A photo of Bert Weedon with his guitar

Fresh from the Vault: Unearthing The Original Rock Guitar God, Bert Weedon

30 Jan 2023

Fresh from the Vault Bert Weedon Artwork

By Ted Reyes

Decades before Brian May shredded his way into immortality, there was Bert Weedon. Before Jimmy Page "theremin-ed" his path to Stairway to Heaven, Bert was already there. Eric Clapton slowly handed his way to the hall of fame, or even Jeff Beck whammy-barred his journey to guitar godhood– there was Bert Weedon. 

Weedon was the first British guitarist to have a hit record on the UK Singles Chart in 1959, the original Brit rock guitar god, the English Zeus of Blues, and the Daddy of Brit Rockabilly. His Play in a Day guitar self-instruction manual, published in 1957, essentially taught future British guitar heroes like Pete TownshendKeith RichardsEric Clapton, and even Paul McCartney.

"I'd never felt the urge to press on without the tips and encouragement that Play in a Day gave me, " Eric Clapton said.

A photo of a young Bert Weedon playing an acoustic guitar

His reverb and tremolo-rich rich guitar tone was a precursor to the guitar-led instrumental groups in the early 1960s, like The Shadows and The Ventures. Immensely influential and way ahead of his time, Weedon also played in some of the most enduring recordings of all time as a session guitarist for acts such as Frank SinatraJudy GarlandNat "King" ColeCliff RichardTommy SteeleAdam Faith, and Marty Wilde.

Born in East Ham, London, in 1920, he studied classical guitar in East London. He quickly made a name as a session player supporting young aspiring English artists. His first significant break came when he joined Stephane Grappeli's group as a replacement for the legendary Django Reinhardt.

In 1959, his single Guitar Boogie Shuffle reached the top of the British charts and cemented him as Britain's premier guitarist. He was appointed OBE in 2001.

In 2002, KPM Music released a 58-track compilation album, Bert Weedon Gold, which remains one of the library's most remarkable treasures. Remastered at Abbey Road Studios, it contains most of Weedon's incredible recordings from 1953 to 1975. It also includes alternate versions for production music use. This influential album by "The Man Who Taught The World To Play Guitar" is available through APM Music.

A photo of various Bert Weedon posters and pictures

Bert Weedon Gold

Executive Producer: Peter Cox

Digitally Remastered at Abbey Road Studios

KPM Music Library

Track Listing

  1. Roundhouse Rock (a)
  2. Roundhouse Rock (b)
  3. Lazy Day Blues (a)
  4. Lazy Day Blues (b)
  5. Teen Scene
  6. Happy Times
  7. Twelve String Boogie
  8. Romantica
  9. Night Riders (a)
  10. Night Riders (b)
  11. Twilight Serenade
  12. Guitar Man
  13. Nashville Rock-Along
  14. Guitar Tango
  15. Teenage Kicks
  16. Steepin' In Style
  17. Tender Is The Night
  18. Holiday Magic
  19. Guitar Highway
  20. Rockin' Robbie
  21. Going Quackers (a)
  22. Going Quackers (b)

*All tracks have 60 and 30-second versions

Listen to the full album HERE