Sunday 10 May 2020

The Father of British Rock

Here's a centenary worth marking: born 100 years ago today, in East Ham, was guitar legend Bert Weedon. His legendary status has less to do with his playing than with his hugely influential guitar tutorial, Play in a Day (first published in 1957). Every would-be guitarist in the land seized on this book, and among them were some of the future giants of rock – Eric Clapton, Brian May, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards, Mark Knopfler, Jimmy Page, Dave Davies, even Robert Smith. Thanks to Play in a Day, Bert Weedon can be seen as the father of British rock. And yet there was nothing remotely cool about Weedon: he was an excellent guitarist, but his approach and his musical style were never, even in the Fifties, at the cutting edge. He was an old-fashioned entertainer with no pretensions. Here he is, having fun and giving his audience a good time, with an old favourite that will surely bring a smile to the straightest face...

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