as we did. It's a
sad story, but obviously Clarence continues to inspire us all these years

Thanks for the newsletter.

Chip Lovitt
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 08:11:09 -0500
From: "Steve Wisner" 
Subject: Update

Hi Etsuo,

Received the new CW Chronicles yesterday from you and, as usual, they
contain plenty of interesting information. Thank you for the updates!

I noticed that a reader was inquiring about the Gosdin Brothers 45 on
Metromedia, "You Love Me Just Enough To Keep Me Loving You"/"I Have
Everything I Need In You." Rest assured, Clarence does not play on the
record! This single was recorded in Nashville in 1973 after the Gosdin
Brothers had moved back to Georgia. (I interviewed Joyce Gosdin, Rex's
wife, several years ago.) Gary Paxton, who had been living in Nashville
for a few years already, produced the record.

You may already know of this release but I haven't seen it mentioned in
the Chronicles yet and feel your readers should know about it: There is a
bootleg Flying Burrito Brothers CD out titled, "Saddle Up The Palomino," 
from 1969, on which Clarence White is playing on most of the numbers! He 
is not credited on the CD but you will know it's him -- he sounds great 
as usual although the band is sloppy. Gram Parsons does most of the leads 
but there is a guest vocalist on two numbers, Jimmy Morse, a fantastic 
singer. (He is not credited either in the personnel listing.) This is the 
live tape Gram Parsons spoke of in Sid Griffin's book. Definitely worth 
checking out. I don't know who finally was able to secure a copy and put 
it out, but lucky for us it's made an appearance.

One last note: Gib Guilbeau witnessed the Clarence White tragedy in
Palmdale -- he was standing across the street and saw it all happen. 
Sandy Rothman is probably correct about Roland -- when I interviewed him
he didn't seem to want to say a lot about the details but did tell me a 
few things you might find of interest: Gib persuaded Clarence to drive up 
to Palmdale the evening of July 14, 1973 to join him for some jamming at 
a club named B.J.'s. Roland accompanied Clarence since their brother Eric 
was playing bass for the country band at the club.

Clarence and Roland left Topanga Canyon and stopped off in Lancaster to visit
their mother, Mrs. Mildred White, who presented Clarence with a late birthday
present. Clarence and Roland both sat in with the band that night. Clarence 
sat in on electric guitar and Roland on mandolin. You pretty much know the 
rest of the story -- the Whites' car was parked on the street and it was 
side-swiped as the brothers were nearly finished loading their instruments. 
Clarence and Roland were just about ready to get into their car when the 
accident happened. Clarence and Roland were both hit;  Roland was thrown 
across the front of his car's hood -- Clarence was less fortunate.

Gib probably has an address/phone number for Eric White now. Eric is quite
talkative and I'm sure would share all the details of those tragic events
for you and your readers.

Thanks again for the updates. Keep up the great work.

Your friend,
Steve Wisner
Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 17:36:17 -0700
To: Etsuo Eito 
From: Sandy Rothman 
Subject: Steve Wisner

Dear Etsuo,

It's good to have Steve Wisner online now... His further details on the
terrible night of 7/14/73 are appreciated, if I can say that. It's painful,
but many of us have never felt closure, for lack of information. I didn't
know that Gib witnessed the accident. I think what Steve says about Eric is
true -- he's a very different person from the other two brothers... more
outgoing. It would be great if you could somehow make contact with him. You
could try writing to him, maybe send some hard copies of the CWC. He might 
respond to a heartfelt request from Japan if he understood your depth of 

As Steve recommended, I'll bet that Gib is likely to be in touch with Eric.
Do you have an address for Gib? He must have some fabulous stories of 
Clarence in the later days. With his Cajun heritage there is a connection 
with the LeBlanc family background. Probably you know the relation between 
the French Canadians and the Cajuns. I don't know the whole story; David 
Nelson knows it very well. BTW, David called the other day and told me he's 
starting to play a lot of pull-string in his rock band (The David Nelson 
Band, look for them in your town) and said he's really got Clarence in his 
heart again. I was happy to hear that, because he was always a great one to
honor and advance Clarence's Telecaster style, with neat innovations of his 

Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 01:11:35 -0600
From: bhullett 
Subject: Clarence White  "The Last Night"

Etsuo....I found your page today on Clarence, and I've spent most of the
night reading it...It's very sad....My name is Bill Hullett, I'm a session
guitar player here in Nashville. I've lived here 20 years, but in 1973 I 
still lived in California.

I have a little info that might fill in a few of the blanks concerning the
night that Clarence was killed...I was playing guitar in a band (Dub Beene 
& the Outcasts). We were working a month-long "sit-down gig" at the Jack Of 
Diamonds in Palmdale, Cal. ( I was 23 at the time.) I knew that Roland and
Eric were working at BJ's, another club in Palmdale. We started at nine and
I believe that BJ's started their band at 9:30...I remember coming to work 
that night and remember seeing the owner of the Jack Of Diamonds (Bill Towe)
talking to someone at the bar....I didn't recognize that it was Clarence. I 
usually would go up just before we started to get a Coke but for some reason 
that night I didn't. When I went up to the bar during the band's first break,
Bill Towe said, "I wish you had come over earlier tonight, 'cause Clarence 
White was here and I wanted you to meet him!" Well, I  was flipped out! To 
be honest, I was not into blue grass at that time and didn't realize what 
all he had done...*but*...I was heavily into country rock, and knew all of
his credits in that respect. I was excited knowing that Clarence was working
just a few blocks away and was hoping to make it to a Sunday afternoon jam
that BJ's always had, hoping to see Clarence there.

