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With embarassingly mediocre chops, and sounding like someone who's been playing the instrument for about a year, guitarist Esteban is upon us.
With 2 million albums sold worldwide, and reaching the top of the Billboard charts, there is no questioning his success.
But that success and fame is based on his selling of a beginners guitar and instruction video on [=""]The Home Shopping Network.[/]="…"]The Home Shopping Network.[/]

On the positive side, there are a lot of young and new aspiring musicians getting thier first guitars.

On the negative side, he claims to have studied with Andres Segovia of Spain, and to carry Segovia's endorsement: this is highly disputed...

So what does everyone think about the phenomenon that is [[url=http://="http://www.estebanm… ESTEBAN[/]="http://www.estebanm… ESTEBAN[/] ?

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Tommy P. Fri, 08/08/2003 - 15:26

I know Treena, it really irks me. Even still, he's a rich joke! :d:

I didn't know a thing about him until my wife Jennifer called me from a friends house.
"Turn on the Home Shopping Network. Is that a good guitar? Should I buy it? He's a good player..."
No no and nooo. Oy! :s:

Treena Foster Fri, 08/08/2003 - 15:42

People are speaking out, they're tired of the trash that's being fed to our kids on TV, in movies, and radio etc....and no wonder our image abroad is pretty ugly with some societies, our media is throwing out the wrong images of the real Americans. Just because people are silent about this subject (they don't have the time to "march" etc.), doesn't mean that the general public likes or agrees with what is going on with the output of the entertainment business...

I have to agree with Carol Kaye on this type of crap going on with entertainment buisness.

:h: Treena

Tommy P. Fri, 08/08/2003 - 16:22

I agree with those sentiments. Not too ago my little girl and I could sit down and watch a comedy and stay up for Letterman. Now she's 12, and its akward for the both of us to cuddle up to the TV tube :( ... we rent DVD's nowadays...

Although the only profanity at an Esteban show, might be me hurling tomatoes, it is bordering on a scam.

Esteban is even playing in my town on October 12th! [[url=http://[/URL]="http://www.imacthea…"]Inter-Media Art Center [/]="http://www.imacthea…"]Inter-Media Art Center [/]
:roll: :confused:

realdynamix Fri, 08/08/2003 - 18:13

:) Tommy, I saw "the infomercial" for the first time the other day, first class production, and expensive. I did Gerard Garno's first 2 albums, if this guy existed, Gerard would have mentioned him. I think Esteban, with the mysterious glasses and hat, is a mediocre guitarist at best.

That's show business folks, always has been like this. Of course selling millions of $120.00 guitar/lesson/video packages is what it's all about. eh?

It certainly did catch our attention. We can't protect everyone. It's the "let the buyer beware" thing. As a matter of fact, our very discussion sells more interest. Not a scam, just good business, and marketing. Learn from it. Makes a great gift too! :D


anonymous Fri, 08/08/2003 - 18:48

I think he is maybe the funniest thing since Spinal Tap. Every cliche you can think of rolled up in one black on black package. He is as perfectly cliche as Andy Kaufmann's atler ego Tony Clifton.

I get a kick out of it, and I don't see the harm. If his "teaching method" builds a little army of people "kum-By-Ya-ing" at home then that might be a good thing. If his method sucks then it sure won't be the first or last bad teaching method, and even then maybe some small percent of his little army may finish playing "Michael, row your boat a shore" (or my favorite version of the song: my goat knows the bowling score) and actually study with someone and learn.

Besides the fact that he very well might be ripping off people, I'm not really phased by it. He is marketing his product and his schtick pretty well. Anyone with a well thought out and time tested method they are selling could take a note from this guy in terms of marketing. It reminds me in a perverse way of Robert Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists. He toured with a bunch of his students, and he had a series of columns in Guitar Player. Definately he had a different audience and his method had different goals, but both took their idea and ran it into the face of their prespective customers and audience.

Estaban's target's his customers well: he features "House of the Rising Sun" and other tunes from the sixties. He's after baby boomers, I don't think anyone buying his stuff thinks they'll be Stevie Ray Vaughn or Paco De Lucia. It is like the baby boomer's version of "Kum-By-Ya."

What I "love" most about it is all the facial expressions and contortions when he plays. And at least half his leads are like things that belong on a solid body with the notes that should sustain. I mean if your sound is tied to a fast decay of the notes, like on an acoustic or or jazzier playing then your playing should reflect that reality. He is like playing the notes like he thinks he's in Kula Shaker or something.

Unless your lactose intolerant, you've got to love the cheese.

anonymous Sat, 08/09/2003 - 00:14

What struck me about the TV ad was the camera angle when comparing the guitar he was selling to the "brand name guitar". No shots of the head. My cheese meter instantly pegged.(kinda like looking the mirror)
PS Don't have a clue how or why the tube was on that channel.?????????

