Bert Jansch

I have to mark the passing of one of the greatest of British guitarists, Bert Jansch, who died today. Amazingly I only heard him play twice – the first time with Pentangle in 1970, and the second just a few years ago in Colchester. He did once make me a cup of coffee, though, when I bought a guitar from him in the days when he had a shop in Putney.

Nevertheless he was a inescapable influence on a young guitarist like me in the 70s. I played in a trio with a Jansch clone from Pudsey, I learned to play the ubiquitous Davy Graham tune Angie in what was, essentially, his version and my biggest heroes, like Gordon Giltrap, had learned their craft largely from him. He was proficient, passionate and. perhaps most important, immensely charismatic. He was simply part of the furniture of my life for over forty years.

They don’t make them like that any more. If you’ve not heard him, try starting with this.

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About Jon Garvey

Training in medicine (which was my career), social psychology and theology. Interests in most things, but especially the science-faith interface. The rest of my time, though, is spent writing, playing and recording music.
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