Epiphone Interview Jan. 1, 2016

Image and article taken from Bob Wood The Epiphone Interview

 Two Thousand Fifteen will be remembered as the year 81-year old jazz and country bop guitarist Bob Wood became a modern media rock star after the second of two performance videos (the first featuring Bob careening through "Besame Mucho" at a Nashville music store) spread across the web or as he describes it, "went viral on me."  And it looks like the momentum is still building, which has helped to keep the former studio guitarist, Wheeling Jamboree member, and music store owner busy at concerts and festivals throughout the U.S. We've been especially thrilled that Bob has been performing exclusively with his favorite guitar, a 1968 Epiphone Riviera, which he brought to Epiphone's headquarters in Nashville on his first visit to the showroom just before Christmas accompanied by his wife Cookie.   Bob bought the vintage Riviera from a customer who was in search of an acoustic guitar. "We had a good flattop in the store for about $500. One Sunday morning, a guy calls me up... and I live in Hendersonville, 18 miles from the store. He says 'Hey man, I heard you got a guitar up there for $500 that sounds just like a Martin. If I came up to the store would you sell it to me?'  "I'll tell you what son, if I drive 18 miles to that store on a Sunday morning you better be serious about buying a guitar. He said, 'if it sounds as good as they say it does, I'll buy it.' So I go up there and he tries it out. And he says: 'It’'s no, lie--it's pretty good. You take a trade in?' I said sure what you got. He brings in this old bass case and I'm thinking oh boy. And there it is--a perfect 1968 Epiphone Riviera. And I thought: maintain your composure Wood! Don't throw it man! So I said, well I guess we could go with it if you could throw in $150. And he jumped on it! I should be ashamed to tell it (laughs)."  Bob warmed up on fiddle tunes like Old Joe Clark ("I just found he was my great grandfather--my grandmother was a Clark") and lots of pop and jazz standards including a spirited Over the Rainbow. "I mainly play on the rhythm pickup. I like the mellow tone. Out on the road I never would buy a distortion pedal. I hated them. I was a bit of a purist--I thought why pay $500 for an amp that plays clean and then spend $35 on a box to make it sound dirty? It didn't make sense to me. And then I started playing in church and bam (slaps his knee) I had to go out and buy a distortion pedal. They were playing contemporary gospel. Now I got a pedal board I bring to church. If I go play a gig I leave it setting there."  In between expert renditions of guitar and fiddle standards, Bob recalled his early days as a performer. "I learned as a kid growing up in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia where I was born and raised. My Daddy was a 5-string banjo picker and I learned to play at old fiddle hoedowns--playing things like Arkansas Traveler." His early love of jazz came with his growing sophistication on guitar.  "We started learning more chords and you wanted to use them. And in country music, if you played more than three or four chords, you'd get blackballed and kicked off the stand (laughs). So I started playing jazz. I really loved the big band stuff. My real bag was the swing stuff. Howard Roberts was one of my favorite jazz players. He'd play the melody--then he'd get wild--but he'd always come back to the melody. You knew what he was playing."  Bob first came to Nashville in 1969 as a rep for Microfret guitars when he got his first contract to cut a single. "I was here demonstrating those guitars in the Hermitage Hotel and I got a record contract with a little label in Memphis. I cut two of the songs and got Pick of the Week in all three trade magazines--Cashbox, Billboard, etc. I told the fellow who owned the label: they're trying to send you a message--they want to know if you're serious. We have a potential hit. It will go up a lot slower than it comes down. He told me 'well Bob, I think you're a great talent but I've become disenchanted with the music business. The fellow who produced your session took me for twenty grand.' So I go back to Virginia and cut an instrumental album-- Bob Wood Plays It Cool . That got me on the Wheeling Jamboree and I stayed there 14 years. And when my record came out, I'd stand right there by the record table to sign autographs and say: 'well why you're waiting, I'll sign one of these..' Man! I'd sell them suckers like a goose eatin’ grapes."  Seeing the numerous and colorful Epiphone Les Pauls on the wall, Bob expressed his admiration for the Wizard who would have been 100 in 2015. "Les Paul blew my mind--trying to figure that stuff out. He taught me to set my goals higher. But I never tried to copy anyone. It wasn't my bag." Bob does share Les' knack for surviving potential career ending disasters. "He cut the tip off of one finger and then the tip off another in his cabinet shop," said his wife Cookie while Bob was warming up with the fiery intro to "How High the Moon."  "That's right," chimed Bob. "And both times it happened during the month of October. She told me you got to put a sign up in the shop--Closed in October. You cannot go in there in October again. And I haven't been in there in 10 years. When you feel that little sting, it's too late. No need looking' it's gone! The doctor told me he didn't think I'd play guitar again--this was October--and I said Doc I'll play Christmas carols. And I played Thanksgiving Carols--just cut the finger out of an old archery glove. Whatever works."  Bob played in the showroom for over an hour--the very kind of impromptu jam session that Epi Stathopoulo (and Les Paul as well) wanted to be a hallmark of the House of Stathopoulo. "This is a fine guitar," said Bob of his Riviera, "It's my baby. I play it all the time."

