Did Madonna Fake Her Guitar Solo At Live Earth?

Here’s The Answer!

The internet has been buzzing with the possibility that Madonna faked a guitar solo at the Live Earth concert in London. Meanwhile, clips of the performance are being taken down from Youtube and put back up faster than Madonna can pinch a titty. If my link is dead, you should be able to find the clip elsewhere without too much trouble.

This morning, I dutifully sat through the entire, crushingly tedious seven minutes of it …except where I went to the kitchen to get a glass of juice. One thing is clear from the start: Madonna is not very comfortable with the guitar. She has all the gangling awkwardness of a total beginner distastefully blended with her own brand of self-conscious rockstar bullshit. She looks like she can barely bring herself to touch the thing as she prances around geurnsey style. I’m not a Madonna hater - some of her songs are kind of nice - but her boytoy thing has seen a few too many seasons.

Is she playing the guitar? Well, yeah. She’s playing a G and a C, which is pretty much all “Ray of Light” has going on. Her chords are tentative, clumsy little things, but she is indeed playing them.

But did she fake the guitar solo? Answer: there is no guitar solo. At the end of the song she sticks her guitar in front of the amp and makes a bunch of feedback (also known as the Larson Effect!) then runs the fretboard along the side of the amp. That hardly counts as a guitar solo, and it’s certainly nothing worth faking. It’s nothing that Bea Arthur couldn’t manage, and Madonna will never be Julianna Hatfield (who is a remarkable guitar player, in my opinion).