Wow. It’s quite a blessing to have a friend like that. The story goes way beyond just playing the guitar, but it does make me evaluate my petty excuses for not getting better and enjoying playing even more.
Wow, I remember him in those ads in GP (I am a Guildaholic). Inspiring stuff. I am currently facing a health issue that is starting to impact my playing and couldn't
be more thankful that you posted this.
I'm on his mailing list and they sent out an e-mail at 9:30 last night and luckily I was home from work today to see it. I saw Billy play every year in college. The first time was in a room with about 20 people the last was in a big hall with hundreds. I lost touch with what he was up to. My friend up in the cities used to talk about him but nothing for a long time then I hear about his comeback and story. It is amazing. He is a great guitarist and to do that with the opposite hand you learned initially is insane. I am so happy for him. He is such a nice and humble guy. He has a great series of lessons on youtube.
I have the privilege of meeting Billy at a clinic in Storm Lake, IA in 1990 (I think) just after Inhale Pink/Exhale Blue came out. He spent a lot of time detailing his tunings and compositions, and even handed out some hand-written tabs for some of his stuff. Very generous, open guy. I'm really glad to see that he's doing well.
Nice to see folks remember Billy. It's about time his story got out to a larger audience. I wish more guitar players (and more TGPers) could see this. Sure makes the excuses of not practicing seem petty.