The Fastest Guitar Alive” is one of those rock’n’roll movies that rock’n’roll would probably like to disown. In fact, it may have driven rock’n’roll to drink – and it was doing all right in that department before this film came along in 1967.
It’s Roy Orbison’s only acting role – for a clue as to why, see the movie. Fortunately, he didn’t give up his day job so he could sit in a Hollywood apartment waiting for his agent to call with that next big offer. According to TFH guru Allison Anders, Elvis Presley had first crack at this gem and turned it down. Elvis must have already read the script for “Clambake” and decided that his Oscar was waiting to be picked up.
Roy Orbison – a great musical artist – lacks any sort of Elvis-esque charisma, a quality that just might have lifted this movie a notch or two. Not to say his acting is wooden, but Roy could have been upstaged by a box of Lincoln Logs.
Orbison walks through this Civil War western carrying a guitar that doubles as a rifle. Roy’s guitar playing was not particularly fast, and the gun barrel that extends from his axe when called upon does so at a snail’s pace, so the movie’s title is a bit of a puzzler. It must refer to the bullet that is fired from the guitar gun. A hidden wine compartment might have proven to be more useful, but considering that he was working for the Confederacy, it probably would have contained Muscadine wine.
I don’t even know where to start with the word “alive” in the title. The last time I checked, guitars are inanimate objects. Was the working title “The Fastest Guitar Player Alive,” before the producers got a look at Orbison’s strumming? Does it have to be an old mill?
The Big O wrote and performed seven songs which appear in the movie, any of which are at least as good as the movie itself – and a lot shorter. If you’re screening this one at home, get that wine ready early – you’re going to want it. Suggested viewing activity: do a shot every time the gun barrel extends from the guitar.
Red Guitar Wine comes from the Navarro region of Spain. Tempranillo and Garnacha are the varieties they bottle, and the vines are up to 100 years old – like many classic rock guitarists. The website claims it was the Spanish who added a sixth string to whatever instrument they were playing back then, giving birth to the guitar and paving the way for a movie about a fast one.
More fast guitar wine stuff:
Rock Guitar Wine Rack – Pretty cool, if you don’t mind dropping a C-note on a wine rack that only holds four bottles. You can empty this one before the third reel.
Wooden Guitar Wine Bottle Holder – This one only holds one bottle – useless for me – but it’s only $11.
>Guitar Wine Tote – This only holds one bottle, too, but I’ll admit I’m intrigued. $35
Dog Playing Guitar Wine Topper – This item sums up everything that’s bad about wine-related chotchkies. $16