Chicago (August 12, 2008)--The answer to that question isn't easy--if he's playing his blues guitar for an audience, it still doesn't mean Buddy Guy is on a stage. The five-time Grammy-winning blues legend has been known to wander off into the audience--or further--at the end of a 150 ft. cord.
"Matter of fact, I used to even go outside at the end of a cord," Guy recalls of days past. "One night at a show in Buffalo, I actually walked out, got on a bus, and drove off. The driver was kind enough to stop and let me off before I stretched the cord too tight."
Guy's offstage adventures with his guitar have been abetted in the present tense thanks to the addition of Shure UHF-R wireless to his repertoire. Now, having effectively cut the cord, he has given added range to his journeys.
"Well, without Shure...I don't know," Guy admits with earnest thoughtfulness. "There are a lot of things I'm doing that I just couldn't do. They're the best you have ever seen, y'know. I'm always confident when I'm using this stuff, and I'm not just saying that. It works."
Guy may be assured of his wireless going on with the show night-after-night, but looking at the bigger picture, one can't help but marvel at how he keeps his place in the show when he's playing outside of a venue on the street or in other areas distant from the stage without in-ear personal monitors.
"Well, sometimes I might get lost," he confides with a laugh and wry grin. "Then I have to just play a fake game and stop until I hear some kind of beat coming off the stage. You can't rehearse this, but if you play with a band long enough, they know. If I lose time and come back into the building, they'll start right off when they see me. If you're in my band, you have to really be paying attention to what I'm doing and be ready to pick up and play at any time."