Ed Driscoll

THE FUTURE OF THE ELECTRIC

THE FUTURE OF THE ELECTRIC GUITAR: As I recently posted, I’m on the East Coast for work and pleasure until Tuesday. I have an enormous amount of books, records, tapes, and all sorts of potential Ebay fodder in storage at my parents’ house in New Jersey. Just for fun, and to give me something to aim for in my own home recording efforts (the same way the Apollo moon mission gave kids something to aim for with their model rockets), I picked up an old cassette I made of Robert Fripp and Andy Summers’ “I Advance Masked” and “Bewitched”.

It’s been years since I’ve heard this stuff, and I had forgotten how good these two were together. In terms of sounds alone, they really seem to taken the guitar to some kind of limit–there are electric guitars with all sorts of tones, Roland guitar synths, and even the odd electric sitar.

And in terms of technique, it really seems to be an attempt to merge 20th century classical and ethereal “world music” with the electric guitar–an instrument rarely associated with either genre.

This isn’t stuff I’d want to listen to every day (I’ll take the best of Beatles/Stones/Zep/Floyd/Who/Hendrix etc., 1970s Bruce Springsteen, and late 50s to mid 60s Miles, Trane and Gil Evans, thankyouverymuch!) but in terms of sheer craftsmanship, technique and chutzpah, it’s pretty nifty.

It’s a shame very little of their combined technique has filtered down to today’s pop and rock music. Most kids have no idea what the instrument is capable of.