If you're a fan, check this out.
If you're not a fan...check this out. I also have some photos of Thumbs with a Jet on his lap.
I first heard of him through some old Roger Miller videos. Very stylish player for playing the way he does. I think it is interesting stuff. Do you have another link to the jet video?
I believe that Deed has posted about Thumbs Carlisle before.
Looks like his Wiki Page has a picture of him using a Jet.
Thumbs finished his career in Atlanta and had a residency gig for a good long time here. We were lucky to have so many chances to see him.
This is the video that always kills me -
Bonus - obviously drunk Red Foley footage!
Thumbs is one of the greatest and it's a shame that more people don't know about him. He lived here in Montana for many years and and played quite a bit in my good friend Art Whitcher's band. Art told me a few years ago that he had some old video of Thumbs playing on TV when local radio legend Lonnie Bell had a weekly show in 1982-83. I finally convinced him to put some of it on YouTube and given the season here is a clip that I think you will enjoy!.
wabash - awesome, just perfect.
- Deed Eddy
I've never seen anybody play a guitar like that! Does he do it that way because maybe he learned on a 1930's or 40's lap steel guitar?
He did it that way because no one showed him otherwise...He was just totally unique.
Hey Wabash, I used to hang around Billings a lot and used to play the 17 Bar there. I know Lonnie Bell, Frank Skidmore and the bunch. Thumbs sat in one night at the Alta Saloon, our night club in Miles City. He was a good friend of my nephew. There was a guitar maker in Billings, Ted Berringer, who built at least one guitar for Thumbs.
Seems like I read an article years ago that said his older sister was learning hawaiian guitar and refused to let him try it by hiding the steel so he allegedly used his thumb instead. Sounds good except I doubt even a grown man could fret a guitar set up for hawaiian playing because of the raised strings.
I'd bet he started really young and he found that the guitar (due to its size) was easier to manage laying on its back instead of its standard position. By the time someone told him he was playing it wrong (or by the time he was big enough to hold it "right") he was too good at it to quit.
Merle Travis allegedly told him (tongue in cheek of course) "Er... Thumbs... Yer playing it wrong..."
I got turned on to Thumbs a while ago from a friend. He gave me a mixed tape (thats how long ago it was.. remember tape!) and I wore it out in a year! fantastic stuff! Not sure if any one has posted that we had a fine guitarist named Jeff Healey here in Canada that played the guitar in a simular manner. He was blind and it just seemed to make sense to him to play that way. You may remember him from such Silver Screen Classics as "Roadhouse".
I knew of Jeff long before Roadhouse and it was sad when he died. Good stuff!
I love (old) VanHalen, Yngwie, Frank Gambale, Allan Holdsworth, and Steve Morse. These are names you always see in guitar mags, forums, etc....But Joe Maphis, Larry Collins, Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Thumbs among others should be on the lips of ALL up and coming guitarists too.
Thanks you Billy for recognizing Thumbs....
Thanks Billy for reminding me of Thumbs. What an amazing picker.