Hi Rick, I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to reach out (after way too long) and just mention that I really was moved by your recent blog post about Ede’s passing and your friendship. I discovered him when he was demoing one of your guitars and became an instant fan of his music. (I wish there was more!) When I reached out to him to tell him, he was gracious, friendly, and very complimentary of you and your instruments. I hope that you are doing well. I recently watched the videos that we filmed at UNH and always love hearing Cupid! All the best, David
So good to hear from David.
I’ve flown the flag at half-mast since Ede Wright’s passing, but if his spirit were to appear in my shop, his first words would be: “Look forward.”
Ede’s death was a tragic and unnecessary side effect of the greater cultural-psychological illness that has swept through our society these last two years. Like every scorched earth event though, green shoots appear in the aftermath.
True friendships have grown stronger. Dead wood has burned away. Autumn leaves are peak color, birds calling these final moments of sunlit warmth. Blame my errors on my youth.
Ede was my friend. We had a fierce friendship, like brothers. His birthday only a few days from mine, one year apart.
Ede was my harshest critic…nobody could pick apart one of my builds like he could. Not even close, although Steve Blucher pokes me with the pointed stick pretty good sometimes. Ede was molecular, though. Whenever I sent a guitar to him for testing, I braced for a week of text messages and phone calls as he pulled the meat off the carcass. There was an Homeric story arc to the analysis, an epic of discovery: destruction, redemption. Articulate dissection which always transformed me into a better artist. Sacrificial flesh burned from the bones over open flames.
I loved him for that.
Only a very few players have earned test pilot status with me, and there’s the reason. You’ve got to be willing to hit with full force.
So many memories…
Earthbound Gravity arriving FedEx in spring of 2014 after an email introduction. Eyes closed, listening to his CD on the big monitors in the main room of the little cottage in Califon, NJ.
Driving from Fort Worth to Dallas to meet Ede on tour in the lobby of the airport hotel. USM™ with me. A long conversation as he played acoustically in the Texas sunlight through glass window walls. Introducing me to one of the band’s beautiful female vocalists.
Microbrews and burgers a few blocks from his apartment in Atlanta, after hours of testing. Discussing guitars and bicycling — torn hamstring — diving accident horsing with nephews in the pool at a family gathering. Gabriel Levi with us, attending AIMM at the time. If there is any one thing Ede is most proud of, I would guess it was helping Gabriel launch his career. Gabriel is both the son Ede never had, and also the player who is stepping into his legacy.
Ede arriving to our Magnets and Wire session at Steve Sjuggerud’s place in Florida, November, 2019. Setting up his amps and coaching me on mic placement. His epic duel with Chris Buono, covering Superstition (Casting an appropriate spell to make the noise go away). The three of us alone at dinner after, me watching the true respect those two Masters had for each other.
Tour reports from life on the bus, in airports, on stages. Local foods and beers. An absolute passion and educated palette for red wines.
Our final phone conversation. Ede laying out with clinical honesty the side effects of the C19 vaccine that destroyed his heart. Being on the transplant list, knowing there was not enough time. Wanting to record as much as he could in the remaining few months.
Last night, Ede sent me the link to this video. I’ve probably listened a dozen times and still not caught all of his grace notes and sly references (Steely Dan, Yngwie Malmsteen) in this blues riff. I don’t know if people fully appreciate how truly great of a player he is.
“Thanks, Rick. The clean tone of this amp with the Red Guitar is the best I’ve heard. Goshawk really blends with the (Glaswerks Zingaro) in a beautiful way. It’s a bit of a departure from what you may be used to hearing me play, but I’m trying to show more of my range in these videos. Doesn’t hurt that Goshawk has more range than I do.” (Ede Wright)
“Gorgeous! It resonates complicated realities with warmth. Beautiful framing and light, too.” (Killick Hinds)
“Moved almost to tears. That is great. I heard sadness with joy underneath.” (Ken Kinter)
“Thanks very much guys. This lockdown kind of robbed me of creativity for a while, the gut punch of reality made me turn inward for a bit. I’m trying to channel that into something resembling a slight incline.” (Ede Wright)