Then I found out the news the next morning that Clarence had been killed.
The lady "Yoko" who ran him down was a regular at our club and unfortunately
she was always a very heavy drinker. "Yoko" had actually been in our club 
that night and she and her date had been thrown out around 1:00 AM for 
causing trouble. That was the event that took Clarence's life.

The street that BJ's was on was kind of a main drag in was
a wide street (four lanes) but the two outside lanes had little curbs with
limited access for thru traffic (I'm sorry I can't draw you a picture of'd understand better). What I heard was that Yoko ran the curb and
that car went out of control, plowing into the pickup truck that Roland and 
Clarence were loading...They, like us, had just finished playing and were 
loading some gear... I don't know if charges were ever brought against her 
or not. We worked in Palmdale until about November of that year and I saw
her come in many times after the accident....usually she was the focus of
some sort of trouble. I wish I could have met Clarence that last night, BUT
more importantly I really wish that "Yoko" hadn't been kicked out of the
Jack Of Diamonds club that night...Clarence would still be alive!!! I don't
think she ever knew the magnitude of her drunk driving that night.

I hope that this may shed a little more light as to what happened....

Bill  Hullett
Date: Mon, 19 Oct 1998 07:53:02 -0500
From: "Steve Wisner" 
To: Etsuo Eito 
Subject: Re: The Golden State Boys

Hi Etsuo,

Several people in California have the live tapes of the Ice House festival.
I've inquired about it previously with different people but have not been 
able to get a complete copy. I do have a nearly complete listing of the 
performances from both days courtesy of a big collector, Jerry Mills, who 
has since died...If you need the song information, I could send you that. I 
know the Squirrel Barkers were there, but for some reason they aren't on the
tape listing I have. I also believe the Mad Mountain Ramblers played there 
(with David Lindley), but again, no record of it.

I just interviewed former Mad Mountain Rambler Steve Cahill last week (who
has played on several Chris Darrow LPs). He is sending me some pictures
and tapes of the Ramblers and the Dry City Scat Band. He told me he once
took bluegrass guitar lessons from Clarence White (briefly). Cahill is a
photographer, but still plays some bluegrass on the side. He went to high
school with Bill Bryson, David Lindley, and John Delgatto (LaSalle High
School in Sierra Madre).

Take care,
Steve Wisner
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 13:04:48 -0500
From: "Steve Wisner" 
To: Etsuo Eito 

By the way, I would like to recommend a really fine bluegrass CD by Jerry
Wicentowski just reviewed in the County Sales newsletter. Jerry was in L.A.
in '72-73 and played with the Bluegrass Cardinals and sat in with Country
Gazette and was around Clarence White at that time. Jerry is a phenomenal 
singer -- I had only heard a tape of him with Country Gazette and he knocked
me out!  He now lives near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have the CD on order and 
can't wait to hear it.

From: Sandy Rothman 
Subject: New Martin guitar book
Date: 10 Nov 1998

Dear Etsuo,

Last night I was at Moe's Books and there was a copy of Jim Washburn and
Richard Johnston's new book on Martin guitars (sorry, I don't recall the
title, Rodale Press 1997). I don't know Jim but I do know Richard -- he
learned a lot about Martins from Jon Lundberg in Berkeley and went on to
co-found a guitar shop in Palo Alto called Gryphon. I was hoping to see a
good photo of Clarence and his guitar in the book, but unfortunately they
only used the (Rounder reissue) CD cover of "Appalachian Swing," which
doesn't really feature either Clarence or the D-28. Under the photo, the
caption reads in part: "Clarence used a heavy metal pick, which shredded
the soundhole on his 1934 D-28."

I never heard of Clarence using a metal pick! However, his liking for
heavy plastic flatpicks was legendary, and Campbell Coe once made him a
beautiful, extremely oversized triangular pick out of black Plexiglas
that he polished to a high gloss. It was very exaggerated (especially in
thickness) and really humorous just to look at. It was also lovingly and
expertly made. Campbell used to say that it was made of obsidian (!), in
classic Campbellian style. Clarence got a big kick out of it, and I'll
bet some of the other band members still remember it. Somewhere, I have
another one like it that Campbell made and gave me which is not quite as

In the book, I wasn't too surprised to find no mention of Campbell -- it
just means that he is "still myth-ing" (thanks to Katie Hambly for that
one) and accords him further legendary status -- but I was surprised that
they didn't mention his very well-respected former apprentice, Hideo
Kamimoto, as Hideo certainly has done and is still doing much to forward
the understanding and repair of guitars and other stringed instruments.
Otherwise, it's an attractive "coffee-table book" with many good features. 
Co-author Johnston does mention Lundberg in his dedication. Jon still has a 
shop in this area, but is now selling excellent vintage clothes instead of 
instruments; he knows their history and construction as well as he knows 
fretted instruments. In the very early folk days in Berkeley, Jon and
Campbell were partners in the guitar repair business.

All for now (and see you next issue),


      **************  The End of the Mail  **************

        Editor: Etsuo Eito
        Sub. Ed: Sandy Rothman


  To each of our dear subscribers,

    "Special Season's Greetings"
 from the foot of the Hiromine Mountain,
 in the northern suburb of Himeji,JAPAN
 Your Always Kentucky Colonelly,
 Etsuo Eito

 *  Snail-Mail Address: 2-13-7,Kitahirano,      *
 *                      Himeji,Hyogo, 670-0893  *
 *                      JAPAN                   *
 *  E-Mail Address    :   *
 *  PHONE / FAX       : +81-792-82-0821         *

Clarence White Chronicles 16

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