Thursday, December 03, 2009

Best guitar solo ever?

A friend of mine called me up the other night in a lather. Turn on Channel 13, he shouts into the phone. So I do. And this, courtesy of u-tube, is what I see:

Is this the best guitar solo ever? No. I can think of three by Nils Lofgren right off the top of my head. All from the same album, no less. But it is, my friends, Something. Capital S.
Briefest of parenthetical asides #1: Go here for a sample of Nils solo work. In this case, a jammed up version of his song Moon Tears. Nils is a little hard to take. That thing hanging off the end of his guitar reminds me of the tassles Ali wore the night Frazier kicked his ass. That said, I never felt like Nils got his due as a guitar god. Neither did he, apparently, but instead of killing himself over it (See: Roy Buchanan), he joined Bruce Springsteen's wife's band.
Now back to the matter at hand:

First of all, this is Prince's world and we are just living in it. This is not new thinking but nonetheless worth revisiting. We, as they say, hold this truth to be self-evident.

Second, there's the look on Dhani Harrison's face at the 4.50 mark. It's hard enough, no doubt, to be the child of a Beatle, much less the greatest of them all*. And this concert happened relatively soon after George's death. So to put a smile on that kid's face like that... well, that too is something. The look he gives Tom Petty reminds me of the look on Steve Cropper's face when Eric Clapton unhooked an extraordinary version of Don't Think Twice at Bob Fest some years ago.

Finally, Prince's exit is, simply, beyond belief. No--I mean, really!

Mozart--a guy who knew a thing or two about being really good at music--thought that his left the concert hall and went straight to heaven. Likewise, presumably, Prince's guitar. Straight to heaven, where George picks it up and starts weeping out a version of that Led Zepellin song about all that glitters not being gold. You know the one.

I mean, really. Where did that guitar go? This is a clip, in what passes for HD on u-tube, of just the solo. Study it like the Zapruder tape, then get back to me.

The guy you see holding a guitar after Prince exits (you may have to go back to the original clip for this) is not holding the instrument in question. The body on Prince's guitar was natural wood. The stage hand is holding a white guitar.

Me? I love theological explanations for secular events. I think it went straight to heaven.
* Note on the relative greatness of the Beatles. Ringo is the third greatest Beatle. John Lennon is second (and I know there are some that might debate that position). George is, of course, first. If for no other reason than that his post-Beatles solo album remains the highest seller of all the Beatles' post-breakup work. Whither Paul McCartney, you ask? McCartney, despite a fair helping of legitimate talent, is a girly man and comes in fifth, trailing Stu Sutcliffe closely. Pete Best comes in 6th.
And finally, while we're on the topic of guitar solos and the Beatles, check out Jeff Beck playing A Day In The Life.

Briefest of parenthetically asides #2: I find myself drawn to his bass player for all the wrong reasons.


Blogger Rudi said...

Its really good, i like it.

10:59 PM  

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