Pages of Fire: Allan Holdsworth Speaks

Q: How were you affected by John McLaughlin's music?

Allan Holdsworth:
I've always liked John McLaughlin's playing, because he always sounded like an individual, a strong individual. That's one of the things I appreciate the most. Pat Metheny, I feel the same way about him. Absolutely incredible, and I kind of thrive on the difference. The thing that makes them different is the exciting thing. I was always a big fan of John McLaughlin, I like everything he does, because there's nobody that sounds like John McLaughlin. I see him as one of those guys whose head sticks out way above everyone. I like all the Mahavishnu albums-I loved Billy Cobham, he was absolutely unbelieveable. I dug Billy Cobham before that band, when he had the band Dreams, with Michael Brecker. So when John came out with his first album, with Billy Cobham on it, it was great just to hear Billy Cobham again. An absolute monster. Actually, I have to say that my favorite stuff john mcLaughlin has done is on acoustic guitar. To me, with all those musicians, it really wouldn't matter what they played. It wouldn't matter to me if john Mc Laughlin played saxophone, he'd still be who he is, and I feel that way about all those guys. Keith Jarrett, it doesn't matter that he plays the piano, the piano is totally unimportant. I'm not a big piano fan, and it's not an instrument i go out and seek. I don't just like John McLaughlin, the guitarist, i dig him as a musician because of the music that he's written, and the things he's played. And I do like it more when he plays acoustic guitar. He just seems unbelievably strong on that.