Michael Hedges

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Michael Alden Hedges (December 31, 1953 – December 2, 1997) was an American composer, acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter.

Michael Hedges was a Zappa fan. On his albums Oracle and Beyond Boundaries, Guitar Solos Hedges covered Zappa's track Sofa No. 1. He also visited Zappa in 1993, two months before he died of cancer. [1]

Michael Hedges on Zappa

Michael Hedges: "I also thought it’d be fun to try to go to work every day and write—see how much writing I could do. The main inspiration behind this is Zappa. He worked 14 hour days—long, long days. Some people say he worked 20 hours a day. I don’t believe it. But I can believe 12."

You got to spend some time with him, right?

Michael Hedges: "Yeah. I did a cover of one of his tunes last year with Dweezil, his son. He called me up and wanted me to do a version of one of Frank’s tunes, so I did. I did "Sofa" off One Size Fits All. I went down and played it for him. I met Frank and talked to him. He died a couple of months later. I had been listening a lot to his orchestral music and I was thinking "How did he do all of this?" And then I read in one of these obituaries that he worked all the time—he just didn’t stop. So, I thought "Go to work every day. Don’t be afraid of doing it every day." Sometimes artists get into this thing where "Oh well, I‘ve got to be inspired to do this and that." And I kept thinking "Yeah, you get inspired and you write a certain amount of tunes, but do you really want to be prolific and come up with great, great stuff?" And then I read a Zappa quote that said "If you want to achieve greatness, you’ve got to put in the time." [laughs]

Is achieving a similar output level as Zappa now a goal for you?

Michael Hedges: "Sure. I mean, if it wasn’t I wouldn’t be an optimist right?"

Does that mean we’ll get more than one new album from you every five years?

Michael Hedges: "[bursts out laughing] Yup. That’s what it means. Well, yeah. There’s a whole kind of mystique that I had about all this record stuff. I’m scared to make ‘em, I’m scared not to make ‘em. Now, it seems to be flowing more. Time will tell." [2]

After Hedges' own untimely death Dweezil Zappa recorded a tribute to him, called "Secret Hedges".

Frank Zappa on Michael Hedges


See also