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A Guitar Kind of Week

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This week has been more about strings than pages for me. So my focus has been on guitars as opposed to books recently.

It started with a visit to Cleveland, Ohio to see an all-star tribute to guitar legend Les Paul. The culimination of a week’s worth of events comprising the American Music Masters series, the concert featured axe slingers like Slash, Richie Sambora, Lonnie Mack, Duane Eddy, James Burton, Steve Lukather, and others. Of course, Les Paul himself was there and to see a 93-year-old man play the guitar with such a deft touch was amazing.

The worst part of the evening was the lice-like proliferation of digital cameras and cellphones recording every moment of it. I’ll leave the argument about illegal recording and copyright infringement for right now. It’s just obnoxious behavior to hold these gadgets up, blocking everyone else’s view, while you strain to get that all-important shot.

I know, I know. Your shaky camera phone shot of Slash taken from the balcony, in between heads and winter hats, is without a doubt going to be a piece of classic rock photography comparable to Ross Halfin or Neal Preston’s best work. It’s an heirloom that you’ll post on your MySpace page and have to include a caption so everyone can figure out what in the hell is on the screen. I get how important that Pulitzer Prize in photography is to you. But can you please keep the cellphone out of my face while you’re shooting there?

Of course, I realize that rant is pointless because certainly no Slushpile.net readers would never exhibit such boorish behavior. I mean, no one ever has to worry about me doing such a thing because I leave my 1984 bag phone in the car, so I can snatch it up and scream, “Yeah? McKenzie here,” like Sonny Crockett used to do in Miami Vice.

Also this week, I continued working on my guitar-related book and was saddened to learn that my favorite music shop is going out of business. In their case, it wasn’t the poor economy, but rather eBay that did them in. Of course, I couldn’t resist doing my part to show my appreciation for the store by purchasing a brand new instrument. I’m not generally a Fender man, but the discounts were too big to refuse this ’72 Telecaster Custom reissue.

So, next week, I’ll return to more bookish pursuits on Slushpile.net.