Two Thousand Fifteen will be remembered as the year 81-year old jazz and country bop guitarist Bob Wood became a modern media rock star after the second of two performance videos (the first featuring Bob careening through "Besame Mucho" at a Nashville music store) spread across the web or as he describes it, "went viral on me."

And it looks like the momentum is still building, which has helped to keep the former studio guitarist, Wheeling Jamboree member, and music store owner busy at concerts and festivals throughout the U.S. We've been especially thrilled that Bob has been performing exclusively with his favorite guitar, a 1968 Epiphone Riviera, which he brought to Epiphone's headquarters in Nashville on his first visit to the showroom just before Christmas accompanied by his wife Cookie. 

Bob bought the vintage Riviera from a customer who was in search of an acoustic guitar. "We had a good flattop in the store for about $500. One Sunday morning, a guy calls me up... and I live in Hendersonville, 18 miles from the store. He says 'Hey man, I heard you got a guitar up there for $500 that sounds just like a Martin. If I came up to the store would you sell it to me?'

"I'll tell you what son, if I drive 18 miles to that store on a Sunday morning you better be serious about buying a guitar. He said, 'if it sounds as good as they say it does, I'll buy it.' So I go up there and he tries it out. And he says: 'It’'s no, lie--it's pretty good. You take a trade in?' I said sure what you got. He brings in this old bass case and I'm thinking oh boy. And there it is--a perfect 1968 Epiphone Riviera. And I thought: maintain your composure Wood! Don't throw it man! So I said, well I guess we could go with it if you could throw in $150. And he jumped on it! I should be ashamed to tell it (laughs)."

Bob warmed up on fiddle tunes like Old Joe Clark ("I just found he was my great grandfather--my grandmother was a Clark") and lots of pop and jazz standards including a spirited Over the Rainbow. "I mainly play on the rhythm pickup. I like the mellow tone. Out on the road I never would buy a distortion pedal. I hated them. I was a bit of a purist--I thought why pay $500 for an amp that plays clean and then spend $35 on a box to make it sound dirty? It didn't make sense to me. And then I started playing in church and bam (slaps his knee) I had to go out and buy a distortion pedal. They were playing contemporary gospel. Now I got a pedal board I bring to church. If I go play a gig I leave it setting there."

In between expert renditions of guitar and fiddle standards, Bob recalled his early days as a performer. "I learned as a kid growing up in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia where I was born and raised. My Daddy was a 5-string banjo picker and I learned to play at old fiddle hoedowns--playing things like Arkansas Traveler." His early love of jazz came with his growing sophistication on guitar.

"We started learning more chords and you wanted to use them. And in country music, if you played more than three or four chords, you'd get blackballed and kicked off the stand (laughs). So I started playing jazz. I really loved the big band stuff. My real bag was the swing stuff. Howard Roberts was one of my favorite jazz players. He'd play the melody--then he'd get wild--but he'd always come back to the melody. You knew what he was playing."

Bob first came to Nashville in 1969 as a rep for Microfret guitars when he got his first contract to cut a single. "I was here demonstrating those guitars in the Hermitage Hotel and I got a record contract with a little label in Memphis. I cut two of the songs and got Pick of the Week in all three trade magazines--Cashbox, Billboard, etc. I told the fellow who owned the label: they're trying to send you a message--they want to know if you're serious. We have a potential hit. It will go up a lot slower than it comes down. He told me 'well Bob, I think you're a great talent but I've become disenchanted with the music business. The fellow who produced your session took me for twenty grand.' So I go back to Virginia and cut an instrumental album--Bob Wood Plays It Cool. That got me on the Wheeling Jamboree and I stayed there 14 years. And when my record came out, I'd stand right there by the record table to sign autographs and say: 'well why you're waiting, I'll sign one of these..' Man! I'd sell them suckers like a goose eatin’ grapes."

