Monday, April 27, 2015


I'm not going to lie to you. A photo of guitar face just about made my night. Almost more than Gloria Jones, but we'll get to her in a minute. First, I have to be upfront. I have a fascination with guitar face. It cracks me up, but that's really just part of it. It intrigues me. I know some guitarists try to avoid it, and a lot seem to think it better displays their emotions when playing their searing lead. Some may not be able to help themselves. And then there are those who effortlessly display little or no emotion, no matter what they play. Those are the ones who are usually musicians first, showmen second (if at all). But I can't lie. I love seeing asshats play searing leads. It's like seeing a knockout punch, but nobody gets hurt. A sort of Disaster Light. Bordering on rubbernecking, I cannot look away.

Now to Gloria Jones. I ran into a post that mentioned her and had to revisit "Tainted Love", the song famously covered by Soft Cell. If you haven't heard it, you need to. If you have heard it and Soft Cell's cover, you might not have heard her re-recording of it from 1976. It's not nearly as Northern Soul-ish, but kicks ass nonetheless, due in no small part to her pronounced wail. You'll never guess what lead me to her tonight. That's right, the guitar facer. It can now be revealed, the owner of tonight's breathtaking guitar face is none other than David Bowie. The original image (below) has achieved the impossible, instantly climbing to the top of my favorite guitar faces of all time list, for the pure guffaw it induces.

The Bowie and Marc Bolan photo comes from a post at There Is a Site That Never Goes Out. It's with eleven mp3s of the two of them working on three songs, from 1977. It also has Gloria Jones on piano and backing vocals, so that was where the sidetracking began. But, oh man, that guitar face.

Gloria Jones - Tainted Love (1964) mp3 at Friday Mix Tape (?)
Gloria Jones - Tainted Love (1976) mp3 at Clones Project
Bowie Bolan Overdrive:
David Bowie and Marc Bolan Rehearsal tapes at There Is a Site That Never Goes Out Three songs, eleven takes total


espen E. said...

Hank aside; if there’s one thing the Lady of This House hates, it’s Guitar Faces… I’m not kidding; If I so much as even hint at pulling one, there’ll be threats of violence – all sorts of serious hurt – flying through the air in a matter of seconds… Now I wouldn’t exactly call myself stupid, but somehow I take that as a challenge to my punch-taking abilities. So; guitar face it is. And I’m proud to say she hasn’t knocked me out yet… Down maybe, but not out.

Anyway, I think they’re hilarious. And so was this one. Especially since she kind of has a soft spot for David Bowie.


Tom G. said...

Ha! That last line had me losing it! I LOVE the fact that she is so opinionated. I used to hate it, but then, years ago I caught myself watching Saturday Night Live and looking away as they broke to commercials because they often showed the band, and when they did, they often showed the guitarist, one G.E Smith, and I couldn't look at him. One of the most grotesque guitar faces ever.

Then I began to force myself to look, as one does to build immunity. Over time I realized I was actually laughing, not with him, most decidedly AT him. It was all downhill from there.

Please pass on tip of the hat to your better half!

espen E. said...

Hahaha… GE Smith is certainly up there! Screensaver image-worthy! He’s like a shredding (hate that word), longhaired version of Stan Laurel – sort of.

To be fair (not really), a short search for more (GE Smith) brought me to this:

^ Seems there’s people out there that can look past a twisted(-ing?) mug like that without further questioning… Good for the World… Or maybe; the Root of our Problems… I’m not sure which.

And just to fill you in: the ONE guy actually responsible for Missy A’s GFRT (Guitar Face Related Trauma) is none other than BB King… Exposed at an early age, and unable to process the wealth of visual information related to Blues Boy’s facial contortions, she just never recovered. And now I’m taking the blows for it.

Oh; just a sudden thought: In (plastic) surgery; how about offering a «guitarfacectomy»?! And if an option, yeah, Ms. A would be a rooting supporter, I know, but would the real sufferers line up? I wonder…

Or, wait, this just in: the Guitar Face Wax Museum! What a concept! Just thinking about the potential of that makes me choke chuckles.

Shit, I better stop now… It’s GFTCGROOH (Guitar Face Themed Comment Getting Rabidly Out Of Hand).

All the best, Tom!

Tom G. said...

I hate the term "shredding" too. It's the guitar face of guitarist verbs.