serious

Behind the wheels of steel.

Looks like I'm doing spinny things at Neon tonight.

In other news, there were a couple of quite nice articles in the Guardian this week. It used to have (by reputation, at least) the worst coverage of pop music among the broadsheets, but it seems to have picked up a lot since the days when a truly dunderheaded review of a Silverfish concert was the only thing ever to provoke me into writing them a letter (with "not for publication" on it, probably rather arrogantly). I think I first noticed this when they pulled of the coup of getting an interview with Nigel Blackwell.

Anyway, this week there was this article by Bernard Butler about playing guitar. Among other things, he says "I don't go into guitar shops often. They are notoriously full of arseholes." It's a good one. In the paper it had pictures of eight guitarists at the top. Only one was a woman, but that's probably something to moan about another time. Bert Jansch had an unidentifiable flat-top, Jack White something odd in red and white, Hendrix a Strat, Page a twin-neck Gibson . . . and the other four (Keef, Hynde, Marr and Butler himself) are all playing Telecasters. I wonder what happened to all those horrible poodlerock guitars with droopy pointy headstocks people bought so many of in the eighties? I know nevla owns a fair proportion of them, but where are the rest? I haven't seen an Ibanez Steve Vai in about ten years.

The other one was this piece about road songs, and looking for British ones in particular. I like it partly because it settles on Billy Bragg's version of Route 66 ("A13 - Trunk Road to the Sea") as the definitive example, and also mentions It's Immaterial's "Driving away from home", probably the best song about the M62 ever written.
  • Current Location: the boxroom
  • Current Mood: cheery
  • Current Music: Billy Bragg - A13, Trunk Road to the Sea
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Don't get me started on Chris Rea. I was at Glastonbury once and we had to listen to an engineer play the first minute of the same Chris Rea song for the whole bloody morning while he tweaked the main PA. Over and over and over and over and over again. It wasn't even that good a song the first time I heard it.

"I'm going to Texas. . . ."

I wished I was in bloody Texas.
That one made me laugh the first time I heard it simply because it contains such a lovely observation of the utter failure of communication between someone's ideals and the reality of what's going on around them. It's the bit where his wife gets back from doing the school run:

And I turn to her and say, "Texas!"
She says, what?
I say, "Texas!"
She says, what?
They got big long roads out there
Warm winds blowing [...]
my mate in Niddrie had a few steve vai Ibanez..Sound Control got them recently i think
he has moved on to something else..too technical for me

raymond(the Yamaha Fg and Epiphone acoustic lover)
Those pointy-headstock hockeystick guitars are all horrible and hopefully lurking in cupboards up and down the land.
but felt a bit silly starting so late

amazing when 30 is considered late. It's especially irritating given that guitar magazines typically feature guitar icons from the 60s on the cover (Page, Hendrix, Dylan, Clapton, etc.) One day I'm gonna get my guitar and write a song about ageism :-)
guitar icons from the 60s on the cover (Page, Hendrix, Dylan, Clapton, etc.)

Guitar icons from the 60's who were already hugely famous by the time they hit 30...if they lived that long. You'd be hard-pressed to find a famous guitarist who took up the instrument after the age of 20.
There's a strong tendency for people who are really good at anything to have taken it up early.
I'm not totally convinced. For the most part it only requires motivation and then practice. It may be that maths and languages require an early start, in order to make use of the developing brain. But most things (including those two) can be acquired to a level which most people would consider either 'really good' or 'good enough', which is surely enough to cover rock guitar.

I just think that people are discouraged from even starting something if they are over the (arbitrary) age of, say, 30, which is a pity as they could achieve a lot if they only got started and put in a bit of practice for a while.
It's not a hard-and-fast thing - Gaugin was quite a late starter, wasn't he? - but it's definite tendency.

The thing about taking something up is you shouldn't specifically be doing it in the expectation of being worldbeating at any age.
The world-beating thing is certainly misleading. Chances are, the phillistines won't take the slightest interest in you :-)
and the other four (Keef, Hynde, Marr and Butler himself) are all playing Telecasters.

A good Tele's hard to beat...unless you're trying to do any maintenance on the bugger...
Thanks for doing Neon - I had a couple of last minute cancellations which it was a miracle I got since my phone gives me one hour of use per charge and I was at Infest. I had to tell Lisa to call you if she needed you, so blame me if it was inconvenient. Will buy you drinks at the next one.x
No problem. It was fun - expect complaints from people who didn't enjoy the steel-band version of "Cars", though.
That article refers to Britain's first Motorway the M1. If they mean historically first, it wasn't the preston by-pass section of the M6 was the first to be opened.

So who are the great contemporaray guitarists? Jack White is good but not great and most of the other names I can think of have been around for 20 years already (Chuck Prophet, Neil Hagerty, etc)
THose sorts of guitars are still around. Jackson have just released a new range, and Ibanez are still churning out the same old stuff. Vai continues to have 2 or 3 models available from Ibanez, same as Satriani.
BC Rich (makers of the Warlock guitar) expanded their catalogue a year or two ago with some frankly daft guitar shapes.

Regarding the 'normal' guitars, i played a telecaaster once and hated it and really can't get on with Gibson guitars either.

Besides, pointy is good :)