Wildish Theater opening: Bring on Mason Williams.Byline: Bob Keefer The Register-Guard
Mason Williams This page is about the musician/comedy writer. For the creator of the webcomic 1/0, see Mason Williams (webcomics)
Mason Williams (b. August 24, 1938 in Abilene, Texas) is an American guitarist and composer, best known for his popular guitar instrumental "Classical isn't exactly retired these days, but the 68-year-old musician hasn't been doing as much performing around Eugene as he once did.
That's in part because of a degenerative condition in his hand, making it difficult to hit those guitar chords as well as he used to.
But Williams, along with the group of musicians informally dubbed his "friends" - that's Art Maddox, Thom Bergeron and Don Latarski, among others - will be dusting off old tunes and inventing new ones Friday night for the gala official opening of the new Richard E. Wildish Community Theater in Springfield.
If you haven't heard of Williams, it's probably because you're younger than boomer age. His 1968 double Grammy-winning guitar instrumental, ``Classical Gas,'' became one of the standards for an entire generation of guitarists.
Williams, who lives in Eugene with his wife, a defense attorney, has also enjoyed a notable career as a comedy writer.
He wrote for ``The Smothers Brothers The Smothers Brothers are an American music-and-comedy team, formed by real-life brothers Tom (or Tommy) (born February 2, 1937) and Dick Smothers (born November 20, 1939). They were both born on Governor's Island in New York Harbor, where their father, a West Point graduate and U. Comedy Hour,'' winning an Emmy in 1969, and has worked for Steve Martin Noun 1. Steve Martin - United States actor and comedian (born in 1945)
Martin and ``Saturday Night Live'' among others. He's written a number of books and made art that's been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of .
In the 1990s, Williams and friends - then including author Ken Kesey Noun 1. Ken Kesey - United States writer whose best-known novel was based on his experiences as an attendant in a mental hospital (1935-2001)
Ken Elton Kesey, Kesey - did a series of Christmas performances for the Eugene Symphony The Eugene Symphony is an American orchestra based in Eugene, Oregon. Its home venue is the Silva Concert Hall at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts.
Approximately 22,000 people attend Eugene Symphony's classical and pops concert performances each year. . Friday's show dedicating the Wildish grows out of that tradition.
"You know, my first experience in Springfield was sitting in the car while my folks were in a bar drinking beer," he joked last week. "Times have changed. Now you can go to an artsy art·sy
adj. art·si·er, art·si·est Informal
Arty. theater show and leave the kids in the car."
But Williams, who grew up in Oakridge, says he has deeper connections to Springfield, from the extended Kesey family there to his love of fly fishing.
The Wildish show will also be a retrospective of Williams' career, including music from his themed concerts such as "Of Time and Rivers Flowing."
CONCERT PREVIEW Mason Williams and Friends What: An opening gala for Lane County's newest performance venue, the 284-seat Richard E. Wildish Theater Where: 630 Main St., Springfield When: 8 p.m. Friday Tickets: $150; call 736-4044