Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental manservant Hop-Sing and I are off to Hollywood, where we've wangled cameo roles as torturees in a forthcoming episode of the Neflix revival of 24. Apparently, we're going to have to cross some sort of picket line, but as far as I'm concerned those rich writers are just greedheads. I mean, really -- does Aaron Sorkin really need a better royalty deal for the Criterion Blu-ray Edition of A Few Good Men? Feh.
So posting by moi will be necessarily sporadic for a while.
But in my absence, here's a fun project for us all to contemplate:Best Guitar Break -- or Breaks -- on a Rock Record in Which Said Breaks are Under Two Minutes Long
You know -- the most succinct, the most melodic, the most inventive, the most menacing, the most technically accomplished -- however you define a great guitar break.
Yeah, yeah, I can already hear the harrumphing -- because of the time constraint, this list is necessarily going to be skewed towards (mostly) out and out pop records. Which means that a lot of stuff by a lot of my faves (Richard Thompson, for example, who I think is pound for pound the greatest rock guitarist ever) and a lot of yours (Duane Allman or Stevie Ray Vaughan, perhaps?) can't qualify.
That being the case, may I simply say to both you and me --- tough titties.
Okay -- here's my reasonably well considered Top Ten.
10. James Burton (Ricky Nelson) -- Hello Mary Lou
Rockabilly guitar doesn't get any better. (Also: Moah cowbell!)
9. Pete Townshend (The Who) -- The Kids Are Alright
[This one's my favorite, partly because it's gorgeous in its minimalism, but mostly because it was edited out of both the American versions -- single and album -- back in the day. Why? Somebody at the American record company thought the feedback was a mistake. Hahahahahahahaha...]
8, Either Keith Richards or Brian Jones (The Rolling Stones) -- The Last Time
[Honorable mention: Keith on the faster than the speed of light solo on "She Said Yeah."]
7. Dave Edmunds (With Brinsley Schwarz) -- Let It Rock
I can't tell you how many hours I spent learning all those licks.
6. Paul Kossoff (Free) -- All Right Now
If there's a more beautifully structured single-note blues rock solo ever committed to a recording medium, I haven't heard it.
5. Neil Young -- Cinnamon Girl
4. Roger McGuinn (The Byrds) -- I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better
[honorable mention: "Eight Miles High," which may clock in over two minutes]
3. John Lennon (The Beatles) -- You Can't Do That
Yeah. He was just a rhythm player.
2. Elliot Randall (Steely Dan) -- Reelin' in the Years
I can't think of better guitar work on a commercial pop hit.
And the most awesome short form guitar on a rock record obviously is...
1. Tom Verlaine (Television) -- See No Evil
Verlaine. Sheesh. Also Richard Lloyd, but he isn't playing the solo.
Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?
And have a great weekend, everybody!!!