Monday, June 30, 2008


What impressed me most about the simply labeled “guitar” video was how totally unpromotional it was.
A) The title of the video was “guitar”. Not, “best guitar ever!!” or even “Canon Rock” which was the song that is being played.
B) The guitarist has a hat pulled over his head so you can’t see who he is. The entire video becomes about his technical virtuousity and the beauty of the song rather than his performance ability.
C) He put the video up anonymously under an account called “funtwo”. In fact, after the video came out and started getting millions of views, there were several attempts from people who claimed to be funtwo but weren’t.
45,000,000 pagev iews later, here’s “guitar”:

A couple of comments:
When I first saw the video I thought that the guitarist came up with the composition. But its actually a composer (on YouTube, “JerryC”) from Taiwan who did the original version of “Canon Rock”.

Here’s the JerryC version of the song:

Of course, JerryC., who was largely unknown before the “guitar” cover came out of his song, has now signed with a record label, HIM, and his website, has tens of thousands of posts on his forum including the latest post I saw which was from some girl in France asking if he has “emotional nice character”.
So who did “guitar”? A South Korean guitarist (he learned how to play in 2000) named Jeong-Hyun Lim. When the New York Times asked him why he covered his head he said,
““I think play is more significant than appearance. Therefore I want the others to focus on my fingering and sound. Furthermore I know I’m not that handsome.””

Furthermore, his anti-showmanship approach is exemplified by this quote (despite the 10s of millions of fans who clearly enjoy his guitar playing), “I am always thinking that I’m not that good player and must improve more than now.”

Racking up 5.4mm pageviews is “the new canon rock” which is arguably a step up from the prior two performances, however, its funny to me that about half the comments has to do with the guitarist’s appearance since he doesn’t choose to hide himself:

Finally, with all the renewed interest in Pachelbel’s Canon, comedian Rob Paravonian did a pretty funny rant on the piece:. The video below is past 5,000,000 pageviews and I have to think its because its related to the “guitar” video, even if distantly.

And, (more finally), here’s funtwo playing Vivaldi’s “summer” from the Four Seasons

-James Altucher

1 comment:

Mebane Faber said...

Ah you can't forget "Daft Hands" (22 million views) which spawned "Daft bodies" and many more.

My personal favorite is "Drinking out of cups" although you have to watch it at least three times. . .