2000 Guitarists Break World Record Playing 'This Land is Your Land'
A whopping 2052 guitar players sang and performed “This Land is Your Land” potentially making their way in to the Guiness Book of World Records. It usually takes a about a month for Guiness to make it official. I remember we use to have to sing this all the time in Elementary School. Last world record was set back in 2007 when 1802 people in Germany sang and played “Smoke on the Water”. I wonder which song will be used to break it next.
"This Land is Your Land" on the guitar never sounded so ... well, so world record-ish.
Even if it was a little shaky on the quality side. But then, sounding like a master picker or even a nasal-toned Woody Guthrie wasn't the point.
The only reason 2,052 people filled Todos Santos Park in Concord on Tuesday night was to set a world record for "guitar ensemble" playing - and that they did, in laughing, singing, ax-banging style.
Led by 1960s singing icon Country Joe McDonald, the moms, dads, kids, hippies and suits took six minutes to carve out their new mark in Guinness World Records by playing and singing the old folk tune in unison.
"Pretty good crowd," McDonald mused after the sing-along, and he should know, having led hundreds of thousands of hippies in somewhat more risque sing-alongs at Woodstock 39 years ago.
All around him, fine guitarists, kind-of guitarists, and just-plain-bad-but-happy guitarists pumped their fists and screamed. McDonald broke into a grin: "Well, I guess we broke that record."
The bid for history was conceived months ago as a promotional gimmick to commemorate 20 years of city-sponsored summer concerts in the downtown park, said Virginia Thomas, president of the Todos Santos Park Business Association. But by the time Guinness managers had sent instructions from their Great Britain headquarters and the daunting task of advertising for 2,000 volunteers with guitars had gotten under way, the whole thing became more than just a gimmick.
"We really, really wanted to break the record, and make a real mark for Concord," she said, face flushed with excitement. "And we did! We even went the extra mile to make sure it'll take a while for someone to beat us."
The previous record for guitar ensemble strumming, according to Guinness, was set June 26, 2007, when 1,802 people banged out "Smoke on the Water" in unison in Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany.
The new mark will still have to be verified by Guinness headquarters, which should take about a month.