Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Dan Smith Will Teach You Guitar

I realise blogging on tour would have made more sense, but I get swept up in events (i.e tired and drunk), so I shall attempt to make up for this failing by subjecting you to increasingly desperate and random observations from my kicking around New York City looking for distraction and inspiration.

Dan Smith will teach you guitar. I know this because his black and white flyers, stuck wherever possible (and some where it is possible but surely inadvisable) tell me so. Over the years his face has become more familiar to me than my own. Being Dan Smith must be like walking forever through a hall of mirrors. I have no idea for how long he has been teaching guitar, or even if he is still alive. In the picture he looks late twenties, maybe early thirties – it’s a difficult age to pin down – he may even be dead by now, his poor family and friends forever haunted by his visage in every corner store and deli window. Dan Smith must have put heroic effort into flyering all these years. That or he has a battalion of supporters, each taking an armful of posters and ensuring his face is permanently staring out at you, offering to teach you to master the guitar. I admire Dan. He has taken steps to ensure that for guitar lessons in NYC, he is the ‘go to’ guy. I wonder if he goes further, and tears down the posters of other potential teachers. Does he garrotte them with a bronze-wound G string, or wait in darkened alleys for them, only to leap out and slash at them with a sharpened silver plectrum, which he keeps dangling from his neck at all times for just such a purpose. Does he cradle their heads in his lap as the blood drains slowly from them, whispering: “it’s okay to let go, I’ll take your students from now on”? … before taking their posters and tossing them casually in a dumpster, or more likely burning them so the wind cannot accidentally carry out his rivals’ work for them? Is Dan the grey squirrel of the guitar teacher world? Does he quash his rivals, steal their nuts? I have no idea. I doubt it. He probably just teaches guitar.

But here’s my point: “You have no upcoming shows in the system” is the most depressing thing revealed by my MySpace page, other than my songs of course. It leaves my mind time to wander, detaches my sanity from the part of my brain that looks both ways for traffic – and leaves me prey to such flights of fancy as wondering if Dan Smith is a serial-killer/guitar teacher. For instance, I wandered in to Best Buy today, to escape the cold, and ending up watching kids playing guitar hero for hours. Hours!

I wonder if there is a Guitar Hero Dan Smith Edition? But of course there isn’t, if there were Dan Smith would have made damn sure I know about it.

I am hiring Dan Smith to do the publicity for my next album.

Right, I am now off to shop for food for Thanksgiving... I will be roasting a pilgrim, handing out smallpox covered blankets to people, and generally giving thanks that I am not remotely interested in the game known as "football". Stepping outside to "toss a little pig skin" means something entirely different if you grew up in Suffolk.


  1. Now that I look at this, does Dan Smith look a bit like Lorca below? Anyone seen them in the same room?

  2. He does look a bit like like Lorca indeed, but he really doesn't exude Duende.

    As for your little scenario about Dan (I feel compelled to call him Dan now)getting rid of his potential rivals, it reminded me of a crime novel by Donald Westlake, The Ax. Desperate times call for desperate measures...

  3. Tom,

    Since you are feeling a little bored in NYC, why not schedule another show (in NYC)?

  4. so...
    he was 34 in 2003
    charging $100/hour in advance for at least one lesson/week
    said then that he put all the flyers up himself

    and, amazingly "Dan Smith" is also the name of a character in the video game Killer7

    so keep away from him
    and Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Dan Smith with his smug look reminds me of me 2 years ago at the first stage of how to play a guitar
    No 1. How to hold a guitar

    Two years on the smugness is gone and I haven't moved on to No 2.

    I play an amazing air guitar though;-).....lol
    Now don't choke on the bones of the pilgrim and have a great Thanksgiving when it comes.:-)x

  6. If you're so bored I'd be happy to take you on a tour of The Bronx and you can play your first gig there (it'd probably have to be in my living room though...)

  7. My boyfriend does guitar lessons with Dan and he's gotten really good. He can play Blackbird all the way through. He says Dan is a really cool teacher. But he won't let me meet him! Don't know why. All I can do is look at his website, which appears to have corporate sponsorship from Guitar Center. Check it out www.dansmithwillteachyouguitar.com

  8. I loved this. I just wrote about Dan Smith, myself.
    I am falling in love with Dan a little, but I must admit the serial-killer image has made him slightly less attractive.


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