Guitar Techniques - - TALKBACK -

I was touched by your editorial about the hu­mil­i­a­tion you faced at an­other gui­tarist’s hands. It was very brave of you to re­veal it. I know how tough it can be, as I’ve had ex­actly the same hap­pen to me. I in­vited a young gui­tarist up to guest in my band (he’d come to a few gigs with his Dad and they’d let it be known he would like to play some­time). So I brought a spare amp and he had his own gui­tar; it was my gig so I felt well in my com­fort zone. I’m in my 40s and he was in his late teens and the out­come hadn’t even oc­curred to me. But he got up and wiped the floor with me. The au­di­ence loved him like he’d scored the win­ning World Cup goal. But I was dev­as­tated. It took weeks for me to re­cover my nerve. This was years ago but your wel­come note re­opened the wound for a minute or two. I did get over it, as clearly have you; I learnt a les­son from it and hope I grew as a mu­si­cian. Funny thing is, I still play but he works in a bank – had all the tal­ent but no stay­ing power! Peter, South Shields

That’s horrible, Peter. But think I can top you. In the ’90s I used to play at a blues club in Chelms­ford, and thought I was one of the ‘top dogs’, if you like. One day a young guy came in; un­fa­mil­iar to me but with long, fuzzy hair and a gig-bag over his shoul­der. He put his name down to play and got up with me. I soloed first and gave it my best shot; he qui­etly pro­ceeded to eat me up for break­fast. “That was great,” I said af­ter­wards, hid­ing the fact that I had died in­side. “So what’s your name, son? “Er, Guthrie... Guthrie Go­van.” Doh!

Guthrie Go­van: dev­as­tat­ing, even at age 21

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