It’d be interesting to know the demographics of folks who read the New York Times opinion piece on Why We Can’t Quit the Guitar Solo:
It’s easy to dismiss the guitar solo as an outdated, macho institution. The shredding lead guitar, once ubiquitous in rock music, can now feel like a relic of a bygone time.
Indeed it can. But if you’re in the right demographic – as I definitely am – it was well worth a read (and a listen.)1
- A bit of a shame that some of the samples weren’t muted after I’d scrolled down past them in the article so that I sometimes found myself distracted by (unintentionally) duelling guitar solos. That could have been a browser issue, but I was disinclined to dive into the source code to try and figure out what was going wrong. ↩
Steven Johnson on Learning From Get Back:
To me, the scenes where we see the Beatles reaching back to an idea they first started noodling on years ago — an idea that we know they will keep cultivating for another few years — are some of the most inspiring moments in Get Back. Yes, for most of us, the stakes and public spotlight are not as intense as it was for those four lads back in 1969, but all of us know what it feels like to crunch under the pressure of an imminent deadline. But ask yourself: how often do you find yourself venturing back to an idea you first had in 2018, or 2008, and exploring how you can refine or add to it in your present context? Every now and then, a pressing deadline can concentrate the mind and produce a fully-realized idea, ready for airplay. But most of the time it’s a long and winding road.
Dammit, I’m just going to have to watch Get Back, aren’t I? Because the clip of Paul McCartney coming up with Get Back a few weeks before the rooftop performance really is compelling (especially if you’re old enough to feel as if it’s been in your life forever, and yet here he is at the age of 26, putting it together on camera.)
Folks, I give you Totally Fixed Where We Are:
Cheesy? Oh yes. A work of genius? Very possibly!1
- Perhaps you need to be of a certain age to fully appreciate this. Or perhaps not. ↩
Why oh why were we denied the opportunity to witness a Prince guitar MasterClass?
I think the saddest thing about Prince’s death is that we never got to see the MasterClass he was supposed to teach. Looking at the leaked script for the YouTube commercial, we can only imagine what might have been. I don’t think it’s been widely shared, but I have a copy kicking around that I can transcribe.
Int. Paisley Park, PRINCE’s guitaratorium
This guitar has a thousand strings.
Close-up on neck of guitar. It looks like there are no more than four hundred strings.
PRINCE: (v/o, softly)
Six hundred of them are only visible in the purple spectrum.
I mean, I’m fully aware that We Are Not Worthy, but still…
[Insert obligatory link to footage of Prince’s 2004 performance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison, complete with his guitar ascending to the heavens.]
Granted, it looks as if it’s going to be very silly, but somehow it really isn’t. Just keep an eye on the drummer. (You’ll soon realise which of them I mean by that. Trust me on this.)
Apparently this has been on the internet for years, but I somehow hadn’t clapped eyes on it until earlier this evening.