John Williams is a titan in the guitar world. He’s held up as one of the most technically perfect and proficient guitarists in the world, and has an impressive discography.
Yet for all his accomplishments, John Williams has his detractors. People say he’s unmusical and all technique. In any case, there’s always something to learn from a performer like Williams. He’s been a professional musician for the past 50 years, and anyone with that kind of experience is worth listening to a little bit.
Since I’ll probably never get the change to interview Mr. Williams, let me point in the direction of some other interviews with him.
Text Interviews with John Williams
Classical Guitar Alive did an interview with John Williams is 1998. This was right after Williams released The Guitarist (aff.), so there is quite a bit of talk about the album and Williams’ outing as a composer (he recorded one of his own pieces for the album).
Next up is an interview with Williams by Austin Prichard-Levy. This interview is more broad in its reach and scope of topics. Williams discusses such things as competitions, whether or the guitar is hard to learn, and his switch to Smallman guitars.
Additionally, John Williams has appeared numerous times in Classical Guitar Magazine. February 1985, January 1990, May 1996, and September 2009 are all issues where John Williams was on the cover. If you’re interested, back issues of Classical Guitar Magazine are available from FretsOnly.com. (I’m really not sure why magazines don’t sell digital copies of their back issues.)
Video Interviews with John Williams
First up is a modern interview with Williams from a documentary (titles welcome, I haven’t been able to figure it out).
Next up is a documentary exclusively about Williams. It’s in six parts on youtube, only the first is embedded here. This one is very interesting because of how in depth it is. In part two there are shots of Williams visiting Greg Smallman’s shop/house, which is fascinating — it seems like Smallman is some mythical figure now-a-days. This is taken from The Seville Concert DVD (aff).
Below is a very old interview with a very young John Williams. Again, this is in multiple parts, only the first is embedded here.