This haunting song with simple, but telling lyrics is about the life of a musician and his relationship with the fans.
Suggestion credit: Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
Larry Knechtel played the lead guitar parts in the song. Frontman David Gates said, "James (Griffin) went out and tried to play a solo that wasn't sounding right, and I went out and tried it and didn't have any luck either. Larry plays a little guitar, so I asked him to try it. He hooked up a little wah-wah pedal, and came up with all those things on the spot. I bet that wasn't more than two hours of work on his part."
At the end of the song, there is a recording of a crowd yelling after an announcer introduces Jim Morrison at a Doors concert.
Suggestion credit: Nick - Paramus, NJ, for above 2
The band Cake recorded this song for their 2004 album Pressure Chief.
Pedro Fonseca from Costa RicaBread un grupaso, desde joven lo sigo. Y es curioso que el solo de Guitar man, no lo he escuchado a nadie como Larry Knachtel ejecutarlo y eso que era pianista, es una obra genial de um compositor genial, cuenta Gates que el solo lo intentó James Griffin y el mismo David Gates, y fue Larry quien lo logro, en menos de 2 horas esa obra única. Tambien le hizo arreglos a Doors Simon & Garfunkel, Duene Altman, Mama and the papas y muchos otros.
Seventhmist from 7th HeavenLarry Knechtel must have been an amazingly versatile musician. He's the "guitar man" here, but he played piano on "Bridge Over Troubled Water."
Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 23rd 1972, "The Guitar Man" by Bread entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #62; and on August 27th, 1972 it peaked at #11 (for 3 weeks) and spent 10 weeks on the Top 100... And on September 3rd, 1972 it reached #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart... Between 1970 and 1977 the quartet had thirteen Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Make It With You", for 1 week in 1970... Sadly two of the four original members have passed away; guitarist/vocalist Jim Griffin* (1943 - 2005) and drummer Mike Botts (1944 - 2005)... And also Larry Knechtel, who played lead guitar on "The Guitar Man", (1940 - 2009) May all three R.I.P. * Jim Griffin co-composed the song "For All We Know", which won the 1970 Academy Award for 'Best Original Song'.
Daniel from Cavite, PhilippinesI have been listening to music of David Gates and the Bread ever since I was a kid growing up in the Philippines. All their songs are great and you don't get bogged down listening over and over again. The Guitar Man is also one of my favorite songs. The last time I saw them in concert was years ago in San Diego's intimate 4th and B venue.
Barry from Sauquoit, NyThis song was surrounded by the #15s. The song that proceeded it on the charts was "Diary" and it peaked at #15. The two songs that followed it on the charts, "Sweet Surrender" and "Aubrey", both peaked at #15!!!
Jayro from Sao Paulo, BrazilTrue, Guy! This seems to reflect our expectations when we listen to ANY song. Our seek for meaningness.
Greg from South Saint Paul, MnWhen I was young and listening to this, I thought David Gates wrote it about Hendrix. Does anyone know who he might have had in mind, if anyone?
Jon Mckenzie from Sydney, AustraliaThe orchestra playing towards the end, really gives this wonderful song the edge it deserved
Barb from Msp, MnGuy--you are right on about 2 of the best guitar solos ever! How about the solo on Journey's "Who's Crying Now" ?
Rick from Tuscola, United Statesdavid gates is one of my favorites. bread was usually mellow but they could play some harder stuff too. great lyrics and music.
Doug from Kansas City, Moyes and about the time this song came out I got my first guitar..wanted to sound like Bread..get the girls..etc
Guy from Woodinville, WaOne of those perfect songs! It expresses something that all of us at SongFacts: "You want to get the meaning out of each and every song. And you find yourself a message and some words to call your own and take them home." Boy, does this bring back the summer of '72! Along with The Carpenter's "Goodbye To Love." Two incredible soft ballads with spot on guitar solos!
Brooks from Bargersville, InThis is a beautiful song, perfect rythm and lyrics.It was my favorite song the first time I heard it.
Farrah from Elon, NcThis is my favorite song by Bread. The lyrics are profound and the music is beautiful.
Randall from Chattanooga, TnBread was one of the most underated bands of the 70's...their lyrics were insightful and quite philosophical...