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This was once again undeniably confirmed at our recent Premier Guitar Festival in Boston, held September 15-16. In my nearly 15 years of experience as a road warrior, attending, exhibiting and playing at guitar shows, that “real deal” experience has never been stronger for the attendees of a festival. I personally had the incredible honor of moderating our “Up Close and Personal” workshop sessions with several of our featured artists such as Robben Ford, Johnny A, Trey Alexander (winner of the Guitar Hero 2006 competition), Stu Hamm, Jeff Scheetz, Monty Montgomery and Boston native J. Geils. Workshop participants were able to truly learn about these amazing artists in an intimate setting. Peter Stroud was kind enough to share his insight and awesome chops in our amp and pedal demo clinics. Special thanks to our friends and colleagues at TrueFire (www.truefire.com), the leaders in guitar instruction, for arranging and providing workshops that were the hit of the festival.
My personal observation in witnessing the undivided attention of the clinic attendees was nothing short of amazing – they literally tuned in for each and every suggestion on chops and tone that our presenters had to offer. In an Up Close and Personal session with the legendary Johnny A, I observed an inspiring moment. A 40-something father of two was front and center, his small kids on his lap, arm around his wife and guitar case in hand. He was intensely focused on his opportunity to ask Johnny A about his Gibson signature model hollowbody guitar. It was a very sincere moment and very moving for me – I remember thinking, “This is what it is really all about.”
In my humble opinion, we can often take this crazy business of guitars way too seriously, becoming so caught up in the hustle of making a living that we sometimes forget about making a life. That is what playing the guitar is really about: improving your quality of life. It’s kind of heavy but entirely true.
In the Little Kids Rock clinic (www.littlekidsrock.org), it was heart warming to see the looks on the young kids’ faces when they mastered their first chord. It’s ironic that that same look shines on the faces of big kids, like us, when we finally master a difficult chop or discover that elusive tone. As you go about in your day to day life, make sure to share that passion.
Unlike any other guitar gig ever, we have filmed the entire Festival... all the workshops, all the cool exhibits; and all the entertainment. We’re currently editing over 250 hours of film and will be putting it up... with free access for all... on our network of websites; reaching millions of viewers every month, by year end. So look for Premier Guitar Festivals/On Demand coming in December... for a guitar experience that lives on! Just another dimension for Premier Guitar to reach out and touch ya. Youcan’t rn and you can’t hide– the PG crew will find you, and maybe even buy you a beer!
Rock on Gearheads.