View Full Version : Jim Horn talking about Garth

05-27-2002, 07:05 PM
I stumbled across this interview with Jim Horn. I don't know how old it is, but I have never seen it before. I though you PGer's would enjoy reading it.

Q: At the beginning of your career, when working with famous artists, how did you present yourself? Humble? Confident?

when I met Garth Brooks he wanted me to come and play a saxophone solo. That was rare because not too many country artists have saxophone solos and Garth was so big--this was a few years ago--he was so big at the time I thought "Well, this ought to be fun".I went in and recorded the song on the alto and he said,"Do you have something lower"?and I said, "Yeah, I've got a tenor", so I played it on tenor and he loved it. After I put the solo on he said, "Jim, you've gotta teach me that solo".And I said, "You've got to be kidding. Have you got about ten years?" He said, "No, just come out to my house, man. Find a real good horn for me and come out to my house and teach me how to play that solo".I said, "O.K., if you're really serious about it".And in the back of my mind I thought, "Gee, I wish I could just come out and play that solo on stage. It would be more fun for me",which eventually I did at the Hollywood Bowl. Garth flew me out there and I played that solo...it was great, we had a lot of fun with an eighty-piece orchestra. Anyway, I went out to his house. I found him a brand new Yamaha tenor--I got him exactly what I thought would be good for him, I didn't want to get him a student model 'cause he needed all the help he could get. I went out to his house twice and the first time I showed him how to get a sound on the horn, how to read on the horn, and showed him how to finger. I played the solo, I wrote it out, I transcribed the solo so I could sit there and play it for him. I came to the next lesson and he had already learned the solo off of the record. He sat down and he wanted to play along with me in his racket ball court. He's got a huge area on his property where he has racket ball courts, a basketball court, and a big lounge with a pool table. So we'd go into the racketball court,where it had great echo, and play. Both of us played this solo together and I thought, "Wow, this is a trip". I'd never done anything like that with any of the Beatles or anybody else I'd ever worked with. Before Garth and I starting practicing again he said, "You want to shoot a few baskets"? He was just loose...I thought "I like this guy". He didn't make me feel like I was under any pressure. Garth was someone I could have been nervous around and he made me feel comfortable. There I was teaching him how to play saxophone...I could have really have been nervous, but he was the one that was nervous at first, standing there playing like a kid learning his first instrument and it sounded kind of funny. We had to work on it to get the tone right. He went out on the road and played that live. He came running out there with his saxophone and play that solo and the crowd went nuts,they told me.

Q: You worked with him again at his Central Park gig...

Yeah, that was great.He called me a few months before the gig and told me that he didn't want anybody to know that Billy Joel and I were asked to do the show. We were supposed to be the big surprise along with Don McLean who wrote American Pie. I didn't realize how big the thing was going to be. There were between 700,000 and 1.2 million people there. It was just a blanket of faces when I came out on stage. The show opened up with all his songs and it was The Garth Brooks Show which I had never seen. It was incredible. He works very hard. For four days he worked on putting it together and he rehearsed until two in the morning the night before. Then he came back the next day and worked another whole show which was unbelievable. I think Garth is determined to always be the best at what he does. He felt it would be good to have Billy Joel from New York and the saxophone on stage. It was perfect the way he set it all up.To come out on stage with Garth and play with Billy on New York State of Mind was the biggest rush I've ever had. I thought I was going to be nervous, but when I started playing my alto solo it just all fell into place.

It was incredible seeing all those faces in the audience...they went back into the trees and all around until they filled the whole north end of Central Park. Leading up to the concert was a normal rehearsal, but when the show started there was so much energy and such a rush. It was one of the biggest events I think I've ever played, outside of The Concert for Bangladesh with George Harrison. Bangladesh was different, but the feedback I got from the audience and the energy was similar. Garth draws that from them so easily. He'll rock on one song and then he'll stand with his guitar all by himself singing a real pretty song or a sad song. He had some audience members with tears in their eyes, which was moving, and you'd see everybody singing the lyrics along with him. Thanks to Garth, he trusted me and thought I could go out there and do a good job and I really tried hard for him. We're the best of friends. My heart goes out to Garth.I think he's one of the greatest entertainers I've ever worked with.


05-27-2002, 07:16 PM
What a nice interview! Thanks Ann. I did know that Jim Horn taught Garth the sax so he could play it during One Night A Day (Y@nkee's favorite song) but don't think I had heard the whole story.

Here's a pic (although not very clear) from Jim's website. :)


05-27-2002, 10:37 PM
Thanks guys, for the interview and picture. It always says so much when other people in the business say how easy someone is to work with. Doesn't surprise me one bit to hear that so often when it comes to Garth. Jim taught him well too, if you ask me! I saw Garth do that solo live, and I think he did GREAT!


05-27-2002, 11:15 PM
Thanks so much for sharing this with me :) I've been watching CP over several days and I've loved every minute of it! I think GHarth said in CP that Jim was a good friend..but I never really knew hoew they met..thanks for telling us how! :)

Vanessa :)

05-27-2002, 11:59 PM
I remember when I went to go see the "In Pieces" Tour, and the sax solo in "One Night A Day" started and no one could belive it was actually Garth who was playing it! It was awesome. Ahhh, i miss his shows so freakin' much!!


05-28-2002, 12:22 AM
Very cool story - and photo! Thanks for sharing them with us. Oh if that pool table could talk - bet Garth has brought a lot of his friends out there to hang, write, talk, and make music!

05-28-2002, 09:57 AM
I really enjoyed reading this great article Ann! :) It gives wonderful insite to Garth and fun behind the scenes info...Thank you so much for finding & sharing. Very cool!

Like Garth, you are one in a million!

Mary Liz

05-28-2002, 11:36 AM
Wow! What a great interview, Ann. Thanks for finding that one. I too, saw his solo performance back in '96 or was it '93. lol Anyway, he rocked. :) Very cool that Garth has so many pro musicians as fans too.

Ellie :)

05-28-2002, 01:50 PM
Ann, thanks so much for sharing this interview with us! I really enjoyed it.
It's really neat to find out what other musicians think and feel about Garth and what happens behind the scenes. That sax solo was so cool! It's no surprise, but always nice to read what a great guy Garth is and how much he puts into all his performances. Jim Horn is pretty cool too, and I'm glad he and Garth are such good friends. I wasn't there in person for Central Park, but I was there at the Hollywood Bowl for the benefit concert. It was awesome seeing and hearing Garth & Stillwater play with the orchestra in that unique setting which made it a slightly different experience than his arena shows, but of course it was still a wonderful time and a rush to see him. What made it special also was that it was my first Garth concert:)...well actually my first concert period. I don't go out much, but you know I just had to see Garth. When I saw him there for the Hall of Fame ceremony, it brought back those memories.


05-28-2002, 04:08 PM
How nice to read somthing old but brand new (to me) about our man. Thanks for digging up that great article.:)