Photo: Master guitarist and Gibson signature co-designer, TV host, and Latino Hollywood personality Trini López.
Trini López told Gibson.com how he almost walked out of his first record deal, because the studio wanted him to change his name. “I was proud of my heritage, always will be”
Trini López, along with Les Paul are the two people who have sold the most signature design Gibson guitars in the world. López’s design is a favorite of Foo Fighters Dave Grohl, former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher and U2’s The Edge.
At 74, López is still a personality of the guitar world. His next album, (his 65th!) “Into the Future” will be released next July.
López told Gibson.com he started playing at 12 years old “He [my father] told me to always be home when he returned from work, and the third time I failed to obey him he gave me a whipping with his belt. He felt bad the next day and to make it up to me he stopped at a pawnshop on the way home and bought this guitar for $12, a black Gibson acoustic.”
That 12 year old with a $12 guitar grew to design his own model of one of the leading guitar companies in the world. That is after befriending such music world giants as Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Frank Sinatra and The Beatles!
It wasn’t always easy for López, who met some resistance in his road to becoming one of the first ever Latino stars, sometimes finding that the limelight could be filled with “pride of course, but it was a burden, with America then being very prejudiced towards Latinos”
“I’m very proud I didn’t change my name. When I recorded my first record, “The Right To Rock,” aged 18, the first thing the studio wanted me to do was change my name. They said Trini was nice, but Lopez had to go. I said no. I was proud of my heritage, always will be, and I even started walking out the door.”
“This guy with a big cigar in his mouth shouted, “come back, come back”. And eventually he told me I could keep my name. Jennifer Lopez may be a big star in America now, but this is long after I broke through.”
Read the whole interview on Gibson.com