Let me take you down coz I’m going to…
Guitar solos! The magic word that encompasses future / would-be guitar virtuosos. From hearing “Voodoo Child” to”Stairway to Heaven“, up to Satch’s “I Believe” to “One” by Metallica. Everyone wants to learn to solo! But then, people change and guitarists change with them. But then, again, there will always be a cool solo you want to learn or at least hear (while you just air guitar your way to it).
So, this are my top five guitar solos (as of writing this blog):
Mr. Crowley – Ozzy Osbourne (Randy Roads)
This is the first time I heard a heavy metal guitar solo that’s influenced by classical music. Or, at least the first time I heard classical music played through a overdriven guitar string.
Alive – Pearl Jam (Mike McCready)
This is heavily influenced by Hendrix and it’s from my time.
Heaven – Psychedelic Furs
I liked this because it reminded me of being young. Like I remember riding in the backseat of our car. But I know it never happened because I first heard this song after we lost our car. But, still, I like that feeling. 🙂
Love You – Primal Scream (Jim Navajo)
This is because of its simplicity. And for repeating the exact same solo as the song ends.
A Letter to Elise – The Cure (Porl Thompson)
It’s for telling a story with the solo – for me, at least. Like there’s an introduction, characters, conflict, climax, denouement, etc. etc. It’s one of the few solos I constantly repeat without going back to the start of the song itself.
So, at the start of this year when I started work again (I’m on a massive re-training), when my iPod suddenly showed its age. Anyway, I bought it eight years ago, I think, so I’m willing to part with in. Or I thought. It is a 80 gig Classic and everything’s okay with it except for the headphone jack. Nothing’s coming out of the right speaker.
Of course, the first thing that I did was bring it to Makati Cinema Square, an old mall here in Metro Manila where there are shoppes that “fix” broken gadgets. The first that I saw said he can fix my iPod so I left it with him. After work, I went back to his shop but suddenly he said that he can’t find the old jack that he can use to replace mine. Well, if you ask me, I know that my headphone jack doesn’t need replacing. I just knew it!
So I went to the shop right beside him. And this time he fixed my iPod. And I went home happy as I could be. But the next few days it started acting up somehow so I returned it. And, again I went home. But this time I noticed that what’s coming out of the left speaker IS also coming out the right speaker as well. And I could hear a lot of frequencies being canceled out because of this. In short, he made it worse. It’s like he made my iPod worse than mono.
Well, the good news is that I fixed my own iPod. And it’s as simple as the steps below.
Woke up at 4am this morning and for some reason I couldn’t stop thinking about Pearl Jam. It had to do with an article I read about Cameron Crowe’s documentary about them called “Pearl Jam Twenty”. I just couldn’t shake it off me – Pearl Jam is now twenty years old. Just, wow.
I first discovered Pearl Jam when I was around 18. I saw their now iconic videos for “Evenflow” and “Alive”, which I happen to videotape on Betamax. I was instantly hooked. I couldn’t wait to go home from school so I could watch those videos – much like how it is when we have new cassettes/vinyls/CDs of newly discovered artists. There’s just something about them that’s refreshing and raw. And Eddie Vedder’s now famous growl and snarl just struck me (in a good way). Mind you, this was the very early 90’s when rock and roll singers still did their best (or bad in some cases) impressions of Robert Plant’s high-pitched wails. Eddie had a growl…and he’s not even in a thrash/hardcore band. And the lyrics, how fragmented and incomplete they seem, yet so comfortable. Those were words I could have written.
Then it finally arrived, their debut album “Ten” became available in my country (late from the rest of the world as always). And I ate up that record everyday, every guitar nuance, every breathing, every sigh that was recorded I consumed. The height of my love affair with this band reached its zenith when they came to Manila around 1995 during their “Vitalogy” tour. And as bonus, they had Mudhoney in tow. That was a night I would never forget.
Now, twenty years after and their songs are still significant. Twenty years is a long time for a band. Twenty years is a long time for almost anything. Just to put things in perspective: I am now more than twice my age when “Ten” first came out. Another way of seeing that span: someone born on that day would now be older than I was when “Ten” was released.
I’m glad Pearl Jam is still around. I no longer listen to them as much as I did during my youth. But it’s a nice feeling knowing that some people are still making worthwhile music.