Composer, author, lecturer, guitar teacher

Jerry Donahue

I read today that a year ago Jerry Donahue, the American guitarist famous for his string-bending style, suffered a severe stroke which means he may not play again. So I want to draw attention to a piece of film which captures the genius of his playing. It’s an extract from a 1987 Equinox documentary about the electric guitar. It stunned many guitarists when it was first broadcast and continues to be an inspiration. Here is the youtube link and Jerry starts playing ‘The Claw’ at 8:40 into the track.



I think this clip deserves a special place in the recorded history of the guitar because of its influence and impact. Very few guitarists ever do something like that, which sets such a benchmark.


4 responses

  1. William Thompson

    Thank you so much for posting this video with Jerry Donahue, a true master. I think it was Joan Armatrading’s first album on which he played that got my attention. One of those rare times when you first hear a tune and NEED to know who is playing. I had the luck to see him in San Francisco with the Hellecasters. Wow. What a night.

    I hope he is doing well and give my regards and best wishes for recovery. A seminal player who has given so much to so many.

    November 7, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    • Hello William, thanks for your comment. I agree with what you say about Jerry Donahue’s playing.

      November 8, 2017 at 12:36 pm

  2. Peter Joscelyne

    I can’t play the guitar, so can’t make any useful (intelligent) comment…so I’l just say…that’s amazing! Thanks for posting the link.

    November 9, 2017 at 3:29 am

    • Hello Peter, thanks for your comment. I think it’s the kind of guitar-playing where the virtuosity and imagination is apparent to players and non-players alike. I wanted to post it because I think Jerry probably doesn’t fully appreciate how significant that performance was. Hope all is well down under.

      November 9, 2017 at 7:33 am

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