Legendary guitar hero Eric Johnson's 1988 performance on the Austin City Limits TV show was an amazing performance. The performance is now available on DVD. It captures the magical guitar work and energy that only Eric Joh... more »nson live can deliver. Also available on CD.« less
Genres:Music Video & Concerts Sub-Genres:Pop, Rock & Roll Studio:New West Records Format:DVD - Color DVD Release Date: 11/01/2005 Original Release Date: 01/01/2005 Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005 Release Year: 2005 Run Time: 1hr 0min Screens: Color Number of Discs: 1 SwapaDVD Credits: 1 Total Copies: 0 Members Wishing: 2 MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated) Languages:English
"If you have even the slightest interest in the playing of an electric guitar you absolutely MUST check out this DVD.
Eric Johnson fans have been circulating old VHS copies of this for decades. EJ has appeared on "Austin City Limits" as often as any performer - perhaps helped by being from that town, although I don't recall seeing other Texans appearing nearly as often. Austin City Limits is one of the most treasured live-music shows in American History. Madonna and Britney Spears and other over-hyped lip-syncing media sell-outs can hog up the mainstream airways as much as they like - all Austin City Limits performers have artistic heft that can't be faked.
This 1988 performance is dated by Eric's "Flock of Seagulls" hairdo and Sergeant Pepper/Michael Jackson/John Phillip Sousa jacket. But the music is timeless. Eric joins his perfectly supporting 2-man bass and drums combo to blow our minds. The now-platinum Ah Via Musicom had just been released and it is fair to say he was "peaking". A known perfectionist in the studio, he would record tracks over and over and over again until they were "just right" and I saw in an interview that he simply didn't think he could play better than on that recording. That being said, he doesn't have the opportunity to "redo" on this live performance, but as he unleashes the most overwhelming guitar technique ever known it doesn't really matter, does it? The man is a force of nature in this performance. Best of all - the DVD features crystal clarity in both the picture and audio. Every one of his flood of notes rings like a bell.
"Musicom" cuts like "Steve's Boogie" and "Desert Rose" surround his performance of perhaps the most incredible instrumental in rock history "Cliffs of Dover". He also covers some Hendrix and "Are You Experienced?" makes us remember the left-handed master while marveling at Hendrix' able successor.
The album-oriented rock airwaves have been flooded for decades with speed demons who race up and down their stratocasters without a thought for tone or note selection. Here is where Eric Johnson completely shines: although as fast as Vai or Malmsteen, Mr. Johnson is as thoughtful and careful in his note selection as Clapton or Louis Armstrong. His tone is so bell-like clear... it is simply unrivaled.
Guitar fans - this is heaven."
The seminal Austin City Limits performance...
Darren L. Hightower | http://www.strumzilla.com | 10/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm going against my best insticts and putting some comments down before I actually receive my copy of this DVD. I know this performance well, because I have treasured my VHS recording of the PBS version for over 15 years. This is Eric during his Ah Via Musicom years, and he is really at his best from a playing standpoint. I saw this by chance while channel surfing back in 89, and I had no idea what I was in for. Seeing Eric live (on video) for the first time is one of a handful of great moments of guitar fandom that I have ever experienced. I obviously can't make any comments about the video or sound quality of this transfer, but I expect that they will be decent because the original broadcast quality was very good considering the standard media used then. This is what most Eric Johnson fans have been waiting for: a complete set on DVD quality video. He has appeared on various other compilation DVDs like G3 and the Crossroads Guitar Festival DVD, but this is the first set length DVD he has appeared on. There are a decent variety of tunes from that time period, mostly from Ah Via Musicom with a few Hendrix covers and some tracks form his Tones release. If you are a fan of Eric Johnson, I am sure this will be the most treasured video release of his that you will own. If you haven't seen Eric play live, you owe it yourself to check this out."
Capstone disc for your Eric Johnson collection
Steven E. Larson | Inverness, IL United States | 11/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many of us have never seen some of these songs performed live. I've seen Eric ~20 times since 1991, and this DVD treasure includes these performances new to me: *Love or Confusion *Trail of Tears (wonderful solo at 15:00) *Western Flyer (never even heard this one before) *East Wes *Are You Experienced?
Combine these with definitive live performances of Cliffs of Dover and Desert Rose, and one has a very exhilarating 60 minutes. Plus, if you play it loud through a decent sound system, it drives the kids out of the house! "
EJ's 5-Star DVD - Hopefully the first of many!!
T. Driscoll | Dallas, TX United States | 11/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been following Eric Johnson's career since 1979, so I was thrilled to hear about the release of EJ's first full live performance DVD! I glad to say that the finished product was well worth the wait!!
This DVD is taken from EJ's SECOND appearance on Austin City Limits in 1988. (He appeared on ACL in 1984, 1988, 1996, and 2000) The set list is a great mix of material from his already released 1st LP "Tones" and the "work in progress" of the legendary "Ah Via Musicom" record. Plus you get these added gems: 2 Hendrix covers, a very early version of "Camel's Night Out" from Venus Isle, and the very rare instrumental "Western Flyer". (Western Flyer has never been included on any official EJ release--just as part of the "Guitarspeak" compilation CD.)
As a surround sound enthusiast, I was really pleased with the DTS Audio soundtrack option. Overall, I thought that the audio/video transfering and mastering were very well done considering that the original source was 17 years old!!
Bravo to Austin City Limits, New West Records, and (of course) EJ for releasing this long-awaited gem! I sure would love to see DVD releases of the other 3 EJ ACL performances in the near future!! (How about an EJ DVD boxed set????)"
Just In Time for Christmas !!
Thomas M. O'Hara | East Bay - San Francisco | 11/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Austin City Limits plays late on Saturday nights in the Bay Area. I've caught a lot of great music from artists I might have missed thanks to PBS and ACL.
One night, in 1989, I'm running the dial, and stop at Austin City Limits. I see and hear a guy in a vintage band jacket playing incredible guitar like I've never heard before. It was so good, I almost threw open my front door and yelled an early morning "Are you hearing this? !!!" to my neighborhood.
Of all the Austin City Limits shows I've loved, this one was always on my mind, and # 1 on my want list.
I found it last night while "running the dial" at my local shop.
A great performance of a great set. Great picture and sound, doesn't look like 1988 vintage source material.
I will put this on for family and friends to demo the new screen/sound system, and wait for the inevitable " Wow ! Who is this guy ?!!" (I love my family, but they're not the most musically inclined bunch)...
I'm a wannabee player with one acoustic and one electric to my name, but may I observe that this is also an excellent performance for established players and serious students to "take to school" ? There are lots of closeup shots of EJ's hands that might not tell you how he creates those wonderful tones, but may point you in the right direction.
Thank you, New West Records and ACL ! Now, how about that Double Trouble set for Series Four ?"