Guitar Heroes

Why do I care that classical guitarist Julian Bream has a working-class accent?

Aged seven, I used to make my mum’s soap powder boxes into guitars by cutting a sound-hole in the front and stretching elastic bands over them to make very rudimentary guitars. And when I was nine I got my first guitar, a second-hand spanish thing with the usual cheese-grater strings. I soon moved onto electric guitar via first Jimmy Hendrix and then Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. I never played professionally (except once in front of John Tiffany from Channel 4, but that was as part of a Fringe comedy show, so probably doesn’t count. He didn’t commission us, but was quite complementary about my guitar-playing.)

Anyway, Friday’s BBC4 documentary about classical guitarist Julian Bream gave me my first opportunity to hear him speak. Until then, I’d assumed, in my pathetically prejudiced fashion that he was some sort of posh toff. Not that it should matter – in theory. But I heard him speak, as a young man, and he was quite working-class, like me. (why does that sort of shit matter? I hate the fact that I may be somebody who cares about such things.)

Anyway, this was a great trip down memory lane into what the BBC used to do so very well once upon a time, high-culture without the attitude. A belief that great artistry could transform any soul and there was such a thing as quality. Yes, Bach is better than Westlife, but that doesn’t mean we bear the Westlife boys any ill. (Not my attitude of course, the patrician old BBC’s attitude. I’d cut their scrawny little goolies off)

 Look at this old bald cunt above. We’ll all end up like that. The difference is, we won’t be playing Johan Sebastian Bach. We’ll just catch ourselves in some photograph one day at a barbeque looking wrinkled and realise when we smile you can see the shape of our skull – most of us don’t even know we have a skull till it’s too late. Mull that one over and then listen to Bach.

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3 Responses to “Guitar Heroes”

  1. Flamenco Dancing Guitar and Cajon Spanish Music » Blog Archive » Guitar Heroes Says:

    […] MusicMoviesVideoTV wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptAnd when I was nine I got my first guitar, a second-hand spanish thing with the usual cheese-grater strings. I soon moved onto electric guitar via first Jimmy Hendrix and then Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. I never played professionally … Read the rest of this great post here Posted in Uncategorized on October 15th, 2008 | […]

  2. daveselectricblanket Says:

    ‘Look at this old bald cunt above. We’ll all end up like that. The difference is, we won’t be playing Johan Sebastian Bach.’

    That made me laugh out loud for some unknown reason.

  3. Nick T Says:

    I saw the end bit where he played with poor old Stephan. It was sweet.
    I now have the whole show to watch again.
    I now imagine he sounds like Arfur Mullard.
    I
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