Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Nov 22nd 2009 12:00PM by Pat Pemberton
"I could do it," he tells Spinner, noting that his friend, Mark Volman, formerly of the Turtles, taught music at Loyola Marymount. "I would probably -- depending on the circumstances."
Preparing an hour speech wasn't easy for Hillman, who didn't keep a journal or scrapbooks during his 47-year career, which included stints with the Flying Burrito Brothers and the Desert Rose Band. To put himself at ease, he created a comfortable environment.
"I said, 'Let's get rid of the podium -- I'm not running for governor,'" Hillman says. "I want people to feel like I'm in their living room, telling them a story."
And before a standing-room-only crowd, Hillman did just that, occasionally playing songs from his career while talking about his bands, his passion for music and influences.
"The first person who was a mentor to me was a gentleman who was the head custodian at my high school, Bill Smith, who played guitar and played in a country band on the weekends," says Hillman, who is working on a live album. "He took me under his wing and taught me guitar and taught me all about country music and bluegrass music."
Always a student, Hillman, 65, is currently taking jazz guitar lessons from 82-year-old Bob Bain, a former 'Tonight Show' musician who recorded with Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.
"He's a mentor, teaching me a whole other kind of music that I'll never play on stage."
Hillman, who currently gives mandolin and guitar lessons to young students, won't have to wait long to get his teaching feet wet -- a friend from Vanderbilt University has already asked him to lecture in his class there.