A Vancouver-area musician named Spirit is on a mission to set a record for longest continuous guitar playing.
He’ll attempt the 116-hour marathon session at Richmond’s River Rock Casino Resort early next month, in a bid to raise $10,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.
If things go according to plan, Spirit will play guitar staring at 10 a.m. on Monday, May 7 and won’t stop picking until 11 p.m. Saturday, May 12. Guinness-mandated rules allow for a five-minute break every hour, and Spirit can bank that time.
According to Guinness, the record for longest marathon playing guitar by an individual is 114 hours, six minutes and 30 seconds, a feat achieved by Irish musician David Browne at a Dublin bar in 2011.
After seeing video of Browne in action, Spirit set out to break the record, with a charitable twist.
Both of his parents died from cancer-related illnesses, said the former Surrey resident, who now lives in Delta.
“After witnessing (that) and being part of that personally, it hit me, because it (cancer) could lie in my genes,” Spirit says in the casino’s promo video.
For every day Spirit plays guitar during his marathon, Great Canadian Casinos will donate $1,000 to the cause.
The record attempt will include some challenges for Spirit, including washroom breaks and sleep deprivation.
“I’ll always think of myself as a fortunate person,” he writes on a “Spirit And The Challenge” page on the cancer society’s website. “Why? Because I have the opportunity to live my passion by performing music for a living and share this gift with others. As an ‘Acoustic Live Looping Artist,’ I am excited about performing and growing as an artist, but also feel I should give back to society and to my community on many levels as I become more successful. This event will definitely be on a new level for me!”
When performing, Spirit is a one-man band armed with a modified acoustic guitar, vocal mics and an array of foot pedals. His live-looping method involves music created on the spot.
“Everything you hear is live,” Spirit emphasized in a 2016 interview. “At first, people usually think, ‘OK, it’s a guy playing guitar,’ and sometimes they’ll hear other things and wonder if they’re pre-recorded. Well, no they’re not. I build the songs in front of them, and some people get that and others don’t realize what’s happening, that I’m adding layers. There’s a lot going on, and I think it’s pretty unique.”