Guitarist Li Yanliang (right) and rocker Xu Wei have developed a 20-year friendship in their pursuit of rock music.
Guitarist Li Yanliang has had a long career playing alongside singer-songwriter Xu Wei. The musician has now released a book documenting his journey and giving tips to other aspiring rock stars. Chen Nan reports.
Guitarist Li Yanliang Red Sox Blake Swihart Jersey , 46, says there are two moments that were turning points in his life.
The first was when he was 14 years old and walking down the street in his hometown of Luoyang, in Henan province. He saw a man playing guitar and, intrigued by the sound, asked the man to teach him the song. A week later Red Sox Jackie Bradley Jr Jersey , he could play it as well as the man did.
"Before that, I had never seen the instrument, let alone played it. At that moment I told myself 'I am a guitar genius'," Li says.
The second critical moment came in 1995, two years after Li arrived in Beijing to pursue his music dream. The self-taught guitarist was playing in a studio for an album recording when a skinny Red Sox Dustin Pedroia Jersey , long-haired man approached him, complimented his guitar skills and invited him to play on his album.
He listened to the man's music and was impressed. He immediately agreed to play on the album. That man was Xu Wei. And it was his debut album Elsewhere.
Some 20 years on, Li is one of the most in-demand guitarists in China and Xu is a rock star. The two have collaborated on all of Xu's albums.
Their latest collaboration is a guitar book for learners, launched by Li. The book features 10 songs from Xu's latest album At the Moment, which Li produced and played all the guitar parts on.
Xu says the book records their 20-year friendship and their musical memories.
"I really appreciate everything he has done all these years Red Sox Hanley Ramirez Jersey ," Xu says. "He would pick up the phone in the middle of the night to patiently answer my guitar questions.
"We share similar values and attitude toward life, as well as a passion for music. The biggest difference is that he is much more talkative than me."
Guitarist Li Yanliang (right) has had a long career playing alongside singer-songwriter Xu Wei.
Xu's six albums chart the pair's musical development as well as their personal growth. Elsewhere was made when Beijing's rock scene was dominated by heavy metal. The two young ambitious musicians, who are the same age, had just arrived in Beijing and were penniless. They did not follow the trend of the day, instead branching out and making the album completely by themselves.
"We poured all our confusion Red Sox Xander Bogaerts Jersey , complaints and emotional suffering into the album. We would drink and chat all night in the studio, and we still do, even after all these years," Xu says.
They describe Xu's latest album At the Moment as a departure from the singer-songwriter's past albums. Both Li and Xu fell in love with traditional Chinese culture, such as tea culture Red Sox David Ortiz Jersey , calligraphy and guqin (plucked seven-string Chinese zither). They have moved into a different stage of life.
"If each album we made represents how we tried to solve all the problems in our lives. Then this album, At the Moment, is the answer," says Li.
"We are no longer angry rockers with long hair. The album is full of gratitude and hope."
During the past 20 years, Li also found fame and fortune by working with other top singer-songwriters in China Red Sox Jim Rice Jersey , including Fay Wong, Zheng Jun and San Bao. His name has been on the production lists of more than 150 albums.
"I've seen how good the industry was and how bad it is right now. But no matter what, people need music and we have fun with it," Li says.
Li and Xu will soon fly to Liverpool in the United Kingdom. The city is the hometown of their musical idols, The Beatles. The pair will play three nights at the famous Cavern Club Red Sox Ted Williams Jersey , where The Beatles performed in their early years. They will also record a new song at Abbey Road Studios in London, where The Beatles did almost all of their recording in the 1960s.
Upon their return from the UK, they will hit the road again for the At the Moment tour, which runs until the end of the year.
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