Elton John support act enthralls pupils

Elton John support act Kara Gordon performs for music pupils at Logan Park High School this week....
Elton John support act Kara Gordon performs for music pupils at Logan Park High School this week. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Dunedin school pupils got a sneak preview this week of tonight's Elton John concert.

Auckland guitarist Kara Gordon, who will open the concert for Sir Elton, held a guitar master class for year 9 and 10 music pupils at Logan Park High School.

His party piece included playing guitar with his teeth, behind his head and even playing the piano on the guitar.

"Music can be a serious business, but you also have to enjoy the fun of it," he told the transfixed pupils.

Gordon (30) has supported international music stars, including Joe Satriani, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Poison, Whitesnake and Ozzie Osbourne.

Satriani later said Gordon was "one of the most prolific young players I've ever seen", while United States band Living Colour founder Vernon Reid described him as "Jimi Hendrix reincarnated".

Gordon plans to play his Hendrix-inspired New Zealand national anthem, based on Hendrix's electric Star Spangled Banner anthem.

"I'll be playing a whole medley of different guitar things. There'll be a lot of classic guitar hero stuff and there's a bit of a surprise thing at the end," he said.

"This will probably be my biggest gig. I opened for Ozzy Osbourne in front of 30,000. But, this is me versus 33,000 people."

Gordon stressed to the pupils the dedication needed to get to the top, including practising between five and 10 hours a day.

"I didn't have much of a social life when I was a kid. While everyone else was out at rugby parties I'd be at home noodling away on my guitar," he said.

"You learn the technique and the theory side and combine those worlds, and before you know it you're having a whole lot of fun with it."

And the rewards - such as his sponsored Kara Gordon signature model guitar, made of 35,000-year-old swamp kauri and inlaid with paua, by New Zealand manufacturer Langcaster - can be substantial.

"One minute I was playing on a $20 op shop guitar my dad got me and the next I'm standing here with a custom Langcaster."

The visit was organised by Dunedin musician Craig Sinclair, who played with Gordon in Auckland earlier this year.

"Kids this age just don't get to see guys like this. He's a truly world-class guitarist," Sinclair said.

Gordon will also perform with the Kara Gordon Trio tomorrow from 10.30pm at Craft Bar.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

 

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