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Mister, You’re Playing Guitar Like You’re Cleaning My Teeth

4 May

Now this might now mean much to you, but just imagine my excitement when I recently stumbled across this set of YouTube clips all taken from guitar hero Henry Kaiser‘s Eclectic Electric – Exploring New Horizons for Guitar and Improvisation instructional video issued by Backstage Pass in the early 90’s. I’ve wanted to see this damn thing since Henry advertised it on the back cover of his great Hope You Like Our New Direction LP (Reckless Records, 1991). At the time, I couldn’t really justify the purchase – I didn’t actually play guitar! But now, I can get in on some of the ear-piercing action I missed out on way back then. I’ll let Henry introduce things:

Wait . . . the weirder side of the blues? Unorthodox effects? Derek Bailey?!? And here, all I wanted was to learn how to play the lick from “Dark Star”. Dammit.

Yeah, yeah Henry – ya don’t haveta go and get pedantic on us. Anybody who bought your vid in ’91 would’ve known most of this already, too. It’s like he’s aiming this at all those random schmucks just popping in the gtr shop to buy a new set of Ernie Ball strings! Sheesh.

Yes Henry: gtrs can be used to maintain dental hygiene, but I don’t really recommend it. Especially grafted atop a ZZ TOP riff.

“More fragile harmonics can survive in a vacuum tube, where they seem to be eliminated or squashed in a solid-state crystal lattice”: obviously, big Dr. D is assuming your ears ain’t already blown by waaaay too much loudass rockandroll. The vacuum/solid-state debate is totally meaningless in my hearing impaired world, but thanks for the clarification.

This is more like it. Three balding fellas in jeans and white tennis shoes attempting to recreate the MAGIC BAND ca. ’69 (admittedly, sans some of the gritty, distorto-blues trudge) on a pro soundstage lost someplace in the San Fernando Valley. How great it would’ve been if EVERY boomer musician had been this goddamn peculiar, all the time.

Thanks to Memetoto for the YouTube uploads

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