Fantastic Gig

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#1
I've only just woken up after a late night, not answering dual-boot questions online, but being blown away by the unbelievable virtuosity of the world's best guitarist.

I spent a fantastic 2 hours, standing 5 feet from the legendary Jan Akkerman, watching with utter disbelief as his fingers flew effortlessly around the fingerboard of his black Gibson Les Paul Custom.

You're all probably far too young to have heard of him, but you've probably heard some of his music, as it's frequently used anonymously in the background of TV drama or documentary.

I've been a fan since hearing "Sylvia" his world-wide top-ten hit single with the band "Focus" in 1973, but although I have a large number of his albums in the original vinyl, I'd never seen him play live in all those 35 years.

Last night I made the pilgrimage home through the driving snow, as he played a gig in a small pub in the city of my birth at the beginning of a short UK tour and I was one of the privileged 100 able to see and hear his incredible musicianship (and that of his 3 much younger support musicians (bass, drums and keyboards)).

Do youself a favour today. Set aside 10 minutes, get yourself a coffee (or beverage of choice - see other thread), sit back, turn up your sound-card to 11, and click on his website.
http://www.janakkerman.com

There's a very generous sound sample of the opening number from the gig which plays in the background (the full track is there, and he comes from the era of prog-rock, where tracks were nearly always very long). It starts very mellow, (he's playing melodic chords, strummed with the thumb), but in the middle, the plectrum comes from between his lips to his fingers, and the notes begin to fly.

Listen in amazement. That really is just ONE guitar, playing live.
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
Terry i will check this out tonight when i have more time. I am just on the laptop right now while the wife and baby sleep. But from teh sounds of this i will love it as i love some great guitar riffs. Slash form Guns-N-Roses was always one of my favorites. Gratned he is probably not as great as your guy here. But i am only 30 and have not have the widest range of music experiences in mylife. :wink:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Mak, you might also like to see this old archive on Utube of JA in his prime (still with hair), playing the tune that started him on the road to rock-legend.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMDfbm0o6xY&feature=related
and just watch the left hand finger-work on this live performance of "Hocus Pocus"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpV5InLw52U&feature=related
And if you think you've never heard them before, just tell me you've never heard this Focus tune in the background of some TV documentary or other without knowing where it came from
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK2xQBsOvrY&NR=1
 
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Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#5
Those of you that enjoyed the backing music on the Jan Akkerman website, might like to pay another visit, where you'll find the music has changed to another live performance from last year, but this time to an "oldie" from the days of Focus, back in the 60's or 70's.
No "laid back" slow strumming to ease you into this one, and no luxury of 10 minutes to take a coffee break, just a few minutes of magic fingers for anyone that loves the sound of a Gibson "Les Paul" in top gear.