KurtFoster Sat, 08/09/2003 - 13:42

I have 2 things to say about him and the ad.. One is I love it when the announcer on this infomercial jams with Esteban .... weez rockin' now kids!! heee heeee heee! The second thing is, this remindes me very much of the "Roy Clark Big Note guitar book" and guitar commercial that ran about ten or fifteen years ago.. I'll bet it's the same guitar! :D I would like to see them play the Theme from "El Ka-bong!" ..... with Esteban being the one who gets Ka-bonged!

RecorderMan Sat, 08/09/2003 - 18:48

Originally posted by Kurt Foster:
"El Ka-bong!" on that thing ..... with Esteban being the one who gets Ka-bonged!

Ahh..."Quick-Draw McGraw" a fine cartoon for the sixties brats...

anonymous Sat, 08/09/2003 - 20:28

God I hate this guy. I've seen the infomercial like 7 times, no Joke. He thinks he's such a guitar god. *spits*

realdynamix Sat, 08/09/2003 - 21:33

:) Yea, they seem to plug for xmas earlier every year. Their phones are ringing off the wall...ka-Ching. Isn't it great to be in a free enterprise system. Presidents should be so lucky to get such exposure, but that's a different kind of infomercial. :D


Guitarman Sun, 08/10/2003 - 11:34

Originally posted by Kurt Foster:
this remindes me very much of the "Roy Clark Big Note guitar book" and guitar commercial that ran about ten or fifteen years ago..

All I can say is that Roy CLark ws a friggin GREAT guitar player and stringed instrumentalist. I can remember watching him for years and always thought he had great talent and showmanship.

Estaban is a living legend in his own mind.( much like the rest of us.) :D

Best wishes,

JD( o}===;;;

KurtFoster Sun, 08/10/2003 - 11:38

Originally posted by JD( o}===::::
All I can say is that Roy CLark ws a friggin GREAT guitar player and stringed instrumentalist. I can remember watching him for years and always thought he had great talent and showmanship.

Estaban is a living legend in his own mind.( much like the rest of us.) :D

Best wishes,

JD( o}===;;;


I heartily concur! I had the good fortune of seeing Roy Clark play live once. He had a killer band and displayed monster chops and showmanship... But that BIG NOTE Guitar Book was funny!! :D

Guest Sun, 08/10/2003 - 11:56

I got to see Roy Clark last November. He's not quite as speedy as he once was, but he can still hold his own. His showmanship is first rate. His band is, too. Really impressed with the multi-instrument skill that was happening.

Anyway, yea, he's a great musician and entertainer. one of the ones who makes me glad there's music.

anonymous Mon, 08/11/2003 - 07:57

I think you all missed the real star of the Esteban infommercial.....

How about that Mr. Rogers neighbor looking guy who is oohing and aahing him? Where did they dig this guy up from, a 1960s Pete Seeger wannabe contest?

noteFarm Mon, 08/11/2003 - 10:49

Hmmm seems like the last thing the world needs is more mediocrity.
I think The people that buy into this think it's good because they are told it's good.
I despise this nauseating man of little talent.
If that is the yard stick by which music or "classical guitar playing" is to be jugged, wow, the rest of us have no problem.
Does this mean at the next wedding I play on Saturday I must wear a silly hat and a "big" shirt to prove that I am areal guitar player.
What do I do If one of my guitar students, brings me one of his CD's and says "this guys great". I would have to pick my self off the floor wipe the tears of laughter from my face.
Can this man not be sued for impersonating a muscian, I mean his technique is terrable, his tone is bland and scatchy and inconsitent, his interpritaion and arangeing skills are that of a first year college student, at best .
Well sorry for the rant,
I hope it made a few of you laugh and any one that likes him I hope it upset, and enraged He is as welcome as a telliphone sales man at 9:pm
The negative side to the home studio revolution

Rod Gervais Tue, 08/12/2003 - 06:47

I - yes me - Rod - am obviously one of the truly blessed among you.

I never EVER watch infomercials - and thus have never been exposed to this ........ this..... person.............

Truly the Gods have smiled upon me more than any of you........... and for this i am truly thankfull.

Now - as far as Roy Clark goes...... yes that is true talent......... but as far as his book goes - that was funny........

However i would point out that just because someone is a magnificent talent - this does not mean they can teach a lick.......

David Garibaldi is probably one of the finest drummers alive...... and i bought one of his "teaching" tapes.......

As a teaching tool it's a joke...... he doesn't break things down for you - comes off very badly in front of the camera - and no one short of an "A" or maybe a high "B" drummer could ever pick anything up from this.

So talent for the instrument does not necessarily translate to the ability to teach - especially at a distance........

The one thing i do note though - is that no matter how bad this ...... this......... person is........ he's laughing all the way to the bank.........

