Chris Buono is battling pinched nerve spinal issues caused (in part) by years of tortured ergonomic playing posture. The resulting neuropathy brings on debilitating chronic pain and numbness extending from his left shoulder all the way down to his thumb.
This is a recurring theme I’ve seen in many players to various degrees, throughout my career. The solution involves better instrument design.
Our priority was threefold…
First, design an instrument focused on posture correction to help relive discomfort, allowing Chris to continue to work as he heals. Second, to help prevent or at least greatly diminish future nerve inflammation issues. We want to keep Chris healthy so he can continue his career for decades to come.
Equally importantly, the guitar will simultaneously extend his formidable fretless technique into new territory.
Fretless guitar is extraordinarily difficult to master. A player must have the skilled intonation of a classical stringed instrument musician—violin, viola, cello—plus the added ability to precisely form chords.
The reward for mastery is supreme expressiveness.
Yesterday I was treated to a private test flight when we met in his studio to debut the new guitar. Running straight into a hot-rodded vintage Marshall, one of the first things he played was EVH’s Panama solo. Absolutely mesmerizing to watch.
Chris is going to be dangerous on this machine.
Total game changer. (Chris Buono)
This is the single best piece of “functional art” I have ever seen. AMAZING.
(Steve Pucciarelli: Reactive Neuro Physical Advancement Center)
Hope you’re well.
I’m very sorry for the loss of your friend: you have my heartfelt condolences during this difficult time. I didn’t know Ede Wright but I’m sure he was a great person, as you touchingly described in your blog.
I’ll finally be back touring after a few setbacks: first an injured shoulder, then I had a bike accident on October 8th, just before a European tour, in which I broke 8 ribs! Very, very, painful.
I’ll tour with the California Guitar Trio, playing my solo project “Simple Music for Difficult People”. I will also join them during the last part of the show.
I really hope there is one near you, as I would love to meet you again.
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,
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.
Another deep bond and friendship, there.
His blistering outro solo on Death of Superman.
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.