This particular opportunity flounced in my direction last year…”say, Mike Keneally,” said Strandberg Guitars to me, “can you make us a video promoting our new pickups?” I’ve been playing Strandbergs for a couple of years and getting a huge kick out of them, so I was very pleased to do so, and additionally pleased that the song I made up to highlight the different pickup configurations turned out to be such a peculiar beast. I hope you enjoy this song as much as I enjoyed making a song that I hoped you would enjoy!
It is hubris, given the history of the world, for me to refer to an indignity perpetrated by a record company upon me as “a wrong.” But still, making this video last year with Marc Bonilla did somehow “right a” very insignificant-in-the-scheme-of-things “wrong” for me, in that Warner Bros. Records forbade Marc Bonilla to record this duet with me on his second album American Matador back in 1992. They wanted Marc to occupy a Satriani/Vai-like guitar-hero spot on the label roster, and they were eager for Marc to play both guitar parts himself, which he did, and did brilliantly.
I must also say that, at that time, it was probably more “right” from a musical standpoint for Marc to play the second part, as I don’t doubt for a second that he executed the part more crisply and accurately than I would have back then. When he asked me in 2020 to finally do the duet he’d asked me to do with him all those years ago, I felt I was ready to finally do it justice. Of course, it still took me about a month solid of practice, to the exclusion of nearly all other human activity. My gratitude to Sarah for enduring weeks of my constant practice of my part over, and over, and over, and over again.
And thank you Marc for asking me to do this! It was fun, nearly impossible, and extremely satisfying.
Back in ’08, our talented friend Dimitriya was inspired to animate a portion of Mike’s song “Beautiful.” That’s how we met her, which led to her amazing work on the “Popes” video from You Must Be This Tall. With the reissuing of the 2013 mix of Sluggo!, we all decided to spruce up the video with the new mix of the song. Enjoy!