Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Micro Fiction March Day 15


I spent a while trying to work out which memory to pick for this, and then Spotify happened to randomly throw me a track from Whitesnake's Live at Donington 1990 album - which just so happened to be the first ever concert I ever attended. It was so cool to listen back to the track and remember how it felt to be there watching it all those years ago as a 16yr old. So, I decided to write a short piece about that and how it cemented my desire to play guitar...

A Bright Memory

Never having been to a concert before, I was perhaps a little brave to buy tickets to the 1990 Monster of Rock festival at Castle Donington - an all-day event featuring five different rock bands and attended by more than 75,000 people - that I went to with my friend Rob.

Thunder were the opening act. I’d heard a few songs before but hadn’t been into them, but they were fantastic live and made me a fan. Quireboys and Poison followed but I wasn’t particularly enamoured with either.

Things turned up a notch with the arrival of Aerosmith. If they were nonplussed not to be the headline act, they responded with a high octane set that saw Steven Tyler strutting around on stage in his pomp and Jimmy Page joining the band for the encore.

And then Whitesnake hit the stage. 

David Coverdale immediately had the audience in the palm of his hand, but I’d come along to see a particular guitarist for the very first time. I’d been introduced to Steve Vai a few months earlier and had pretty much worn out the tape of his instrumental album Passion and Warfare from listening to it over and over again.

Vai didn’t disappoint in a blistering solo spot, with a particular moment in it burned forever into my memories. Playing a guitar covered in mirrors, he ended a section of the solo by hitting a note which was sustained and then hooked the guitar to a cable that sent the guitar spinning up into the roof of the stage - reflecting light with that note still ringing out loud - while he raced to grab a second guitar and start a new song.

In that moment, I knew with certainty that I simply had to learn how to play guitar.

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