Nancy Wilson has been learning to play the fiddle. So far, it’s slow going. “I basically suck,” she says with a laugh.
Have no fear—she’s only had one lesson, and if history is any indication Wilson will master the new instrument soon enough. The self-proclaimed “jill of all trades” is already a whiz on mandolin, keyboards, pedal steel and dulcimer, among others. But no matter how fine a fiddle player she may become, she’ll likely never be stolen away from her first love: the guitar.
From the moment she and older sister Ann saw the Beatles performing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, she knew the guitar was the key to her future. Responding to her pleas, her parents gave her a three-quarter-size Stella. “It had a pipe-shaped neck and a movable bridge—which was good, because as it was going out of tune you would move the bridge to compensate!” she recalls. “It was steel-stringed, and the action was way too high. It was painful, but I wanted to play so bad. My parents saw that I was serious, so they swapped it out for something decent. Then I was like, ‘Oh god, I can actually do this.’”
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