A couple of days ago for no reason I can think of, I suddenly got the urge to learn how to play one of my favourite ever songs, ‘Answering Machine‘ by The Replacements. I don’t make a habit of this because A. I’m lazy, B. I get annoyed if I’m not a good enough guitarist to get it right and C. Because it can ruin a song for me.

Actually C is the main reason. I’m usually wary about spending too much time dissecting a song in case I accidently destroy its magic. Sometimes when I discover the secret of the chord change that gives me goosebumps, it’s like finding out how David Blaine levitates – still cool, but suddenly not otherwordly anymore. Also, once indecipherable lyrics, when googled, suddenly turn out to be more mundane than previously imagined and in some cases throw an entirely unwanted perspective on the song.

Anyway, luckily this hasn’t been the case with ‘Answering Machine’ – I can play it and it’s still a classic to my ears. And following this train of thought I searched for what Paul Westerberg had been up to lately (I thought I’d got his latest album – but it turns out that Folker was released in 2004. Hmmm.) Anyway, turns out he’d written Glen Cammpbell’s new song Ghost on a Canvas’ – which I’ve heard loads recently on the radio and loved. And if you watch the video, the more eagle eyed amongst you will note that the ever cool Glen is wearing the exact same damn cowboy shirt as I often wear at gigs. Synchronicity. Gotta love it.

What’s more Paul also wrote ‘Any Trouble‘, another track for Glen’s album, which is, if anything, an even better song (and rips off a Stone Roses guitar line throughout – sorry, I’m always dissecting!)

Next song to learn – Lana Del Ray’s ubiquitous but nonetheless intoxicating ‘Video Games‘. Hope I’m not pushing my luck…

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