April 23, 2021

Frank "Poncho" Sampedro: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Former Crazy Horse guitarist Frank "Poncho" Sampedro was interviewed by The Aquarium Drunkard. On recording Cortez The Killer:

Both of my parents are from Spain. I grew up wanting to be a bull fighter. My home wasn’t a typical American home. I lived in Mexico for over three years. When we recorded “Cortez,” I had just smoked some angel dust when Neil walked out into Briggs’ backyard and said, “Come on, Poncho, I got this song. It’s easy to play—just three chords. Let’s record it now.” At the time, I was a junkie and high on smack and blow, plus the angel dust. We went in, put on our guitars and just played the whole thing and that was the take. The power even went off in the control room but not in the room where we were playing. Briggs got the power back on. We listened to where it dropped out and then punched back in right in the right place. We did lose the third verse. Something about “a rocky grave.” Neil never sang it again.

In my stoned dream, I imagined the song started on the D chord. It starts on the Em. So, Neil emphasizes the Em and I emphasize the D. But what I’m getting at is—“Cortez” lives in my hands! I’ve listened to many different versions of that song and Neil has played it with a few different configurations. None of them get it! I can play with someone who only knows a couple of chords and it sounds just like the recording from that day. I can play it over the phone to you and you will ask if that was the record! It’s just a part of me! “Cortez” lives in my hands. I’m not trying to put anyone down! It is just something I can’t understand why others don’t get it

» Frank "Poncho" Sampedro on Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment