And there he is... A man in a black hat and sunglasses, looking like Zorro and playing "Wildwood Flower" on a $99 guitar...
And you think, "Who the hell is this guy?"
Esteban is the stage name of Stephen Paul. According to his web site, he became "Esteban" while studying in Spain under Andres Segovia, who was unable to pronounce "Stephen."
His relationship with Segovia has been disputed, but one thing for certain is the man is moving both albums and guitars via direct response television.
It all started while Esteban was performing at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix. He came to the attention of Joy Mangano at Ingenious Designs, the company behind direct response hits such as the Miracle Mop. She invited him to play on QVC in November 1999. The response was so good that they brought him back again...and again.
And here is where it gets interesting...
Esteban sold 132,000 CDs after two appearances on the Home Shopping Network in the summer of 2000, and two of his albums reached the Billboard 200.
From 2001 to 2003, Esteban released over a dozen additional albums, four of which made the Billboard 200.
He was featured in a Super Bowl commercial...
He has a distribution deal with Sony/RED Distribution and it's estimated that he has sold over 4,000,000 albums in total. He has sold over 700,000 guitars via the Home Shopping Network.
Is he a good guitarist? Does he sell quality guitars? Did he really study under Andres Segovia?
Has he helped hundreds of thousands of upcoming musicians get going?