Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Because It Just Sounds So Beautiful

You all know the Who. You all know Pete Townshend. You all know Pete Townshend plays guitar like he's fucking someone; you all know he plays guitar exquisitely. You all know Jimi Hendrix was the greatest guitarist in the world, hands down. You all know that twang Kurt Cobain's guitars make. You all know the psychedelic, unmistakable sound Lou Reed's guitar makes on the Velvet Underground & Nico record. Guitars are the must have instrument of rock 'n' roll. Guitars are that iconic thing in every band. The guitarist is always the most beloved. The guitar is the sole instrument in a song that can take the song, musicians, and listeners into a timeless world.

I was listening to my boyfriend practice today. He randomly showed up at my place this morning with a song he wrote for me and after I fed him, he toyed around with his guitar. He tore through some of my song books to check on some chords. He started to play the overture to Tommy by the Who, which is some of the greatest guitar work Pete Townshend ever came up with. His playing whilst humming and occasionally stopping to smoke a little, reminded me of the flamenco guitarists. He added some flutters as he played that sounded really flamenco-y. I always loved and respected that kind of music, including mariachis. So when he finally got tired playing, I decided to show him some of my flamenco records. Then he got into this really passionate explaination about Jim Morrison and his love for flamenco guitar.

Then he decided to tear through my record collection to find the greatest guitar songs in the world, at least in his opinion. It was a very eclectic list, it went from "Sisters of Mercy" by Leonard Cohen to "Whiplash" by Metallica then all the way to some Bikini Kill song. There's no doubt in his love and passion for music, but his love for the many sounds a guitar can make goes beyond it all.

I only wish I could match his love for the guitar. I only wish I had the discipline to devote my time I use to scribble weird sayings on paper looking for inspiration to music like he could. I wish I could play four different instruments instead of little bits and pieces. Seriously, Lester Bangs even started a band, why can't I?! I used to be in a band but we were just around so the kid that played guitar could try and score a date with me. I want to be like my boyfriend where I get blisters and calluses on my hands from playing guitar. I know it doesn't sound so glamorous, but that's dedication (Haha, Anvil!). The only thing I got on Pete Townshend is that he thought "Like a Rolling Stone" was four minutes when it's actually six. Other than sheer snobbery, I can't play a guitar like I'm fucking someone! If I could trade my skill for writing for playing guitar like that, I would! Fuck! I'm not going anywhere with an uncanny ability and love for writing essays, at least Paul can impress people that aren't grammar-philes with playing guitar better than John Lennon.

Warning: I'm about to write like a guy. Guitarists can get the panties off of any chick. They have the carisma you can only obtain through mad skillz. I want to be charismatic. When my boyfriend doesn't have a guitar in his hand, he's shy and soft spoken, when he does, he's Iggy Pop, but way taller and not as buff.

Guitars make that beautiful sound. They sound as beautiful as sitars and harmoniums. If they were paintings, they'd be the Mona Lisa. If they were people, they'd be Nico and Jim Morrison. I don't care what kind of music I play, as long as my guitar makes a beautiful sound, as long as my guitar sounds as beautiful as Buddy Holly's "Listen to Me" playing in the background as I watch the sunrise while laying on the dewy grass with my boyfriend. I want my guitar to be caressed and then set on fire like Jimi Hendrix's guitar. I want my guitar to be my eternal lover. I want my guitar to be with at all times, not just gathering dust in a corner of my bedroom stuck inbetween overstuffed bookcases.
The image of seeing some kid ride his bike with a guitar case on his back down the street going to band practice while I was in fourth grade is forever imbedded in my brain, just like seeing "Thriller" for the first time when I was two. Guitars are beautiful. Fender or Les Paul, acoustic or electric, perfect condition or left on a dark stage in pieces. Guitars are some of the few all around beautiful things in the world. and the people that even attempt to truly devote their valuable time to learning it, to mastering it, are even more beautiful.

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