Monday, October 13, 2008

Story of the Guitar

Interesting documentary on BBC1 last night tracing the history of the electric guitar up to the late 60s. Presenter Alan Yentob followed the Stompin' USA tour to the crossroads at Clarksdale where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil, on to Tutweiler, where W C Handy first heard a slide guitarist play the blues, and on to Beale Street in Memphis. There was some early footage of Charlie Christian and T-Bone Walker and interviews with Les Paul, still playing at the age of 91, and B B King, still as good as ever at 83. The battle between Fender and Gibson was explored, some early footage of Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore (with Elvis) was included, and Hank Marvin, Bruce Welch, David Gilmour and Mark Knopfler made an appearance. The programme finished with Jimi Hendrix, which for Woodies is probably the end of the road.
But overall it was an informative and interesting run through the evolution of the guitar in the 20th century, from the pre war Hawaiian craze. through the development of electric blues to rock.

Here are a couple of pictures from the Stompin' 2008 tour - of the group in Tutweiler, and of me at the crossroads in Clarks dale.


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