Cool John Ferguson
“It didn’t matter where the music came from. I just learned it all – TV themes, blues, R&B, jazz, gospel – it all came in my ears and through my hands.” – Cool John Ferguson
Cool John Ferguson walks onto the stage, looks out from under a broad-brimmed leather hat, smiles, and sets his hands on the frets of an electric guitar. Before there is a sound, the audience can see that something exceptional is about to happen. Long thin fingers reach across the neck of the guitar, left-hand poises to stroke, right-hand frames the chord, and out comes an incredible bath of sound. But wait! He’s got that guitar on backwards and the low sounds are coming from the bottom string.
That’s because Cool John is a studied but self-taught guitar player. Nobody told him he had the guitar the wrong way around and by the time they did, he was too good to go to the trouble to change. “I played as a three-year old,” Cool John explains. “To hold the guitar, I had to be put in someone’s lap while they sat in a chair. I played sing notes on Just a Closer Walk With Thee, my first song. Later on, fooling around with it, I learned to play the lead, bass, and rhythm parts at the same time.”