Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jimi Hendrix & Jimmy Page: Two Of A Kind.

Last week on the 13th, I saw a special, one-off cinema event that featured the English rock group Led Zeppelin. The band broke up in 1980 but got together again just for this one-off event in 2007 in London to honor the founder of Atlantic Records. I'm a huge fan of Led Zeppelin, even though they were way before my time, and I have most of their albums either on vinly or CD. But every time I hear Jimmy Page on lead guitar, I always have to ask myself: who's the better guitarist: Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page?

Jimi Hendrix was way before my time and passsed away in 1970 at the at the age of 27, but his music is timeless. For those who've never had the opportunity to see him in action, I suggest a (DVD) viewing of "Jimi Hendrix: Live At The Isle Of White". You'll never tire of listening to "Hey Joe" no matter how many times it's been played on the radio. Jimi Hendrix "reasoned" with his guitar, treating it like an errant child that needed to be reasoned with. As for "eating" his guitar and playing it with his teeth, there's no-one better for doing that than Jimi Hendrix.

On the other hand, Jimmy Page "talks" to his guitar, like a stern scholmaster giving his class a right telling-off! His guitar-play on "Kashmir" is brutal, and yet on "Stairway To Heaven" he's ever so subtle, right up to the final climax. I've seen lead-guitarists play the guitar with their teeth and their elbows, but only Jimmy Page had the arrogance to play his guitar with a violin-bow! The man's a genius, and though many folks will disagree with me, I have to say that Jimmy Page gets the nod over Jimi Hendrix -- but only by a whisker.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ghana Shows The Way (once again)

A tall tale told to me years ago in the Gaborone Sun hotel, in Botswana, went like this: a Musarwa (Bushman) was invited by some Scandinavian do-gooders to spend the night in a hotel. They had heard many a legendary story about Bushmen and wanted to observe one up-close. However, in the morning, the Scandinavians were astounded to find out that their new-found Bushman friend had passed out and died in his hotel-room.

Apparently the Bushman had died of shock. The notion of of having readily-available tap-water was foreign to him, and so when he turned on the taps, and out came the flushing water, he was immediately overcome with shock and died on the spot!!

On Tuesday I witnessed (on Twitter) the Ghanaian I.E.A Presidential Debates, as the candidates went head-to-head, asking thought-provoking questions at each other, all live-streamed onto the Internet. The ease with which the democratic-process is practiced in Ghana is revealing. It's noticeably absent of the violence, opaqueness and buffoonery that exists elsewhere on the African Continent. For me it was totally shocking! On Tuesday, I was that "bushman in the hotel-suite", totally unused to the ease at which others conduct their political-affairs.

Where do our Ghanaian brothers succeed, where others fail hopelessly? What is it in the (political) water of Ghana that makes their political-process so much more democratic? Anyway, as for me, I was fortunately able to recover from my initial shock (unlike the Bushman in Gaborone) and live to see another day!