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Hey Girls! You've gotta see this article - "What’s so funny about a female Jimi Hendrix?"

08/18/2005

We found this great article by Chris Lowry in Ireland\'s EveningHerald. Definitely a different perspective about the phenomenal rise of Girl Guitar players...




What’s so funny about a female Jimi Hendrix?

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Male guitar heroes — used to lots of adoring groupies — are feeling increasingly under threat from female ‘axe players’.

THE short film Delphine, possibly the best little movie this country has produced in recent years, tells the story of a girl who goes into a music shop to buy a guitar.

She can’t afford to purchase it outright so she puts down a fiver each time she visits. And on each occasion, to the mounting fury of the shop owner, she makes a few tuneless attempts to play the thing, before carefully replacing it on the shelf.

Gradually, though, she gets a bit better, and eventually she’s actually pretty good. Finally, she makes the last payment, picks up the guitar and plays such a storming session that the other customers in the shop can’t stop themselves from moshing and head-banging.

Then, as she blasts out the final chords, she grabs the instrument by the neck and smashes it to pieces.

Genius. That, in a nutshell, is the true essence of rock and roll.

But girls can’t play the guitar in real life, can they?

Apparently they can, and there’s a multi-million dollar industry to prove it.

So many young women have taken it up that they are reviving the instrument’s fortunes.

Five years ago, guitar sales were in a slump but now they are returning to the levels they reached in their 70s and 80s heyday.

Much of this has to do with a single company -Daisy Rock. The California firm specialises in what can only be called girlie guitars -slimmer, lighter instruments in feminine shapes.

Apparently, they’re so good that Led Zeppelin legend Jimmy Page recently bought one for his daughter.

My first reaction to this news was -Jimmy Page has a daughter? And he’s in touch with her?

But there’s no denying that this is a significant endorsement.

So, if Jimmy Page has given his seal of approval to the idea of women playing guitar, shouldn’t we?

Probably -if only because it would be patently absurd to hold an opinion that’s more sexist than that of a fiftysomething heavy-metaller.

Still, I can’t help feeling nostalgia for the days when guitar playing was a male preserve.

Not because there’s anything innately wrong with women trying their hand at it. Even the most unreconstructed of us would accept, however reluctantly, that guys can’t have a monopoly on fun (and playing lead guitar is a lot more fun than being stuck on backing vocals, for example).

No, the reason why I sympathise with those who are quietly mourning the demise of another male bastion is that it threatens the very reason why teenage boys take up the guitar in the first place.

Which, of course, is to get a girlfriend.

Anyone who has been in a band will confirm that you don’t need to be Stevie Ray Vaughan to get attention from women in the audience.

Pretty much all you have to do is stand there and hit a few chords to ensure that you won’t be going home alone (the way you used to before you got your first real six-string).

But female guitarists threaten all that.

Once girls realise that what the show-off onstage is doing is actually relatively easy, their respect for him will diminish very quickly.

And God forbid that an axe-hero should have to try and seduce someone using just his conversational skills.

I have no doubt that women playing guitar -chicks with six, if you like -will be good for music.

But, whether the development is good for lonely musos, who need every break they can get, is another question entirely.

CHRIS LOWRY
EveningHerald