Legendary guitarist and composer passes away, aged 91
Bert Weedon, the influential English guitarist, has died aged 91. Weedon is credited with being the first British guitarist to have hit single in the UK charts. Weedon was born in London and started to play guitar at the age of twelve. Early in his career he played with Big Bands, but his talents saw him become a regularly featured soloist. Alongside this, he worked as a session player, working on early British Rock ‘n’ Roll Records. It was this work that led to Top Rank Records asking him to record as a solo guitarist. The resulting track, ‘Guitar Boogie Shuffle’, made him the first British guitarist in the UK charts. The audience that this track reached made Weedon an influence on Eric Clapton, Mike Oldfield, Hank Marvin, George Harrison and many more.
Play in a Day
Despite Weedon’s huge popularity as a performer, it is arguably with his tutor book, ‘Play in a Day, with Bert Weedon’, that he had his greatest success. This book is, most probably, the best selling guitar tutor book of all time, selling millions of copies since its launch 55 years ago, and remains popular to this day, gaining him the title ‘the man who taught the world to play guitar’. Among those who used his book were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler, Sting, Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton… the list goes on.
Weedon’s reason for producing the book was his own difficulty when he started to play, and his wish to make things easier for others was reinforced by his personal nature towards fans, and users of his book. A long-standing customer at our Warrington Branch, Mr. Grady, wrote to Bert, with a query about a Hofner guitar that he’d purchased, and his part in its design. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Grady received a letter from Bert, confirming his involvement, and wishing him well with his playing.(reproduced below, courtesy of Mr. Grady)
Through his playing and tuition book, Bert Weedon is one of the most influential guitar players of all-time. His book, no doubt, will continue to inspire guitarists to play for generations to come.
R.I.P. Bert Weedon O.B.E., (May 1920 – April 20, 2012)
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