Friday, June 11, 2010

'Classical Gas' - Mason Williams: For a weekend treat, here are two versions of Mason Williams' fabulous acoustic guitar tour de force; which I would still like to have the ability to play; but sadly not. The first version
is all-acoustic, and the second version
is how it sounded on the 45. And yes, it's obvious he's miming on this one, but let's not spoil the moment.
A guitar genius working in a bar in Corralejo in the Canary Island of Fuerteventura had a book he passed through the audience. In it, were over 100 different tunes that he would play and / or add vocal accompanyment when required.
It surprised me when, at the end of the evening, I approached him to buy copies of his cassette, (yes, a few year's ago now), and asked why Mason Williams 'Classical Gas' was not in his repertoire; he told me that he had never heard of it.
This I found, and still do, very odd. Eric was / is a Dutchman, and it just surprises me that a bloke playing acoustic guitar had never heard of this brilliant piece.
His full name, from his cassettes, which I still proudly own, is Eric Sypestyn, and he played stuff like:- Bohemian Rhapsody (guitar and one voice, and it is amazing), Prince's When Doves Cry, a brilliant Air on a G-String (otherwise known as A Whiter Shade Of Pale), Stairway To Heaven, Whitenigger Blues, Losing My Religion etc. A great showman and character.