Seeing the numerous and colorful Epiphone Les Pauls on the wall, Bob expressed his admiration for the Wizard who would have been 100 in 2015. "Les Paul blew my mind--trying to figure that stuff out. He taught me to set my goals higher. But I never tried to copy anyone. It wasn't my bag." Bob does share Les' knack for surviving potential career ending disasters. "He cut the tip off of one finger and then the tip off another in his cabinet shop," said his wife Cookie while Bob was warming up with the fiery intro to "How High the Moon."

"That's right," chimed Bob. "And both times it happened during the month of October. She told me you got to put a sign up in the shop--Closed in October. You cannot go in there in October again. And I haven't been in there in 10 years. When you feel that little sting, it's too late. No need looking' it's gone! The doctor told me he didn't think I'd play guitar again--this was October--and I said Doc I'll play Christmas carols. And I played Thanksgiving Carols--just cut the finger out of an old archery glove. Whatever works."

Bob played in the showroom for over an hour--the very kind of impromptu jam session that Epi Stathopoulo (and Les Paul as well) wanted to be a hallmark of the House of Stathopoulo. "This is a fine guitar," said Bob of his Riviera, "It's my baby. I play it all the time."


Guitar World - Dec. 10, 2015 

Image and article taken from Guitar World

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81 YEAR OLD BOB WOOD SHREDS "CROSSROADS" ON NASHVILLE RADIO SHOW

CHRISTOPHER SCAPELLITI

DEC 10, 2015

Bob Wood enjoyed some fame on the interwebs recently when a video of the 81-year-old guitarist shredding at a Nashville music store went viral. In the video, Wood is shown casually tearing up the fretboard as he tackles the standard “Bésame Mucho” on his Epiphone Sheraton archtop.

The guitarslinger has kept busy ever since, as you can see in the newly filmed video shown below, in which Wood lays down some slick licks on the Robert Johnson song “Crossroads,” accompanied by Canadian country music singer and guitarist Lindsay Ell.

The performance took place last week on The Bobby Bones Show, a nationally syndicated weekday radio program out of WSIX-FM in Nashville. Bones got the idea to team up the guitar veteran and the up-and-coming singer-songwriter due to their shared shred skills.

“A couple weeks ago, 81-year-old Bob Wood went viral for casually playing guitar like a champ,” notes a post on the show’s web site. “So Bobby thought who better to bring in to play with Bob than the younger, female version of him—Lindsay Ell.”

Wood and Ell trade licks on their version of the blues classic, with Wood playing his Sheraton and turning in plenty of the fast licks that wowed so many viewers who saw his earlier video. If this is your first exposure to Ell, you’ll get a good chance to hear her guitar and vocal work as well.

You can learn more about how Wood’s video went viral in this interview with the guitarist. From the look of things, his 15 minutes of Internet fame are far from over. 


PEOPLE CELEBRITY OCT. 22, 2015

Article taken from People Celebrity on line

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81-YEAR-OLD GUITARIST CASUALLY STUNS ENTIRE NASHVILLE GUITAR SHOP

ALEX HEIGL 

October 22, 2015 12:20 PM

The Rolling Stones have nothing on Bob Wood.

Mick, Keef and the boys might be trucking into their 70s, but they’re youngins compared to 81-year-old Wood.

Wood achieved a measure of Internet fame this month when a Nashville guitar shop confusingly named British Audio Service uploaded a Facebook video of Wood playing an impressive version of the standard “B same Mucho.”

As the video racked up views (it’s currently sitting at just over 2 million) the Internet clamored for more information about Wood, which started to trickle in, mostly via Facebook comments from Wood’s assorted family members.

Wood grew up playing music in the Shenandoah Valley, and was signed on as a regular performer at Jamboree USA in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1970, where he performed for 10 years. He was named Entertainer of the Year by Eastern States Country Music Inc., and in 2007, he was inducted into the the Southern Legends Country Music Hall of Fame.

Wood cut several albums during his career, including this ice-cold piece of ’70s-era cool, Bob Wood Plays It Cool.


GUITAR WORLD NOV. 4, 2015

Article taken from Guitar World

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81-YEAR-OLD SHREDDER BOB WOOD TELLS THE STORY BEHIND HIS VIRAL VIDEO

CHRISTOPHER SCAPELLITI

NOV 4, 2015

Last week, we shared a video of 81-year-old guitarist Bob Wood shredding up a storm on an Epiphone Riviera at British Audio Service in Nashville.

Wood’s performance, shot about a year ago at the Nashville music store, has been enjoying its second viral life as of late, with pretty much every online news and entertainment outlet sharing the video.

Nashville NewsChannel 5 decided to sit down with their local celebrity and get the story behind the video from Wood himself. In their report, shown below, Wood explains how he happened to land himself in what has become an international news story.

“I had taken a couple amplifiers in to be repaired,” Wood says, “and when they told me they were ready, I took the guitar to check ’em out.”

Shane Radtke of British Audio Service says, “I was in the back at my bench and I heard somebody playing something pretty original. And I was like, Wow, that’s really cool. So I said, ‘Guys, let’s shoot a video of this.’ ”

Thanks to the video, Wood is enjoying some much deserved fame. Prior to the video, little was known about the guitarist, who was a regular performer at Jamboree USA in Wheeling, West Virginia, in 1970, where he performed for 10 years. In 1975 and 1976, Wood was awarded Entertainer of the Year by Eastern States Country Music Inc., and in 2007 was inducted into the Southern Legends Country Music Hall of Fame. He has cut several albums, including Bob Wood Plays It Cool.


TENNESSEAN OCT. 9, 2017

Part of USA Today Network

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THE STORY OF BOB WOOD: BETHPAGE FAMILY MAN, 83-YEAR-OLD GUITAR MASTER

Jen Todd, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseePublished 2:21 p.m. CT Oct. 6, 2017 | Updated 3:07 p.m. CT Oct. 9, 2017

Bob Wood plugged his 1968 Epiphone Riviera guitar into his amp, testing the sound.

The then 80-year-old sat in British Audio Service & Music on Charlotte Avenue in Nashville one day in 2014, his right hand nimbly finger picking the strings with his pick, his left swiftly working the fretboard.  His nub of a pinky finger kept up, too. And that was the day he went viral. "I said, 'What does that mean?'" the Bethpage resident said, recalling a conversation with his daughter, Mitzi. 

The video had 10,000 views in two days. As of Oct. 6, it's at 7.5 million. "About every month or so, somebody's got it going again," Wood said.

Playing with the greats

Because of the online recognition, he has since performed at the Global Leadership Summit in Chicago, the inaugural Celebrate Aging Film Festival in Franklin, and he played before an audience of 7,000 three times during DadFest in Chicago — and got a standing ovation each time.

"I guess my fingers are not supposed to work like that being 80 years old," Wood said.

While Wood's talent has reached millions since — and he thanks his age for that — Wood has been known in the music industry for decades, since his first gig at 12 years old on a live radio show. He has known and played with Carl Perkins, Lew DeWitt, Roy Clark and countless others. Even James Brown used to call him.

"I couldn't understand a word he said," Wood said. "He'd start rattling off so fast and, man, he'd lose me."

He has three albums in the national archives, which occurred after he presented Ovation Guitar's Bicentennial Guitar at the White House. He even played two shows with Les Paul.

"For me to follow Les Paul was like following a bulldozer with a spoon," Wood said.

And every year since their inception, he has played Downtown Gallatin's Squarefest and Main Street Festival, just as he will Saturday with his youngest daughter, Mitzi Wood and his son-in-law, Marshall Moody.

Recently, he played with "By the Way" singer Lindsay Ell on the Bobby Bones Show — but her video views didn't compare to Wood's. 

"I gave her a little boost," Wood laughed

Family always comes first

While doing his full-time job as a salesman for various musical equipment companies — Ampeg, Altec, SunnOvation Guitars — he worked himself in the music industry and got gigs, played sessions, etc. His first boost of fame was playing Wheeling Jamboreefrom 1970-1884.

A father of nine, Wood could have been a well-earning musician. Famed producer Sam Phillips invited him to be a sessions musician at Sun Records in Memphis for $100,000 the first year.

But it was 1968, six months after Martin Luther King, Jr. died, in the midst of the Vietnam War, and its protests. And Memphis didn't seem like a safe city for his young children, he said. 

"We were kids of an almost rich and famous person," daughter Melanie Wood-Moody joked. "That's alright. We were happy."

Making Tennessee home

While his musician friends wanted him to move to Tennessee long before he did, he ultimately settled his family in Sumner County while employed by Altec.  They moved to Hendersonville in 1974, when stores were scarce, where they lived for 21 years before moving to Bethpage. He even had a music store in White House from 1981-1986.

And he's thankful for each experience he's had, as he wrote in his song, "Ain't nobody on Earth richer than me."

Although he hasn't recorded songs in a decade, he assures fans he will put out new albums soon. 

Until then, keep watching his viral videos.

Booking Inquiry:  contact Robin Hardin, RHardin222@aol.com