80:8 Photography : Video : Sound : Bands : Portraits

Fender Strat or Gibson Les Paul

Today I shall recount a childhood story of a faint and passing regret, accompanied by an image from our weekend photoshoot with Brian Kelly. There is a link. Perhaps it’s a little tenuous, but bear with me. These days I find myself hanging around with some very talented musicians. As a spotty herbert, I did the same except of course they were of my peer group and were forming punk bands etc. In Manchester at the time was a fabulous music shop called Dawsons and I would press my nose up against the windows staring at the glorious guitars and imagining a little fantasy along the lines of me striding into the shop, picking up the most expensive guitar, asking for an amp and playing a note for note perfect rendition of the guitar solo in ‘Stairway to Heaven’. As the last note faded, I would shake my head and hand it back, saying the ‘sustain was poor’ and then vanishing like some legendary & mercurial axe-hero.

Of course it never came to pass. I can’t play a note and have no music within me. Anyway, I was always drawn to Gibsons and not Fenders – possibly because Jimmy Page played a Gibson and Eric Clapton (who’s music I have never got on with) played a Fender. I wonder if this polarisation exists within musicians today? Some guitarists are so indelibly linked to their instruments. Jimi Hendrix to an upside down Strat, and er….Lot’s of other people to er, other guitars 🙂

Anyway, the photo above does show peeking out of the undergrowth the neck of Brian’s battered old Fender Stratocaster. As I gingerly handed to him the wheel turned full circle and my ‘preference’ died…Any guitar in the hands of a good musician is going to make a beautiful noise, just plug in, turn volume to 11 and hit it. Just make sure you use Marshall Amps. Er…

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