I was looking through my photo library and came across the shot below, which I’d taken back in 2009. The painted guitarists are nameless, implying that they are iconic enough to recognise. There is added handwritten text summarising their persona. On the left is a representation of American country musician Hank Williams who died back in 1953, and on the right, Irish rock musician Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, who died in 1986. I like the way the images of both guitarists are framed in fairy lights, and the twinning of the two very different musicians. They are both looking dapper, Hank in full country and western mode with fringed shirt, red cravat and large stetson, and Phil in a 3 piece black tie ensemble – his long slim tie is Western-style bow also known a Colonel Sanders tie – linking him to the country legend alongside him. Lynott’s caption is Black, Beautiful and Irish . This image also resonated with me as I know two beautiful black Irish women and have discovered that at least one of them has received abuse for identifying as black and Irish. This photograph was taken In London on the corner above The Boogaloo Pub on Archway Road in Highgate. I don’t know if the two guitarists are still up on that wall; I will have to go and check!
The next two photographs were taken in New York but on separate occasions. I always find myself attracted to these decorative guitar straps, which are displayed in the window of a music store in the East Village. The first strap is themed around Mexican artist Frida Kahlo and the second image has Catholic religious imagery including the Black Madonna, After doing a bit of a Google search I’ve discovered that they are designed by Jodi Head.
I also rediscovered the next photo which would have fit in nicely on my recent piece on hats. Busking in London’s Tottenham Court Road tube in 2009, Jean-Claude Madhero, originally from Martinique, sings and strums one of his unmistakable melodies from The Antilles:
Just round the corner from Tottenham Court Road at the iconic Denmark Street, preparations for a stylish new guitar shop provide the opportunity for this street abstract complete with reflected church and graffitied windows:
And from my seat in a cab in San Francisco I see some street art featuring the great Carlos Santana: