Well yes. I adore guitars and Zappa, Page, Bream, Williams, Hendrix… are the godfathers! But you know… guitar doesn’t mean only a virtuoso player. There are a lot of guitar players who think in a different way than the usual “guitar hero” way of life. Karoli is one of these. You know… almost twenty years ago Can reprinted all their records in these beautiful SACD editions. I bought them all! I have always loved Krautrock and the Cosmik Couriers. All started with Kraftwerk and their algida ethics and their use of machines and rhythm. Then I started to listen to the other groups, I fell in love with Neu!, I love Michael Rother‘s guitar, and Tangerine Dream, Faust, Popol Vuh, Harmonia, Cluster, Amon Düül II, AshRa Temple and, of course, Can. What I really like about these musics is the fact that they were able to create a new way, a new idea of rock, melting their culture with American popular culture. This changed also the way the guitar is used in their music. I think I like the way they tried to not play blues. You know, all the rock players, all the guitar heroes started with blues. The solos. The scales. All this stuff. Karoli and the other guitar players got a new way, a new journey. The removed the blues and they began to think in term of patterns, textures, creating a different way to use guitars. Post-punk guitars did the same. People like The Edge for U2 and Charlie Burchill for Simple Minds. Think about the importance of Can for post-punk people, for Johnny Rotten, for P.I.L. They created a new world.
On the other hand, Allan Holdsworth is, as far as I can see, a true virtuoso, and I (in my ignorance, again, sorry!) I never heard about him. What would you say about him to those that never had the opportunity to get in touch with his music?
Oh, Allan Holdsworth. Probably the most underrated guitar player in the world. I met him and his music thanks to an interview published in the Italian guitar magazine “Chitarre” in 1992. It took me two years to find two of his best records “Metal Fatigue” and “I.O.U”. Holdsworth was a new kind of “guitar hero”, maybe the best one. A real virtuoso who created his own style based on a fantastic legato, the use of the tremolo bar and his conception of chords and harmony. I think he was a Renaissance man. Unfortunately he was not very good to promote himself and he became the hero fo a wild bunch of guitar players who followed him with passion, musicians of different genres who always tribute him their respect for what he was doing and for the way he was playing.
I suggest you this video… he is amazing.
I know Elizabeth Cotton and Matteo Fiorini too. I released a Fiorini’s digital album on my netlabel AlchEmistica a few years ago. He is a great player!
Elizabeth Cotton was a great guitar player, she was left hand and she played the guitar reversed. She was self-taught and she was able to create her own style. In the 50’s and 60’s during the cultural revolution in the USA there was a sort of revival of this prewar blues. A lot of American students and music lovers started to run around the Mississippi Delta and through the USA, looking for these people like her, Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, Charlie Patton, looking for their records and showing the existence of a different kind of forgotten blues and forgotten talents.
There were new ideas in the air, a social and cultural revolution and these players and the “Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music” helped to bring innovation and new ideas, until our days. She is still inspiring a lot of people today, as you can see.
…and what about all those cars? They’re so nice! Is it another passion you cultivate? It remembers me how, when I was a little boy, I loved cars and car models, then at some age I moved more and more into music (along with a period when football was my main interest).
Well. These models are not mine. I’m a records’ collector. My father was a… collections’ collector and he loved old cars models and he liked to adjust old motorcycles and bicycles. When he died, years ago, he left this models’ collection to my son. There are hundreds of small cars of every kind. I got some of them and placed closer to my records… I like them too.
You mention your father and your son: it often happens on this mag to discuss musical tastes through different generation in the family, and I’m really interested in going deeper sometimes. Does your child like music, and which tastes is he developing? Or he just prefers car toys? By the way, my father too is into collecting “per se” somehow… coins, stamps, train mostly now. But I didn’t follow his steps in that sense.
I think my father was a compulsive collector. I don’t know, maybe it was a post-war reaction: a sort of “accumulate and conserve” thing. My father likes music even if he was more into Richard Clayderman, Fausto Papetti and James Last. I think the only thing we had in common was Carlos Santana. My son likes music too, even if he is young he likes to go in my collection and gets what he like to try to listen to. He is a U2‘s fan, but he likes also Steve Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. And he likes also modern pop things. I try to not influence him with my music. He likes books and comics too. And sports.
Andrea Aguzzi has always been passionate about the internet, music and guitar. He is the blogger of Blog NEUGUITARS devoted in particular classical, jazz, contemporary and avant-garde guitar music. https://neuguitars.com/
He is the author of the books “Visionary Guitars Chatting with Guitarist”, “Chitarre visionarie. Conversazioni con chitarristi alternativi” and “Netlabels. Musica, Economia, Diritto, Società in Internet.”