There certainly is nothing fake about the statement that “music is the universal language” and it’s amazing how some of these international “encounters” can really stay with you, and always mean a lot to you as your life goes on. These experiences have always stayed with me, even many years later. I suppose it’s because it’s such an incredibly “moving “experience…I mean think of it, going to a strange and foreign land, and you encounter people who may not even speak your language, but the minute you all strap on those guitars you’re not only speaking the same new language, but your communication is complete and immediate, and you are immediately “linked” by your mutual love of what you’re doing, which is making the music you love!
I had these experiences in England, Finland, Japan, Australia and many other places…it’s such an amazing feeling, especially when some of these musicians want to please you so badly, that they many times even out-do your own band! That was certainly the case for me, as I went from doing a live concert video in the UK with my “home” band, and then went on to Finland to play with a bunch of guys who learned my stuff “cold” and who were literally ready for me to just jump on the stage, and who certainly “out did” my own band from the USA!
The same was true in Japan, and the joy that is mutually experienced when you can jam together and really make good things happen is a truly unique musical “life” experience you’ll never forget. The greatest is when you see the smiles on the faces of those foreign folks as they realize that you and them are really connecting! They are getting an experience, thanks to you coming all that way, and making that “travel” sacrifice so you all could play music together! It’s something that almost can’t be described!
Another thing is when many of you are all “brought together” for a mutual experience from many different places. I can recall doing a series of concerts and clinics in Finland, the “Hot Guitars” festival, where me and many other playing luminaries all met there to teach together and to play together. It was amazing, and the fact that I was sharing such a powerful mutual experience with other legendary folks such as Joe Pass, Barney Kessel and others just made it that much more exciting and lasting for all concerned!
So, like me, I hope you have some great inter-cultural and international music experiences like I have had! I look forward to more, as I actually will be touring Spain and Italy later this year for the first time. Can’t wait to report on this to you!!