Robbie Robertson: "The guitar is still a big point of discovery to me - it’s infinite"

(Image credit: David Jordan Williams)

Robbie Robertson, former backing guitarist for Bob Dylan and six-string mainspring for The Band, has a confession to make. He’s not really a rock musician.

“You know, sometimes I have felt over the years – and maybe now more than ever – that in the songs I write, it’s almost like I’m scoring the songs [as if for a movie] instead of following some kind of rock ’n’ roll tradition,” he says, explaining that his richly emotive playing is often inspired by imaginary film scenes played out in his imagination. “There’s a mood, there’s a sound, there’s a heartbeat. There’s a thing going on that takes me inside the story and takes me inside this little movie that I’m writing.

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.