Andrew McKeag
Shuggie guitarist and EMP curator Andrew McKeag (on the left in the above photo) is everything old-school rock cognoscenti should be: cocksure but charming, devoted to his craft but not deluded by rock-star mythology. Shuggie, Pure Joy, and the Model Rockets bring their boogie-rock party to the Tractor Tavern on Friday, April 5.

Nice picture. So Jimmy Page is a big Shuggie fan, eh? "I'm afraid it would be a bit misleading to call him a 'fan'--more like a stalker. The guy wouldn't leave me alone. I was like, 'Dude, you're cool and all, but would you quit asking me to write songs for the Zeppelin reunion album? I've only got so many hits in me, and I gotta save those for Shuggie!' Actually, shortly before this photo was taken I successfully sweet-talked Jimmy's guitar tech into letting me hold one of his Zeppelin-era Les Pauls. I think the line I used was, 'How much do those guitars weigh?' [Laughs.] I wanted to bust out a quick version of 'Living Loving Maid,' but I wussed out."

If Ron Wood had come up to you guys while you were getting that photo taken and tried to start a fight with Jimmy, what would you do? Whose honor would you be compelled to defend? "Well... by the time the picture was taken, I'd spent a few days hanging around both Page and Plant, so I'm afraid I'd have to defend Page. But if we managed to patch things up, I'd definitely rather hang out with Mr. Wood for the evening--he still drinks, and I dig his hair!"

So, more guitar wars for you to mediate: Left with only their solos to sustain them, who would survive the longest, Pink Floyd's David Gilmour or Cheap Trick's Rick Nielsen? "David Gilmour, hands down. Rick Nielsen would probably have a stroke and collapse from playing too many notes, while ol' Dave would just close his eyes, lean back, and play some of the most tasty business you've ever heard 'til the cows come home."

Interview by Hannah Levin