Overview | Blog Site | Memorial August 14, 2005 |

  Memories of Ted  
(Page 1) (Page 2) (Page 3) (Page 4) (Page 5) (Page 6) (Page 7) (Page 8)(Page 9 )

The genius and beauty of Ted Greene is huge. I feel blessed to have known him and spent time with him, albeit briefly. What Ted did for me, and my family, is something few individuals are capable of: he inspired thought, hard work and passion. I’ll be forever grateful, mostly, though, for Ted coming into the life of my husband and re-igniting Lenny’s love of music. After a earning a living playing guitar and honing his craft with practice and lessons from a variety of older professionals, Lenny diverted his musical career some years ago to be available for our children and me. It wasn’t until he started taking lessons from Ted that I saw Lenny’s passion return and blossom. Each week, on Wednesday, I would look forward to hearing about the amazing exchange of information that had taken place, listen to the spiritual and technical insights Ted had imparted that Lenny diligently practiced. It was uplifting for me as well as my husband. Once, my college-age, trumpet-playing son went to Ted’s to keep the lesson appointment when Lenny couldn’t make it. He felt the magic. And I had the pleasure of talking with Ted as well as watching him perform. As a teacher, I recognized in Ted the expertise, intensity and love of his craft that makes an amazing instructor as well as practioner. But mostly, Ted was a valued friend to those who got to know him. Ted Greene will be sorely missed but his spirit will live on in the lessons he imparted, the music he made and the people whose lives he touched.

Truly, Debbi Coltun
July 27, 2005 1:12 PM


I got an email with Ted Greene in the subject line, and I thought Ted Greene would be giving a master class in the area. I'm saddned by his passing and give my deepest condolences to his family and friends. I bought his book Chord Chemistry long before I had any business buying it and it is still a valuable resource. The masters who come before us...we should cherish the time we have with them and work as hard as we can to have something to pass alone to the next generation, as Ted has for all of us.

(No Name)
July 27, 2005 1:55 PM


I first met Ted at Norm's Rare Guitars back in the early 1990's. If my memory serves me well it was on a Tuesday and I was just hanging out and Ted came in (at the time I didn't know who he was). Dan Durhren, who was Norm's partner at that time approached me and did his Jimmy Stewart meets Mumbles voice and says to me "Jim, Jim, just shut-up for a minute!" I asked why, and Dan said if you will be quiet, he might play (guitar) and he is the best there is. I heeded Dan's advise and sure enough Ted grabbed a Telecaster off the wall and plugged it into a Silver Face Twin Reverb and played some of the most incredible music I have ever heard. In less than 5 minutes Ted had coaxed just about every imaginable tone possible and in several genres of music.

After Ted left, I asked Dan who that was and he told me that was Ted Greene.

The next time I met Ted was again at Norm's and I was doodling away on a guitar trying to figure out a song and doing a bad job of it. After about 10 minutes Ted walked by me and casually said you have a good right hand. I later learned that is what Ted is all about, always had something kind to say.

One of my biggest regrets will be not getting a chance to see Ted play more than I did or ever get to know him more than just a couple of brief encounters at a guitar store as he was a true gentleman as well as one hell of guitarist!

E.J. "Big Jim" Mead said...
July 27, 2005 2:23 PM


I lived for years in the same building that Ted lived and taught. When he had a spare moment we would talk about all genres of music. What I loved most about him was his genuine kindness. I would like to attend along with a friend who also knew Ted well. I will miss him greatly. God bless Ted and his family.

Jason D. Kuhar
July 27, 2005 2:35 PM


My friend Brian and I have just returned home to Ventura after making a trip to Ted's apartment. When I heard the news, about his passing, it seemed to be the only thing that made any sense. I stood in front of that familiar door, now sealed with an L.A. County Coroner seal, and thought of all the musicial trips Ted had taken me on during my lessons with him. The apt. manager very generously invited us into her apt. to talk about her friend Ted.

I wish I could come up with one 'Ted' story that would say it all, but I can't right now; so here are a few memories:

The time Ted insisted I borrow an early priceless 'Broadcaster' to check out-"Bring it back when you feel like it"

One time the student after me called and cancelled. Ted invited me to stay and continued my lesson, playing and talking, then thanked me for staying over!

Ted's genuine pain when he told me that he had to increase his (really low) teaching fee. I told him it was cheap at twice the price, but I know he was afraid that someone could not afford a few more dollars.

One time Ted was playing through a little Yamaha practice amp. Of course, he sounded great, and after a tender ballad, I told him how good the amp sounded. He says yeah and, after twisting a few knobs, blasts out some rockin riffs. "gets a great Clapton tone" he says with a big grin....

Play on Ted
Dennis Belt
July 27, 2005 3:49 PM


I came to Los Angeles when I was 21. I had come from a jazz-musical background, I was mainly a singer, and had attended Berklee, where Ted's name floated around the guitarists...that was 72-75. When I got here I waitressed at Dante's, the main jazz club in LA at the time. Ted was there one nite...happened to faint because the music volume bothered him! (you guys know how Ted felt about music volume!) We became friends and when he found out I sang, he suggested getting together... We did, and started rehearsing; we modulated every song at the bridge! Then we were ready for a gig...I put up about 4 or 5 signs at some music stores. I convinced David Abhari from the Sound Room in Studio City to let us play, we were one of the first live bands to play there. I showed up to my first gig in L.A. that nite...to a packed house...no standing room left! We played that club once a week for a year...

One time we were hired for a private party in the Hollywood Hills. About 3/4 way through the party people stopped partying and sat down and listened to the rest of the gig.....That happened more than once!

Words are just words...what they signify is important. To say that Ted was kind and full of humor brings to my mind and body the warmth that Ted, the spirit, is. Ted, the spirit, is not dead and will never die. He has and continues to affect thousands of people because of the quality of livingness that he put out into the world. To not be able to hug him or see the whole package, body and all, is so very sad. But I can visit Ted whenever I want to. He has affected me. Beautifully. What more in this lifetime could anyone want?

Love, Cathy Segal-Garcia
July 27, 2005 4:03 PM


Jason D. Kuhar, thanks for everything you have done for Ted.

~Dan Sawyer
July 27, 2005 5:25 PM


OK, it's 1971 and I'm finally old enough to hit the bars. My friend Mike Rogers (son of Shorty) says we have to go see Ted play at some little joint on Van Nuys Blvd. It's just a hole in the wall, but the band is rockin' and Ted just SHINES!.
Many years later I get Ted a gig at a reception, having talked the people into a solo guitarist. Ted shows up with a little fender amp and Tele, plunks his but down and just plays. A couple hours go by and everyone is having dinner. I've arranged for Ted's meal and go up to let him know he should take a break and sit and eat with everyone.
"Ted, come on let's grab a bite."
"No thanks man." he says.
"Come on man,The food's really good here and you haven't stopped playing for 2 1/2 hours."
He looks up at me and without missing a lick says, "I don't need to eat. I don't need a break. I just want to keep playing guitar."

Play on Ted.
I'll miss you.
Loni Specter
producer, LA Guitar Show, AMP SHOW
July 27, 2005 6:07 PM


I became aware of Ted through another cult-like guitar hero, Shawn Lane. In the liner notes of his 1999 CD "The Tri-tone Fascination", Shawn wrote:
"and now please lets wish for another album by the master Ted Greene." It wasn't until years later that I finally heard his "Solo Guitar" on CD. Ted was indeed a master, and it's nice to hear from people here what a kind person he was as well. Shawn died at the age of 40 in 2003, and maybe right now he and Ted are chatting it up about music.

J. McAllister
July 27, 2005 6:32 PM


I met Ted about twenty five years ago. He was a sports card collector and used to come into my husband's store. He'd also come to our house a few times that summer and played for us as we sang along. I knew he taught guitar but had no idea at the time, of the genius of the man. So one summer when my daughter had a broken leg and couldn't partake in much of anything, I thought Ted could give her a few lessons to keep her busy for the summer (what I didn't realize is that it was like asking Einstein to teach Physics 1). He politely declined, saying he was very busy, but gave me the name of a guitar store where he said they gave lessons. I went to sign her up for lessons and and was asked who recommended them. I said, Oh, a friend of mine. His name's Ted Greene. The response shocked me. "Ted Greene is your friend?!," and the employee called the others over to tell them that. I remember asking, "Why the big deal?" It was then that they showed my a copy of Chord Chemistry, Ted's album, and the Ted Greene Guitar Strings that they sold, informing me of Ted's genius. And he was my friend. Wasn't I a lucky one............humble Ted, gifted Ted, dear, dear Ted.

Paula Himmelstein
6:26 PM
July 27, 2005 6:52 PM


I did the last major interview with Ted and would like to share it with all of you. It was the culmination of many hours of often fascinating conversation and I hope it'll give you some insight into his brilliance. It will also be in my upcoming book, "Conversations With Great Jazz Guitarists" published by Mel Bay.
We've lost a true humanitarian and magnificient talent. Just type this address into your browser: http://www.jimcarlton.com/Ted%20Green%20Interview.pdf

Jim Carlton
July 27, 2005 7:09 PM


Jim's interview with Ted can also be reached simply by going to the links section on the front page and clicking on it. Thanks so much, Jim for posting this...If anyone else has something they'd like to post, photos or otherwise, please email myself or Dan.

