Havin’ a Gander

Nicholas Mercer
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

As my guitar gently weeps

I’m standing in front of the stage at the kitchen party.

Good times are happening all around me.

One gentleman is double-fisting a couple of coolers to the left of me.

Someone should tell that guy he’s at a rock show and not Liquid Ice downtown in St. John’s.

Rolling my eyes, I turn my attention back to the stage.

Mike Dean, the frontman of Canadian 80’s rockers Loverboy, is bouncing around stage like a man half his age.

It isn’t something you’d expect from a 50-year-old man who plays 100 plus shows a year.

He has all of the classic rock moves; the air guitar, the jump kick, the rock walk.

The crowd is eating out his hand.

Something is moving in the periphery of my vision.

It’s a guy fist-pumping.

Rolling my eyes again, my eyes return to centre stage.

A solo is coming, I can feel it.

The music is reaching a crescendo, everything is coming together, the drums, the bass everything.

Just when it reaches the perfect height, guitarist Paul Reno brings it all down with a virtuoso-like guitar solo.

After taking a few pictures of Reno in musical bliss a thought crosses my mind.

It’s not everyday you hear that on modern rock radio in our fair province.

You have the chance of hearing it on K-Rock.

But that’s where the music of rock greats like Jimmy Page, Angus Young, Randy Rhoads, and Zakk Wylde lives on.

You might be tempted to say, where’s Ozzy?

But he doesn’t exist any guitar hero universe; he never played the instruments on his records.

What is my point?

Well, I miss hearing a good guitar solo on the radio.

Loverboy, as strange as this sounds, reminded me of that.

Sure there are solos on OZFM, but would you call them good.

“Just when it reaches the perfect height, guitarist Paul Reno brings it all down with a virtuoso-like guitar solo.”

Not really.

NickELback are huge on pop-rock radio, and rightfully so.

They write infectious tunes, and are the new kings of the power ballad, but they don’t write good riffs.

I find that, and this is just my opinion, a lot of bands today are building riffs based off of Nirvana song structures.

Everyone is looking for the next stadium anthem.

The big sound that transcends small clubs and can only be heard in big stadiums or outdoor festivals.

You’re probably asking yourself, ‘man you’re crazy, there’s good music on the radio! Kings of Leon are awesome!’

Sure, they have a couple of good tunes, but nothing groundbreaking.

Where are the guitar solos?

It used to be they were the backbone of any good rock ensemble.

You find a good guitarist and have him lay down a riff, layer it over the rhythm section.

Songs got airplay because they played a killer solo somewhere in the middle of the song.

It didn’t have to be a fast, technical riff, it could be a slow, melodic solo.

Either way it was there, and it sounded awesome!

Listen to your radio, turn it up , and prepare yourself for the ‘rock’ sounds of Arcade Fire, The Fray, the aforementioned Kings of Leon, and Theory of a Deadman.

Not a guitar solo among them, yet their referred to as ‘rock.’

All I want is a guitar solo.

I blame Third Eye Blind.


Organizations: Liquid Ice, Third Eye Blind

Geographic location: Leon

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page