Real Guitar Heroes

Zing go the strings at the Colonel’s Super Dooper Guitar Party
By CHRIS CONTI  |  October 13, 2009

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PAWTUCKET-BOUND Miss Barbara Lynn.

Johnny "The Colonel" Maguire's legacy is carved in stone around these parts, from his shredding with the Amazing Royal Crowns to his Lucky Diamonds and, most recently, a re-gathering of his beloved Cobra-Matics crew (released on his Original Recipe Recordings). Maguire's devotion and passion within the local music community is unwavering, and his ongoing obsession with the guitar has culminated in a blowout weekend at the German Hall in Pawtucket. Here comes the Colonel's 1st Annual Super Dooper Guitar Party, a three-day salute with special guests coming in from far and wide, including Finland rockabilly maven Lester Peabody and Beaumont, Texas blues legend Miss Barbara Lynn. Maguire has advertised internationally and expects a hefty crowd throughout the weekend. Single-day tickets (plus three-day passes) are available at ColonelsGuitarParty.com, as well as the full schedule (with 20 hours of live music over three days). The ever-exuberant Maguire is amped, so to speak, about the event.

"I am bringing in great performers that have never performed in Rhode Island before and this exact lineup will probably never be duplicated or matched in these parts," Maguire told me last week. "It has been a massive effort trying to round everyone up and make the schedule fit and work for all involved."

Part-museum exhibit and part-music festival, Maguire encourages attendees to bring gear for sale or trade and take part in clinics with the performers. Food and brews will also be available, along with door prizes and guitar raffles from Gretsch Guitars. Collectors and gearheads alike will be in their element: Maguire promises "guitars and amps galore.

"Music fans will get to see and meet some amazing guitarists, take pictures, and get autographs," the Colonel said. "I want everyone to feel my love and passion for music and the people that make these beautiful instruments that provide such great sounds."

As far as the ideal venue, the Colonel says he nailed it. "I went to a wedding at the German Hall last year for Jack [Hanlon] from the Amazing Royal Crowns, and as soon as I walked in I knew I had to have a show there. It has the elegant, old-school 1940s and '50s vibe that I was looking for."

The festival has been in the works since March, originally inspired by "one of the craziest guitars I ever bought," Maguire said. And though the logistics, sponsorship, and scheduling details were admittedly tough, the Colonel already has his sights set on next year's showcase.

"The Guitar Party definitely has the potential to get bigger and better," Maguire said. "I'm still learning how to produce bigger shows and stay within a budget and time frame while keeping everyone involved happy."

While Maguire is excited to see some of his idols for the first time onstage, he's equally jazzed about presenting some sort of Holy Grail of guitars, with "the crown jewel" to be revealed Friday during the Cobra-Matics' set.

"It is a ridiculously incredible guitar and only the guys in my band and the guys at Noll Guitars who have been working on it have seen it. Bring your cameras for sure."

THE SUPER DOOPER GUITAR PARTY FEATURING MISS BARBARA LYNN BROWN BIRD RUDY RELIC J.GEILS KINGS OF STRINGS MANY MORE | The German Hall, 78 Carter Ave, Pawtucket | October 16-18 | $25 per session, $90 weekend pass |ColonelsGuitarParty.com

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