Nothing can really compare with the feeling of when cultures and people from distant parts of the globe actually can come together over their mutual love and appreciation of music. I have had many experiences like this over the years, and the other day, had an especially incredible one!
I apparently have some great fans over in Europe, where I have of course, played, but only sparsely, and in many places, a long time ago. This friend and fan came all the way from Spain to meet me and to present me with a guitar as a gift. I was so blown away as to almost be speechless! He said to me that he had been learning from my videos since he was 10 years old, and that now even his 10 year-old child was now learning from them as well! He also expressed interest in bringing me over to Europe to do some touring, and of course, I am extremely excited about this prospect! The greatest thing though, was that we could simply sit down, having never even met before, and simply “rip” into a number of songs I have been playing for years, and he knew every change, every lick too! What an amazing experience to have such a fan come and be so wonderful and generous, and on top of it all to have a musical exchange like that!
Of course, it brought me back to some “old” days, when I did this all over the world, and all over America, as well. That wonderful comradery that can occur between musicians, even ones who’ve never met, is truly awe-inspiring, and should also be very musically stimulating for all those involved. It’s almost as if the experience is actually heightened by the “international” nature of what is going on, and the ear and the hands are that more “vigilant” about what they are doing! I certainly know that it can occur also when a band from another culture gets together and learns my stuff so they can back me up when I come to their country. Jeez, sometimes they’re even better than my own band, and are certainly taking the whole assignment a lot more seriously than perhaps players who play with me on a regular basis! Of course, this teaches all kinds of lessons in life and music as well, and can be such a learning experience for anyone who ever goes through it! So good luck, and I hope you one day get to experience these wonderful musical “culture-combining” moments!