…where apparently they kidnap American guitar players and force them to battle in cage-match riff-offs. I found this video at YouTube.com, which is slowly taking over the world as a video answer to Flickr. People upload videos and share them online for free. The content is an amalgam of home movies and TV clips. I did a search on some of my favorite guitar players and found this clip of Paul Gilbert and Marty Friedman from a Japanese TV show. Even if you’re not a guitar player, I think this video is illuminating as a cross-cultural experience. First the guys compete in a name-that-Kiss-riff competition (which Marty wins, although if the game were Beatles tunes, Paul would totally have killed him), then another one based on letters of the alphabet. There are also clips from random videos (UFO and Ramones, anyone?) and a completely surreal The Price is Right-esque advertisement for Paul’s PGM301 guitar. Watching it I couldn’t help but feel as though there is a parallel universe where guitar shredding never died. Kurt Cobain never made it to Japan.
Compounding the weirdness is the fact that Marty and Paul speak fluent Japanese throughout the show.