Weeping Guitar

OK, so it’s better not to spend too much time looking at the clothes they’re wearing, because, after all, this concert took place in the 80s… But noone makes a guitar weep like Eric. Except perhaps Peter Green.

This weeping guitar video made it into the blog after I watched the new Scorsese documentary about George Harrison this week. It’s worth investing three and half hours in watching. The music and the story are very familiar, but the snippets of spiritual stuff that Scorses manages to slip in seamlessly are really very inspiring. And it oiled a great many rusty bits of memory, some of which make me blush as I type.

Ravi Shankar makes an appearance and talks about the power of music, which to him and most Hindus is a manifestation of god. Some music, he says, like Indian classical music, European Baroque, Gregorian chant, help elevate the spirit and encourage spiritual reflection. Other music is a manifestation of demons, because it agitates the spirit and encourages behaviour that is rather less than spiritual (my precis). It’s true, I think. Certainly in my experience.

These days, if I listen to music at all it’s Andreas singing Irish songs in the shower, or old man Bach. When I hear the music of my youth (see below) out of nowhere I start longing for a stiff drink (no ice) and a fag. Or whatever. And even though I don’t seek it out any more, I still love the blues and adore a seriously muscular wailing guitar (see below).

I don’t know what Khyentse Rinpooche makes of the blues. I wonder if he’s even been exposed to it. The last time we discussed music in any form was after a concert of Brahms and Strauss at the beautiful Konzerthaus in Berlin. I’d been completely blown away but the lusciousness of the Strauss (Ein Heldenleben) but for Rinpoche it was “too much noise”. He preferred the Brahms (the double concerto), which has far more obvious tunes in it. Different strokes, I guess.

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