Hel­loEd­in­burgh!

Guitar Techniques - - Intro -

Iam­called­by­acharm­ing BBCpro­duc­er­toap­pearon­the above­pro­gramme.He­sell­sitto measa­light-heart­ed­but in­for­ma­tive­his­to­ry­ofthe­gui­tar, it­srolein20th­cen­tu­ry­pop­u­lar mu­sic;an­ex­pla­na­tionofthe physic­san­da­cous­tic­the­ory rel­e­vant­toit.And­some­com­edy.

He­haswrit­ten­the­script, which­will­be­nar­rat­ed­byHarry ‘SpinalTap’Shearer,akaDerek Smalls.MitchBen­nofRa­dio4’s ‘TheNowShow’isto­provide­the mu­si­cal­com­edy.He’sa­gui­tarist. DrMarkLewney­is­to­be­thetame boffi­norGuitarPhysici­s­tan­dis en­gaged­to­provide­thetech­ni­cal ex­pla­na­tions,allinthebest pos­si­ble­taste.He­playsthe­gui­tar, too.Andthen­thereis,er…me.My roleisto,ahem,playthe­gui­tar and­fleshout­the­scriptwith suit­a­blestylings­fromthe­last100 year­sof­fret­tingjoy­at­suit­able in­ter­vals.It’sal­lleft­dis­arm­ingly vague.Imum­blethe­words“Yes… okay…that­sounds,er… in­ter­est­ing”,and­my­fateis­duly sealed.Ishould­men­tion­that to­ward­s­theend­o­four con­ver­sa­tion­thenice­man(Mark, by­name)ca­su­al­ly­dropsinthe ideatheImight­playFoggy Moun­tainBreak­down,the fiendishthe­me­fromDe­liv­er­ance, on­the­banjo.Ipre­tendthathe didn’tac­tu­allysaythat,and­hope thatthei­deaw­illmelt­away.

It­tran­spiresthatAu­gust­turns in­toabizarrely­busy­month.Ihave muchelse­toat­tendto.Soit hap­pen­sthattwo­days­be­fore­hand Iawakein­pre-dawn­noc­tur­nal ter­ror­with­the­re­al­i­sa­tion­thatthe show­isalmostupon­me­andthatI haven’tthes­light­estideaofwhat I’msup­posed­to­pre­pare­or­play andthe­ex­act­de­tail­sofmy­travel ar­range­ments.In­par­tic­u­lar,the lo­gis­ti­cal­night­mare­ofhowto trans­port­fourin­stru­mentstothe fu­tureIn­de­pen­den­tRepub­licOf Scot­land(ornot,de­pendin­gon which­waytheBan­nock­burn­son 18Septem­ber).

IdowhatI’mgoo­dat.Ipanic.I cal­lMark,MrCharm­ingPro­ducer. Hetalksme­down­fromtheledge. Wea­gree­to­hiret­woin­stru­ments in­Ed­in­burgh.HisPAwill­col­lect twoofmy­gui­tarsinLon­don,along with­a­suit­case­fullo­fac­ces­sories and­per­son­alitems.Shewil­l­come down­by­trainan­dreturnon­the overnight­sleeperi­nafirst-class com­part­ment,thusen­sur­ingthe safe­ty­ofmygear.Maybe.Theonly suit­ablear­range­men­tis­col­lec­tion fromTheRoy­alAl­bertHall­where I’mplayin­galate-nightPromtwo nights­be­fore­the­broad­cast record­ing.AndIwillfly­u­pearly on­the­day­oftheshow.

Wetal­ka­lit­tle­more­about whatImight­play.He­as­suresme thathiss­cript­can­beadapt­edto suit­my­choice­of­ma­te­rial.Ablues, fea­tur­ing­bot­tle­neck,aplec­trum gui­tar­piece,solo­jazz,acou­pleof in­stru­men­talmed­leysand on­wards.Oh,andthe­fi­nale–Tap clas­sic,TonightI’mGon­naRock YouTonight,fea­tur­ingth­e­fourof us.Har­ry­willplaythe­bass ukulele.By­thetimeMarkhas fin­ished­with­meI­be­lieve,quite er­ro­neously,thatIwas­borntodo just­thiswith­mylife.

And­soitisthatI’mup­well be­fore­anyright-mind­ed­larkhas evenopenedaneyeinangeranda carisat­my­door.Itis­worth men­tioningatthis­point­thatwhen youareis­sued­with­thetem­po­rary lam­i­natethathas­the­word‘Artist’ em­bla­zonedacrossit,ratherthan the­p­lank­ton-likesta­tu­sof ‘Mu­si­cian’,twoin­t­er­con­nected thing­shap­pen­im­me­di­ately.First, yourIQ iss­lashed­byamin­i­mum of50­points;se­condly,an­dasa con­se­quence,yourlife­mustbe or­gan­isedandy­ourneeds at­tend­ed­to­jus­tasan­in­fan­tis spoon­fed­fromthosede­light­ful lit­tle­glass­jars.Hencethe­car. Heav­en­for­fendthatI­couldbe ca­pa­ble­o­for­gan­is­ing­sucha com­pli­cat­ed­task.Iliebackand en­joyit.Brin­gi­ton. Gus&Meisanewly-re­leased chil­dren’sbook­bynoneotherthan… Kei­thRichards.Subti­tled‘TheStory OfMyGran­dadAndMyFirstGuitar’, it­fea­ture­spen-and-inkcol­lage il­lus­tra­tions­byKeef’sdaugh­ter, Theodor­aDupreeRichards,whowas namedafterRichards’grand­fa­ther, Theodor­eAu­gus­tusDupree.The sto­ry­ofDupree’sroleinRichards’ dis­cov­ery­of­mu­si­cisa­heart­fel­tone, andKei­th­him­self­said:“The­bond, thes­pe­cial­bond,be­tweenkid­sand grand­par­entsisunique­and­should be­trea­sured.Thi­sisas­to­ry­o­fo­neof thosemag­i­cal­mo­ments.MayIbeas greata­grand­fa­therasGuswasto me.”The­hard­back­ver­sionofGus& Meisavail­ablenow,priced£14.99; seewww.ori­on­books.co.uk.

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