By Damian Fanelli | Photo: Ebet Roberts/Getty Images
A small nonprofit organization called Video Culture is attempting to raise funds to produce a long-overdue documentary dedicated to one of the most naturally gifted guitarists to walk the planet—the late, great Danny Gatton.
The new film, which is titled The Humbler after Gatton’s most popular (and fitting) nickname, would be the first in-depth exploration of the life, music and legacy of a troubled guitar genius. Video Culture has set up a fundraising page at Indiegogo.com. The group’s goal? A modest-sounding (but flexible) $36,000. They’re already 41 percent there as of this writing.
Besides “The Humbler,” Gatton was called “the Telemaster” and “the world’s greatest unknown guitarist” (a nickname he shared with his buddy Roy Buchanan). He could play country, rockabilly, jazz and blues with equal authority—and often, as we’ve seen, with a full beer bottle in his hand. Steve Vai once said Gatton “comes closer than anyone else to being the best guitar player that ever lived.” Gatton committed suicide in 1994 at age 49.
If you’re unfamiliar with Gatton’s work, watch the video below and explore 1987’s Unfinished Business and 1991’s 88 Elmira St.