Andalucia Steve the dream

Balance and Soul

I often wonder what it is that separates the good from the great.

What it is that makes Stevie Ray Vaughan better than say, Eric Clapton. Or why is George Best a better footballer than say Bobby Moore.

I use the examples specifically because clearly Clapton is a wise, professional and experienced guitar player and Bobby Moore one of the most gifted footballers an captains England ever had.

Yet somehow there is a difference. I argue on no other evidence than that of my eyes, that the difference is of talent over schooling.

No matter how hard you try, if you don't have the necessary soul as part of your make-up you will only ever be as good as Eric Clapton. Similarly in football, guys like George Best, Gazza or half a dozen Brazillians I won't name here, have balance as an innate quality. You can train as much as you like but without that inherited quality you'll only be as good as Bobby Moore and never make that legendary Pele status.

The important lesson here is not to give up. When I saw Stevie Ray Vaughan from the second row at Hammersmith Odeon on the last night of his final tour, I gave up on playing guitar because I thought, 'gee - I can never be as good as him' - it took me years to accept that fact and pick up the guitar again. But here's the thing. I can be as good as Eric Clapton or a million other guitar players out there. Just don't pick the best one to measure yourself against because you'll always come up short!

[Originally published 5 April 2013]


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