Firstly it’s very good idea to make clear to everyone that this blog has absolutely no cultural importance whatsoever. I have no illusions that anyone will come away from this with a new grand plan for raising six strings to their former level of creative importance in society. Those days are over.
Robert Fripp, in a 1974 interview with Guitar Player, described the guitar as ‘feeble instrument’. While he was wrong, it’s also fair to say that he was being slightly prescient. Guitars today have hundreds of magazines and websites devoted to them. Most of these sites and publications regard 16th generation blues merchants and shredders as paragons of virtue and as heroes. You know the guys: Joe Bonamassa; Steve Vai et cetera et cetera…
These aren’t terrible guitarists – in fact in most cases they’re bloody amazing, – it’s just that, well… at my age it seems as though the art of guitar is at a low point, creatively. Things such as songcraft, taste, melodicism and (of course) brevity seem to be in short supply.
But I’m not here to whinge. This website is purely about celebration of six strings. In the 50 odd years that I’ve been listening to music there is one rule that I have picked up. (Actually, there are two: the second being that a reggae version of a terrible song will always make it better – although not necessarily irredeemably): a lousy song can always be improved with a bit of nifty fretwork.
So, there you have it: the stupidly simple raison d’être behind this site – terrible songs that feature great pieces of guitar playing (in my humble opinion, obviously).
The first five or six of these articles (beginning with Deep Purple’s ‘The Mule) first appeared on my other blog which I’ve been running many years. At some point I realised that the only articles I was interested in writing (coinciding with a renewed interest in playing myself) were the ones about guitar solos. Naturally this had more to do with the fact that I could foist my ill-conceived and misjudged opinions about guitar playing on the public at large. In a world filled with guitar shops, guitar videos, guitar tutorials, and guitars this can never be considered a definitive or even remotely authoritative set of views.
But I’ve already gone on for too long. If you like these articles or feel that you want to even contribute to this blog please feel free to contact me via the comments section. And of course that goes for suggestions of lousy songs as well. For the meantime, sit back and enjoy some really stupid stuff.
I’ve got blisters on my fingers!