The sound coming from the dressing room at the Los Angeles Forum that night in 1986 was instantly recognizable to Fort Worth guitarist Chris Clifton –– and he wasn’t happy to hear it. It was the sound of his prized black 1960 Fender Stratocaster guitar and practice amp, left in the dressing room while he played onstage with Cowtown blues-rocker Mason Ruffner. After the set, Clifton gritted his teeth for a fight.
“Nobody was supposed to be in our dressing room, period,” he said. “I was pissed. I don’t let many people play that guitar.”
Anger quickly gave way to amazement after Clifton burst through the door. Guitar wizards Jeff Beck and Brian Setzer were trading licks.