It was the successful attempt to beat a 2007 GWR for the "most acoustic guitars playing a song simultaneously".
The previous record was set in Germany some time last year when 1805 people assembled, guitars in hand, picks at the ready and played some dumb-ass song called "Smoke on the Water". (I can honestly say that I don't believe I've ever heard it, and I'm even more certain that if I HAVE heard it, I thought it SUCKED!)
Yesterday's event was lead by Country Joe McDonald, a 1960's folk/rock icon who performed with his band Country Joe and the Fish at thousands of venues, including a little <g> gathering at a farm in Woodstock, New York.
For more info on Joe go to http://www.countryjoe.com/
(I tried a half dozen times to make this an active link, but screw it. It figures that the first time I come back to this hell-hole in months that I get nothing but a heavy dose of cyber-s**t).
Gathers' inadequacies notwithstanding I will return to my story.
Last week I read in our local 'free' weekly "The East Bay Express" about this gathering and I 'googled' "Concordstock" and found a website where you could pre-register to participate.
Then, on Tuesday afternoon I bungeed my guitar case (and my amazing Home-made Kazoo) to my luggage rack and started off to the Rockridge station of BART (the S.F. Bay Area Rapid Transit combo subway/elevated train) and boarded a Concord bound train.
It was around 5 pm. The event was due to start @ 6:30 and I was expecting to see at least a couple of people on the train with guitars. I was the only one.
However, when I disembarked and started the 3 and a half block stroll to Todos Santos Plaza, I encountered a puzzled gentleman coming from that direction who stopped me to ask if I had any idea why there were so many folks with guitars just around the corner.
I explained to him what was happening, and trundled on my merry way.
Boy-oh-boy! There it was! Wall to wall guitarists! Big ones. Little ones. Old, young and in between.
There were even a few ukuleles and one gigantic "guitaron" (a mexican 4 string acoustic bass that is about a foot thick).
It wasn't too long before I recognized a few folks here and there, and finally settled in with my friends Greg and Luwanda at a spot not far from the front of the crowd.
Local news media was prowling about and was all set to go "live" once Joe and his assemblage got down to the real nitty gritty.
The song chosen was Woodrow Wilson Guthrie's ad-hoc "national anthem" "This Land is Your Land".
We all tuned up (talk about cacophony) and then did a quick rehearsal.
Before we knew it we were all jamming for a full SIX MINUTES. (The previous record was 5 minutes, so I guess they wanted to not only top the number of guitars, but the length of time.)
At the final tally, we broke the World Record by more than TWO HUNDRED.
At that point, I was rather parched and discovered to my supreme delight that there was a "brew-pub" less than 50 yards away.
Greg, Luwanda and I toasted our success with some great E.J. Phair India Pale Ale accompanied by a great feeling of accomplishment.