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Pollock, Clapton team up for music-guitar festival

Reprinted by permission of the.Desert Mountain Times
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From an article that appeared in the Desert Mountain Times on May 6, 2004.

Mark Pollock of Transpecos Guitars played on the same tour with Eric Clapton in 1975. He calls Clapton’s upcoming Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas a “guitar Woodstock.” 

Mark Pollock, the owner of Transpecos Guitars in Alpine, has linked up with guitar legend Eric Clapton for a world-class music-guitar festival in Dallas June 4 through 6. Pollock, who met Clapton in 1975 when he played guitar in Freddie King’s band as Clapton’s opening act on the famed Layla tour, has been involved in the Dallas Guitar Show since 1978. 

Pollock and his partner, Jimmy Wallace, were tapped by Clapton’s organization to put together a special Vintage Showcase of guitars to coincide with Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, a special, three-day music concert in the Cotton Bowl which will feature a roster of premier musicians and bands. The Vintage Showcase, a buy-sell-trade guitar gathering, will be held in the Automobile Building at Dallas Fair Park in conjunction with Clapton’s three-day music festival. “In addition to the buying and selling of guitars,” Pollock said, “the guitar showcase will feature manufacturer exhibits and guitar clinics.”

Pollock said Clapton’s festival, which will take place on three stages, is the biggest thing to come along in 30 years. “It’s a guitar Woodstock,” he said. The line-up of musicians includes Neal Schon, Steve Vai, Larry Carlton, Sonny Landreth, Vince Gill, Pat Matheny, Brian May, Robert Cray, Jimmie Vaughan and Hubert Sumlin with Booker T, Bo Diddley, David Hidalgo, Joe Walsh, John McLauchlin, James Taylor, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Carlos Santana, ZZ Top, Doyle Bramhall II and others. Concerts will run Friday evening, Saturday, and culminate in an 11-hour concert on Sunday. The house bands will be Booker T and the MGs, Jimmie Vaughan’s band and Clapton’s band.

Pollock, who played guitar in many bands before moving to Alpine in 2002, noted that this area seems to be having a convergence of talented musicians who have moved into the area. He noted that musician Michael Stevens, who owns Stevens Guitars in Alpine, also has a Clapton connection, having designed the classic Eric Clapton custom production guitar for Fender. “Michael actually had the real ‘Blackie’ [Clapton’s guitar] for about two weeks, and he used it to recreate the Fender model,” Pollard said. 

In addition to Pollock and Stevens, the area boasts premier musicians such as Doyle Bramhall of Alpine, Butch Hancock of Terlingua and Fran Christina of Marathon, the drummer for the Fabulous T-Birds, plus a heavy duty line up of regional and national performers who regularly play at the Railroad Blues in Alpine. Pollock said there has been talk among some local musicians of trying to create a mini-Woodstock or Muscle Shoals here, a place where bands could come and creatively work on writing and recording.  “This is the perfect place for an out-of-the-way recording studio,” Pollock said. “If you’re not going to get creative here, it’s not going to happen anywhere.”

Pollock said he hasn’t performed professionally since about 1995, but he began to feel the urge to step on stage at the Doyle Bramhall concert last week at Sul Ross State University. “I had that feeling ‘Hey, I remember how much fun this is, and I kind of missed it,” he said. Tickets for the Clapton festival are $15 for Friday, $45 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday. For more information, see www.crossroadsantigua.org Pollock can be reached at www.guitarshow.com.

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A lifetime of devotion to guitar music behind a new Alpine business - article dated December 11, 2003
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