July 2009, A memory of a great acoustic session, live from the roof of a Jerusalem hostel . .


I remember the borrowed guitar I used was right handed but not easy to play, the strings were too old and I still believe carried tetanus, but I was covered. Two hairline cracks like tributaries were obvious on the bridge and the action was atypical of a young Tackamine. I count twelve souls in total on the rooftop with me, all drinking and staring at strangers around them, who was everyone. But, there were these other three German travellers who gave attention, they looked the best of everyone, well bred and accomplished even in their clothes come rags attire. Two were women, why would I have played for the group otherwise?

I remember it was "In my Life" by the silver beatles that distracted all of the others who had been lounging in intense resting potential. I was sticking to how I had learned the song from a book 5 years before, A - E - F#m -G .. ... . Clasping bar chords were all that worked, forget open chords or tunings. In fact I think the whole guitar was tuned down to a C, which was why the women sung like baratones and no harmonies could be found.

The greatest moment was finishing the set, which was not flawless, there were a handful of trespassers who peered in during the set having climbed the stairs from their private burrows in the building. Each said their piece and absconded slowly to let their complaint last a little longer. The set had ended when the alarm on my phone sounded at 6 am, no-one really INVOLVED in the music had noticed the sun was up.

I can only estimate, perhaps there 50 songs performed, but I think the guitar would remember each one vividly. I always travel with my own guitar now and seldom do I change the strings, hoping a similar session will find me under these conditions once again.

Do any guitarists identify?