Wednesday, 5 October 2011

RIP, Bert

Aw. Guitar legend Bert Jansch has died.
Robin Denselow writes: Bert Jansch was that rarity, a musician who really did deserve to be regarded as a legend, and who retained that status throughout his career. He was an extraordinary guitarist and a thoughtful songwriter, and generations of would-be pickers sat at his concerts watching his fingerwork with envy and astonishment.

He was influenced by traditional songs, blues and the "folk-baroque" of Davy Graham, but his distinctive style always allowed him to take chances and work with different musicians. When I first met him, as a student journalist in the 1960s, he was outselling Bob Dylan in the folk shops along the Charing Cross Road, and told me: "I'm not recording for anyone, just myself."

Years later, visiting him at his garden flat in Kilburn, it always struck me how little he had changed – he was still a tousled-haired figure with a slight mumble and quiet sense of humour, happiest when picking up a guitar and discussing music. One of the most memorable of Bert's shows was his 60th birthday celebration at London's South Bank, when he ran through the full gamut of his work, joined by younger fans including Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler and Hope Sandoval. He was a unique performer.

My highschool boyfriend was a very talented musician. He studied the bass but loved the guitar. Like all guitar-nuts, he was blown away by Jansch.

One day we were listening to a new Jansch album and almost came to blows over a particular song. I think it was this one.

Boyfriend insisted that it was double -- at least -- tracked. Had to be two -- at least -- takes mixed together. NOBODY could pick like that.

Nobody but Bert.


1 comment:

deBeauxOs said...

Wow. I'd never heard of this musician. Thank you for that, fh.

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