Bankrate: How did you manage to pull your career back from the abyss?
I decided to take a break from about '82 to '86
and that period was both great and not so great
at the same time. I got married and we had our
first child, so it was a time when I was actually
taking the time to take stock of what went on.
So yes, there were realizations that were going
on during that period that were horrendous, financial
things and all that. But on the other hand, it
was the first break I'd had since I started my
career at 16. I hadn't stopped. So it was a needed
break. What goes up must come down. It was obviously
not a thrilling period, but all of a sudden now
I had family and there were other things that
were more important than just me and my career.
It's funny how things come along that change you
and your perceptions completely. I definitely
felt that thrashing myself to death on the road
was not necessary, unless I wanted to do it. It
just made me realize that more time should be
spent with the family and less time on the road.
Bankrate: You returned to the road with Bowie in 1987.
Yeah, that was definitely a wonderful thing to
be able to do because I could go and do it on
somebody else's ticket, it wasn't "my career."
Also, David asking me -- we all know the guitarists
he's played with and has championed, it's a lovely
list of great guitarists -- put me, in my own
mind, in a category that I felt was wonderful,
that he thought I should be there. To be honest,
I don't think a lot of people thought of me that
way; in fact, I don't even think half of them
knew that I played guitar. I started off the gunslinger
at 16, and Dave, who was always good at reinventing
himself, was trying to help me reinvent myself,
and he did a wonderful job. It was a gift he gave
Bankrate: You've received rave reviews and a couple Grammy nominations for your latest, all instrumental album, "Fingerprints." How does it feel to be recognized for what you always considered to be your real gift?
This is like the instrumental version of my first
solo album, "Wind of Change" to me; it's like
starting again. The challenge of "Wind of Change"
was that it was open-ended; there were no expectations,
none whatsoever, even from me. I didn't expect
anything -- I just wrote and recorded and did
my best, and it turned out to be a very eclectic
album. So to do this instrumental record, it was
preordained that it should be a trip through my
influences, through what had inspired me, starting
with obviously Hank Marvin and the Shadows, because
without them, and especially him, I wouldn't be
talking to you right now. I would probably be
a director of cinematography somewhere!