Oh - one other thing - I really don't ever want to see him - my respect for all of you and your opinions is without question...... thus i can safetly Vote to "hang em high"

Happy Hunting


quartermoonpro Tue, 08/12/2003 - 13:23


But then again, God Bless America, Free Enterprise, and PT Barnum who showed us that there is one born every minute!


Guest Tue, 08/12/2003 - 13:59

Ya'know I've never heard of this guy and if I had, I would never, normally, have given him a second thought. But, after reading so much crap about him, I'm really curious to hear him and find out for myself how bad, or not, he really is. It's a good thing I'm broke at the moment.

I guess it really is true; Any publicity is good publicity.

If I ever put out a CD, I'm going to be all over the web talkin' shit about myself. Atleast, untill everyone else is.

Rod Gervais Tue, 08/12/2003 - 15:52

Strider........ if you want a good joke - go to the link above and listen to his MP3's.....

This guy is a riot.........


MisterBlue Tue, 08/12/2003 - 16:48

OK, my flame-retardend suit is put on, helmet fits and goggles are in places :

Has any of you guys seen a Chuck Berry show anytime recently? Talk about a scam artist! Yes, he certainly has had his role in the history of Rock'n Roll and I don't mean to take away from it. But what he put on for a rather expensive admission fee was not just disappointing - it felt like a scam. His guitar playing was a load of wrong notes, way out of time at times, presented with openly displayed disgust for the members of his band (that he - according to his regular contract - had only met that night). Make no mistake, the band sounded just fine, they were pro's who knew their sh*t.
But I'm not sure whether the "duck-walk" really made up for all the shortcomings :roll: . At least parts of the crowd seemed to feel that way.

I guess that's show-business ... :confused: . It's OK once you've built up a halo.

All of this is only my personal opinion, of course, but I thought I'd throw it in (no intention of hijacking the post ...).


Guest Tue, 08/12/2003 - 18:20

I didn't see the MP3's, just links to buy his wares. And, if this damn mosquito would leave me alone for 2 seconds, I'll go dig around. I could use a good laugh at the moment. This XP worm thing is making me "just slightly irratable". :mad:

Rod Gervais Tue, 08/12/2003 - 18:28

Strider - right at the beginning - it says

"if you want to find out what all the excitement is about" - and there is a link right there - that takes you to the "music" (I had to do that in quotation so every one would know it was a tongue in cheek statement)


anonymous Wed, 08/13/2003 - 00:39

I've seen this infomercial and his performance on it, and although I was not impressed with his playing or his "music", I've seen and heard a hundred times worse headlining and winning Grammy's.
He plays on a par with your average "run of the mill" small club or bar or coffee house performer.
I've seen Segovia perform as well as Julian Brean (sp?) and this fellow is certainly far from that league.
My ex-wife is a classical guitarist and a "old timey" fiddler. She was over visiting a few weeks ago and I had the TV on and said "Hey look, a guitarist selling guitars and lessons.." and jokingly added "You want me to get that for you?" She smirked and said he was nothing special.
Tommy P, You're from the same town as I am if you're talking about the Intermedia Arts Center. That's not exactly a top venue though. I've even performed there once with a community percussion troop. They will get a few well known acts, but a lot of the time they book acts that are nostalgia, or eccentric, or the old time acts that were headliners years ago and now play very small arenas and clubs. They also are open to just renting out the hall for a performance.
I've heard a lot worse than this fellow.They usually are playing at Starbucks or one of the bookstores. As for the hat? Come on, have you really looked at the totally goofy things that performers wear most of the time?
Anyone remember the piano paying instructional video from Barbie Benton?


realdynamix Wed, 08/13/2003 - 02:14

Originally posted by Rimshot:
I've seen Segovia perform as well as Julian Brean (sp?) and this fellow is certainly far from that league...
...My ex-wife is a classical guitarist and a "old timey" fiddler...
...Anyone remember the piano paying instructional video from Barbie Benton?

:) Hi! Regarding Segovia and other players, there is so much passion in performing, I think they are transported to a different world.

You can't take a dude playing a classical set during a break at Margaritaville with tattoo's, a drink, and an attitude, hitting the right notes void of passion, too seriously.

Your wife, her guitar and fiddle can make for some very cool earthy music. I love the fiddle.

I remember Barbie, but I can't for the life of me remember any lessons???

Guest Wed, 08/13/2003 - 09:41

Thanks for pointing the way, Rod...I think.

I'm impressed with how well he manages to disregard the concepts of timing, rythm and feel. It just goes to show, "great artist" don't need silly things like that.

Ya'know, I really hoped he might just be getting a bad rap. Nope it's all justified. Sorry, Esteban. You came out of the wood shed about ten years too soon.

Rod Gervais Wed, 08/13/2003 - 10:18


my grandfather (on mom's side) played "the fiddle"..... damn we had some great times at family get togethers.......... (He also played violin...... :D ;) )

Yup - he played em both.......... :c: