I’m not sure at exactly which point in my life I decided that guitars were the most awesome instrument ever. I just know that it was not when I was ten or so, when my neighbour from my former hometown where I grew up, tried to teach me to play.
I was just awful. Talentless! And my fingers fucking hurt like crazy. Baby-ass fingers like mine are just no good.
It was also not after listening to all the greats like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, B.B. King, Jimmy Page, Carlos Santana, Brian May, Mark Knopfler and a host of others far too many to mention.
I’m guessing that it was around the time I first heard Peter Frampton on Frampton Comes Alive, where I thought at the time he could make his guitar talk, on the iconic track Do You Feel Like We Do. It was only much later that I learnt that the effect was created through the use of a device called a Talkbox which allows the guitarist to modify the guitar sound with his mouth. Frampton has been acknowledged for popularizing this effect.
Even if you know that it’s trickery, it still sounds way cool.
I was already into my twenties when I became acquainted with the genius of John McLaughlin, Eric Gale, Jimmy Page, Slash, Ted Nugent and others. It was only later that I would start appreciating the likes off Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen and flamenco guitarists such as Vicente Amigo and Paco de Lucia.
At some point in my thirties I got this crazy idea, that maybe the violin could be the kind of string instrument that I could actually learn to play. Six months of lessons later, I was pretty sure my guru thought that he would have more success teaching donkeys synchronized swimming. But he did say that I was superb at applying resin on the bow strings.
And so I was left to listen and play air guitar for the two guitarists who really know how to get me orgasmic with delight – Joe Bonamassa…
… and to my mind the greatest ever, Stevie Ray Vaughan. It’s a matter of personal choice, so I won’t feel aggrieved if you don’t think so.
I’m sure I have neglected to mention some real heavyweights. You will I’m sure, remind me of some…