Allan Holdsworth, “The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever”

“Hazard Profile” with Soft Machine (1974)–Watch on YouTube

A reluctant guitarist (he wanted to play saxophone but his grandparents couldn’t afford one), Allan Holdsworth didn’t even start playing the instrument until he was 17. He learned quickly.

While he never achieved mass acclaim, he earned the respect of other musicians – Eddie Van Halen, Frank Zappa and John McClaughlin, to name a few. His fleet-fingered solos and original chord progressions amazed audiences and defied imitators.

Holdsworth moved around a lot, pursuing his own muses from group to group. A partial list includes Soft Machine, U.K., The New Tony Williams Lifetime, Tempest and Gong. The latter’s Gazeuse (Expresso in U.S.)  is listed as one of the 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die in the book by Tom Moon.

Allan Holdsworth, August 6, 1946-April 16, 2017

“The Sixteen Men of Tain” on Spotify