Guitar great Derek Trucks offers advice to teen star Quinn Sullivan

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      Derek Trucks knows what it's like to be just a kid and have everybody hollerin' about how goddamn great you are. He bought his first guitar at a yard sale when he was nine and by his 13th birthday had played alongside Buddy Guy and opened for the Allman Brothers.

      Trucks's early arrival at guitar-hero status had me thinking about the similar situation with Quinn Sullivan, the 14-year-old Strat-slinger who opens for his mentor Buddy Guy at Coquitlam's Red Robinson Show Theatre tonight.

      I'd interviewed Sullivan last week, the day before calling Trucks in advance of the Tedeschi Trucks Band show at Vancouver's Vogue Theatre next Friday (November 8). So it seemed only fittin' to ask the elder picker if he had any career advice for the new kid on the block.

      "I think the only thing you can do is keep doin' what you're doin'," said Trucks.  "I mean, you have to keep your head on straight. At that age there's a lot of smoke and hype that comes at you, and I think it's important to try and steer as clear of that as you can, and not buy into it.

      "The bottom line is you gotta keep makin' music and make it relevent," he added, "and grow at all times. I mean Quinn's super-talented, but I think the real work probably starts right now for him. Playin' and bein' good naturally is just that: it's natural and it just happens. And that's kind of the easy part, in a way. It's trying to make that transition into making it a lifelong thing that I think is hard for a lot of people."

      Trucks added that's he's not too worried about Sullivan handling all the pressure of stardom since he's got "a good head on his shoulders".

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      6 Comments

      Carol Sullivan

      Nov 2, 2013 at 7:21am

      Nice article.

      mike gulas

      Nov 2, 2013 at 8:53am

      two of my fav guitarist in te world today

      Scott Herig

      Nov 2, 2013 at 9:40am

      Derek knows.

      George Brissette

      Nov 2, 2013 at 4:09pm

      Check out Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi Live on Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival DVD's available at the VPL.

      Doug Edwards

      Dec 14, 2013 at 3:46am

      All of the gratitude that I express is genuine; no smoke, hype, or bs. You guitarists don't know what kind of therapy you provide as well as groove. Music is everything to me. I'm eternally grateful. Thank God for talented people and creative geniuses! All love, guys...

      Doug Edwards

      Dec 14, 2013 at 3:59am

      I love Derek's Skydog shirt. Even those of us who didn't know Duane Allman miss him.