Set It On Fire

Set-It-On-Fire-Philip-VanDusen-NOTEXT.jpg

It was 1967 and there were a hell of a lot of great guitar players in London. John Lennon, Jeff Beck, Brian Jones, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, were all playing the clubs. If you were a guitar player too, it was hard to get noticed.

But there was this one skinny guy named Jimi Hendrix from America. He was a good guitarist. Better than most. He dressed weird, but everyone was dressing weird. He used a lot of distortion, but everyone did that, too. One typical night, his band The Experience was playing the London Astoria. At the end of their 45 minute set Jimi kneeled, laid his guitar down on the stage and…set it on fire.

The audience loved it. The music press couldn’t stop writing about it. They started calling him “The Black Elvis”. Soon it was standing room only. He was that guy who torched his guitar.

Unless you live on a tiny atoll in the Pacific, chances are there are a lot of competitors around who do what you do. You may do it better. Better than most. But how can you be really different? What can you do to set it on fire?