This is the official blog of Northern Arizona slam poet Christopher Fox Graham. Begun in 2002, and transferred to blogspot in 2006, FoxTheBlog has recorded more than 670,000 hits since 2009. This blog cover's Graham's poetry, the Arizona poetry slam community and offers tips for slam poets from sources around the Internet. Read CFG's full biography here. Looking for just that one poem? You know the one ... click here to find it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Anthony Mazzella lies to Sedona

The lie: "Anthony Mazzella is a professional concert guitarist, recording artist and producer. BILLBOARD Magazine describes him as "the new generation of guitar hero" and GUITAR ONE magazine voted him "one of the top ten guitarists in the country".

This quote is false. While managing editor at Kudos, I contacted Billboard magazine when I first saw it to get the appropriate publication dates and issue number and the editor told me the quote is taken out of context. He asked that this fraudulent quote be corrected, or completely omitted.

I have backchannel notified Tony of the error, he ignored it, so I contacted venues when they sent in the erroneous quotes and most he removed the quote. He still sends it out, so I suppose it needs to be made public knowledge via this post.

We'd all like to make up quotes about how great we think we are, but it's not ethical and artists shouldn't let others do it either; it tarnishes our collective credibility.

The actual quote:

"Mazzella makes a convincing argument for inclusion among rock's new generation of guitar heroes with this striking instrumental interpretation of the U2 hit. He does an astonishing job in creating the energy and pace of a full band with only one guitar. His fingers move like lightening and with a precision that will boggle the mind. This well-known cut is an excellent introduction to "The Birth," a collection of vivid and intricately constructed original compositions."
--Larry Flick, Billboard Magazine

The entry appeared on the bottom of the fourth column of Page 66 of the May 3, 1997, edition. YOU CAN SEE THE PAGE HERE:

The statement, aside from being misquoted, truncates the quote, taking it completely out of context. It does not refer to him but a cover of a U2 song he played on an album.

It's from Billboard, so why tweak it? Because he thought no one would check? Or the fact that it's 10 years old and he hasn't gotten another review in a decade? Either way, Tony is lying to all his audiences and the business owners who book him.

As artists, it behooves us to be honest with our audience. This type of blatant deception on Tony's part disrespects the integrity of all artists.

If he posts a correction on his website and promises to remove the quote, I will take down this post.


Sam said...

Mazzella is a total dick to. we stopped going to Unity Chruch after seeing him. cocky bastard

Jennifer said...

sooooo not surprised. creepy dude who wears a vest like that makes up stuff about how great he is? Besides if billboard was writing about how aweome he is, why is he playing bars in our little ol sedona?

leo smith said...

ha! so true

Anonymous said...

I think the quote in Billboard could be interpreted exactly the way Anthony Mazzella uses it. The only way Billboard would probably state it differently would be if he were playing in giant stadiums. They are not saying he does not have the talent that's for sure.

The quote is an acknowledgement that he has that level of talent- period. So what if it was not an article all about him?

There are plenty of musicians who have talent but for various reasons (bad management or no management) are not the ones who make it "big".

So he has no real fame, at least not in the US. Stevie Salas is a guitar virtuoso and most people in the US don't know him but he is huge in Japan.

I don't see anything wrong the guy, either you like hearing him or you do not. His mastery of the guitar is amazing and I am glad we have someone of this caliber who lives here part of the year and plays for us.

So you can rewrite your complaint to Billboard acknowledges the level of Mazzella's talent but doesn't actually say, "HE IS THE NEXT GUITAR HERO."

Anonymous said...

I sort of agree with the above post, the man is (according to billboard) very talented. It's obvious he's exaggerating billboards assessment of him, either to sell tickets or to stroke his ego. Nevertheless the talent is there.

FYI - I don't live in Sedona, I was applying Sedona Red wood stain to my telecaster and googled sedona red guitars, so here I am. Oh and by the way I'm the best musician that has ever existed and I play all instruments.

Anonymous said...

I was very disappointed when we went to see him, he plays covers only, and he was so frikken drunk! He's very vain, and it was a fail.

Anonymous said...

This jiggery-pokery is fairly common in entertainment marketing. I worked on a picture one time that was absolutely savaged by the critics, but all the material included a pull-quote akin to "It's epic...It's beautiful...It's spectacular..." Of course, the original quote didn't end there. "It's epic, it's beautiful, it's spectacular, and it's completely lifeless."

Having said that, Mazzella is a bag of dicks. Every time I've seen him, and he does pop up around all of Northern Arizona with the unfortunate persistence of a venereal disease, he's been an arrogant git, played poorly, and at least once mouthed-off about a (fairly quiet, respectful) audience.

Anonymous said...

Arrogance aside, Anthony's music sounds the same today as it did ten years ago. He has talent, but everything sounds the same. As to his alterations to Billboard's original write-up, I'll chalk that up to self-puffery--acceptable in my view, but leaves a bad taste if it misleads and/or misrepresents.