Adam (Tyler)
July 27, 2005 7:55 PM


Ted went with my mother in law and picked out my first guitar. He restrung it for me and showed me my first chords. (Playing them lefthanded) It was the best birthday present I ever got. He always had such kind words, telling me "I know your going to do it". The next time I saw him I was so taken by his talent I couldn't even play, but he still told me how much I'd improved. That feeling of awe never changed, nor did his words of encouragement. He said if you ever get down just switch hands and it will show you how far you have come. I feel so honored just to have known him. He will truly be missed!

Dave Kerbeck
July 27, 2005 9:51 PM


I first met Ted in the early '70s while shopping for a tele at Betnun Music in Los Angeles. I remember hearing what I thought were two guitarists playing in another room. When I looked around the corner there was only one player, and of course it was Ted. His gentleness and artistry are the two traits I will remember the most.

Our paths crossed many times over the years and every time I felt I was in the presence of a great artist and an exceptional human being.
Ted had a profound influence on guitarists everywhere and it's difficult to imagine a world without him.

Thank you Ted for making our world a more beautiful place. I'll never forget the beauty of your playing, or the purity of your heart.

Jody Fisher
July 27, 2005 10:09 PM


It fills me with great sadness to say goodbye to my mentor and dear friend Ted Greene. The lessons and friendship I had with Ted over period of a decade were truly special. His generosity in other matters and support he gave me in my life were also testament to his kindness. It was an honor and a significant event in my life to meet and get to know this brilliant master.

Dear Ted; thank you for sharing your incredible knowledge and for the warmth of your friendship. I will miss you my dear friend.

frank nazarian
July 28, 2005 1:57 AM


Ted was probably the most inspiring man I have had the priviledge of meeting. As an Australian resident, I managed to organise a handful of lessons during my infrequent visits to LA. It is no exaggeration to say that these meetings had a profound and lasting effect upon my life. On one occasion, I inquired as to why he performed so infrequently. His response was that it was no longer a priority. When pressing him as to what WAS a priority, he replied simply: knowledge! How many people in this day and age devote their entire being to the pursuit of knowledge? He was truly a remarkable being who's teaching extended far beyond the musical arena.

Lucas Michailidis
July 28, 2005 2:04 AM


I met Ted and began studying with him when I was 17 years old. I am now 36. Ted and I became friends from the first phone call, there was a waiting list at that time! Remember that?? Some of you out there will remember the first apartment that had 2 chairs, a music stand and an ashtray. Needless to say a tape recorder with which he demanded that the lesson be taped. The lessons and the man were serious then, really serious. (The apartment clean to a fault) But, even as we have known him in recent years, he was very kind, understanding and selfless then as well.

At this time he became a surrogate father to me, many times we wouldn't even pick up the guitars. We would just talk for 2 hours. He helped me learn how to live life. So many times he talked me through some really rough experiences. He was more a father to me than my father. Ted was not only a teacher of music for me but he taught me SO MUCH ABOUT LIVING! I could talk to him about anything. I do not know where I would be without having him in my life. And now in 2005 he is still like my father and dearest friend.

We shared quite a bit together. I am sure that there are others out there, and you know who you are, who got to share some special times and special conversations with him. There were many sides to Ted. If you were close to him, I need not say another word, you know what I am talking about!! I will cherish the memories of speaking to him so frankly on such a WIDE range of subjects! And he suprising the hell out of me with his vast knowledge and ideas about so many things. LOL!

I brought him a mess of my Roman and Greek coins one day and the next week he had started up again with his coin collection. They were all over the place!! THEY STILL ARE! Quarters galore! He said that he LOVED the quarters! I loved sharing with him my collections of all thing ancient. He was shocked when I copied my whole Danny Gatton bootleg collection for him ...and it was an honor to hand it to him! I don't think he thought I would really do it! The look on his face... Wow. He'd give me things and remark about the look on my face of total suprise, so he got me back plenty!! Ted I have MORE Danny DVD's & CD's for ya!!! I think you might be playing with him right now... So you might not need them.

Ted, you know how much we will ALL miss you. You touched so many lives. I'm not sure what I/we will do without your direction, opinions, thoughts and guidance. I am sad beyond words. The world and especially the world of music and guitar is a diffarent place without you here. But now Heaven is a diffarent place with YOU there!!! I bet some serious music is happening right now up there!

I love you man!! We WILL meet again! - Your friend always, -

Rich Glasband
July 28, 2005 2:13 AM


(Page 1) (Page 2) (Page 3) (Page 4) (Page 5) (Page 6) (Page 7) (Page 8)(Page 9 )

© copyright www.tedgreene.com