Magazine article Guitar Player

Noize from the Editor

Magazine article Guitar Player

Noize from the Editor

Article excerpt

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU'RE DONE?

Well, hopefully, we'll all keep playing until the moment we depart the planet for the great unknown. The almost indescribable bliss of having a guitar in your hands while you noodle through some riffs, or play a favorite song, is powerful enough to sustain a love for playing through advancing age, infirmary, and many more of life's challenges. In fact, playing guitar can heal a lot of wounds, as well as bring a measure of joy and hope to those beset with serious physical and emotional trials. We know this to be true.

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We may not want to admit that fingers, aspirations, and desires can falter and wane, and threaten the relationship with our beloved instrument.

This thought occurred to me while editing this month's cover story, and reading John McLaughlin's moving but measured and content admission that arthritis is advancing, and, as he foresees a time when he won't be able to make his fingers achieve what his heart and soul can conceive, he is embarking on a final tour. McLaughlin has certainly earned the opportunity to withdraw from the rigors of touring on his own terms. His artistry and grace have delighted, challenged, and inspired not just guitarists, his creativity has also enriched the very fabric of world music and beyond. He is a giant. So while it's difficult to let him go--in a sense, as he stated he would never stop making music in some way--he has provided a kind of a teaching moment regarding an objective consideration of one's approaching limitations, and the decision of when to step down graciously and without regrets.

We all know that some musicians, athletes, actors, and others have not made very elegant exits, holding center stage long after their exquisite powers had abandoned them. For example, I adored Link Wray. The very idea of him rocking loud and hard into his 70s made me very happy. …

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