Join 3,520 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Guitar heroes
October 21, 2008 3:29 AM   Subscribe

The website to tie in with the BBC series Imagine: The Story Of The Guitar has video interviews with The Edge, Bob Brozman, Johnny Marr, Pete Townshend, David Gilmour, Charlotte Hatherley and BB King.

Forget Guitar Hero, it takes a lot to be a pro. There's a bit more on youtube.
posted by fearfulsymmetry (27 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
There were three episodes, and they were all superb. Yentob has a real feel for the subject, and I really want to get these on DVD. The bit where they attempt to explain the 'typical guitarist personality' (read: selfish, unemployed prick) is especially good.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:41 AM on October 21, 2008


I love that the volume control on the player goes up to 11.
posted by beniamino at 3:55 AM on October 21, 2008


Sorry, that photo in the article at The Times reminded me of Bill Bailey's catastrophic technical failure at a U2 gig.
posted by mandal at 3:59 AM on October 21, 2008


A catastrophic technical failure actually occurs 1:21 into this U2 video for "Party Girl" off of Under a Blood Red Sky. I love U2, but Bill Bailey's point is well taken!
posted by baltimoretim at 4:27 AM on October 21, 2008


Man, this is really neat. I love playing the guitar--I could, and sometimes do, play for hours on end--but my technical proficiency leaves an awful lot to be desired. My dirty secret is that I cannot play lead. At all. Listen to anything I've posted to MeFiMu; I'm awful. See what I did there? Listen to MeFiMu. Anything and eveything. You will enjoy it.

But a lot of what Pete Townshend says in his clips resonates with me: a distorted guitar makes so many pleasant sounds, and even the slightest change in attack angle or pressure at the fret or any number of things can change it so dramatically, that it's just an amazing instrument, and enormously satisfying to play. (I'm sure the same can be said of other instruments, but come on, man, it has horns!)
posted by uncleozzy at 6:02 AM on October 21, 2008


(I also really like the video where neither the Edge nor his guitar tech can seem to figure out the equipment. That's how you know your rig has gotten too complicated.)
posted by uncleozzy at 6:18 AM on October 21, 2008


I found it interesting that Mark Knopfler had a lot of trouble articulating - his fingers kept wanting to speak more.
posted by plinth at 6:46 AM on October 21, 2008


To me it is self-evident that an electric guitar is the best sounding instrument ever. And I am humbled by the thought of what Beethoven could have done with one. Then I imagine taking him for a helicopter ride and scaring the shit out of him, just to even things out.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:52 AM on October 21, 2008


Someone needs to tell the voice over guy (and Britons in general) that the man's name is Les Paul, not Lez Pole. Failing that, try Awesomest Man Alive.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:35 AM on October 21, 2008


You had me until "The Edge".
posted by tommasz at 7:58 AM on October 21, 2008


interviews with The Edge, Bob Brozman, Johnny Marr, Pete Townshend, David Gilmour, Charlotte Hatherley and BB King.

who?
posted by shmegegge at 8:22 AM on October 21, 2008


I know the Edge. My brother works for the band. Both they in general (U2), and the Edge in particular, are talented.

Get over it.
posted by Mephisto at 9:00 AM on October 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, you know, I really don't care for U2's music, but watching the clips, I realized that I really like the Edge. He "gets" it, at least so far as I'm concerned.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:04 AM on October 21, 2008


I really like the Edge.

Eject! Eject!
posted by Artw at 9:28 AM on October 21, 2008


Yeah, I didn't think I'd ever say that, either. It feels funny.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:31 AM on October 21, 2008


This looks like great stuff, thanks! I'm really enjoying Johnny Marr's second career with Modest Mouse, he's a very tasteful player and he seems like good people.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 10:38 AM on October 21, 2008


I really like the Edge.

I like him too, and he's done some lovely, influential stuff over the years, but he's not a guitarist. He can barely play. He's probably less technically proficient today than he was 25 years ago, if it's possible. He's basically an electronic musician that uses a guitar as an accessory to his overall rig.
posted by psmealey at 11:08 AM on October 21, 2008


Someone needs to tell the voice over guy (and Britons in general) that the man's name is Les Paul, not Lez Pole.

You have tweaked my tone knob, here.

British people pronounce names in whatever fucked up way they like, and it drives me fucking insane. They call Barack Obama "Barrack". Like Army Barracks.

I say, "excuse me old chap, but it's Baraaaaaaaaaahhhhhhck. Bar- AHHHHHH - ck."

That's what I said. "Barrack."

***

They do the same thing to LOTS of names, especially foodstuffs. Pasta. Salsa. You don't even want to know how they mangle "Tortilla".
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:55 AM on October 22, 2008


Repeat after me:

Nuclear

(New - clear)
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 4:45 AM on October 22, 2008


No Mutant Enemy, there's a difference between American rubes mispronouncing a word through ignorance, and *educated* Brits everywhere wilfully calling José Mourinho "JOE-SAY".

It's mostly a proper noun problem... foreign names are pronounced in a British fashion, no matter how silly it sounds to everyone else (imagine how Mr Mourinho feels).
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:07 AM on October 22, 2008


but he's not a guitarist

Spot the strawman: And Ygnwie Malmsteen is?

I appreciate what you're saying; yes, his playing style does rely more heavily on effects than on technical proficiency. But whether you like it or not, The Edge, despite his supposed incompetence, is not only a guitarist, but one of the most influential guitarists of the past thirty years. Deal with it.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:26 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, I meant to come in here yesterday and say that, actually. I actually think the Edge gets the guitar really well--it's a tool to make pretty noise. Does that make him not a guitarist? Am I using the toaster wrong when I heat up frozen pancakes in there? Does that make me not a toaster of things?! I need to know.

PS these are homemade pancakes that I have frozen for convenience if that makes a difference.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:37 AM on October 22, 2008


chuckdarwin, yeah, you're right, but it's (partially) explained by the relatively much smaller non-Anglophone population in UK compared with US. (And partially by a lot of "*educated* Brits" being assholes.) Also, it's not just how we pronouonce stuff, it's how our accents make it sound as though we're pronouncing stuff (cf the "caught" vs "cot" situation in US and Canada).
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 9:25 AM on October 22, 2008


Gosh, you Americans are really hard done by aren't you?
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on October 22, 2008


Gosh, you Americans are really hard done by aren't you?

Yesh, Arthur, we are. I'm just fucking glad my name isn't bloody José.
posted by chuckdarwin at 10:59 AM on October 22, 2008


"Arkansas" is a good one, BTW.
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM on October 22, 2008


Oh, y'all have that place name thing in spades:

Leominster
Gloucester
Worcester
Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

etc
posted by chuckdarwin at 11:53 AM on October 22, 2008


« Older Warfare: 1917 gives you a taste of the trenches....  |  The Choice 2008 is the newest ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments