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Mike Keneally's Guest Host Hall Of Fame

John Willcoxon

Taylor Acoustic Clinic
Great Lake Music
Mundelein, IL
May 30, 2001

Hello! Willcoxon reporting for duty again. On 5/30/01, just a couple scant weeks after another triumphant Martyr's gig, I had the opportunity to see MK & BB do their Taylor Clinic thang less than an hour from my humble little home in CheeseLand. Along with Christine Holz, we both cross promoted MK's Illinois visits. The Martyr's turnout was great, and there were more people in Mundelein than I expected. Yay for MK & BB! Great Lake Music is a store I didn't even know existed. When informed of my Guest Helper status, I made it a point to get down to the store and not only introduce myself, but to see if there was anything I could do to help out. I returned a week or two later and dumped a bunch of flyers off. I was pleasantly surprised at the promo stuff Taylor had sent Jeff to promote the clinic. I snooped around the store and drooled over quite a few Taylors. On the clinic day, our favorite road warriors were locked in traffic on the infamous Rt.60 aka Town Line Road. So much for taking them out for pizza. The boys did a brief sound check, and people started filing in. The clinic opened with a youngster doing a 2 song recital. That kid (Cameron) was a joy to watch, I envy his early headstart on guitar playing. I hope he sticks with it. Mike & Bryan took the stage after the owner's intro and a good ribbing messing up Bryan's name. It was SRO at the store, and I must say, the owner's took good care of the attendees. There was plenty of pop, some junk food (home baked cupcakes, brownies) and even some pizza. All that was missing was a keg of Heineken! The guys blazed through the following tunes, intertwined with some informative Q & A and Taylorspeak:

Career/Quimby/I Can't Stop
The Desired Effect
My Dilemma
Inca Roads

There were various Elixir string giveaways with some easy, and not so easy (for me!) trivia questions. Great Lake Music also had 2 very special giveaways, a Big Baby Taylor, and an Ultrasound acoustic guitar amp. The big 2 were given away via specially stamped Taylor catalogs that were handed out at random to all the attendees. When the secret card with the giveaway instructions was handed to Bryan, I was shocked to find the little Cocabillie (sp?) secret stamp on my catalog. This won me the amp. The Big Baby Taylor went to a good friend of mine much to the shock & disbelief of Mike & Bryan. As it is clearly documented on my video, MK & BB had NOTHING to do with these 2 giveaways, as they were organized by the store owner who until recently, didn't even know who Mike & Bryan were. Mike & Bryan sure looked like they had a good time. Since this was my first clinic experience, I wasn't sure what to expect but the sound and the playing was immaculate. I said it 3 years ago about the first full headlining BFD show I got to see, it feels like an extended family environment around this entourage. Hell, my pal even got a brief lesson from Mike on playing "The Desired Effect". One of the more funny moments happened when MK leaned over too close to the amp during Bryan's talk about the new Taylor necks and let loose a blast of hollowbody feedback that would have made Ted Nugent smile. As Bryan stated, "Taylor Guitars, they can survive ANYTHING!" It was great to get a bonus visit from everyone so close to home, here's to hoping they don't wait another 3 years before heading back here again. One last thought, promise! Thanks to some generous Indians at a Wisconsin casino, I'm now the proud owner of a Taylor 410ce. All the publicity and travel DOES work. Nothing I played over the last year and a half compares to the Taylors. It probably doesn't hurt that these fine instruments can sell themselves. I think it's about time for that Mike Keneally signature model. If you need someone to evaluate one, you know how to reach me. I can't guarantee you'll get it back though! : )

Thanks for reading, Go see MK and Co. anytime & anyplace you can. Buy lots of stuff too! You WON'T be disappointed!

John Willcoxon (JWDQ)

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Mike Keneally's Guest Host Hall Of Fame

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