Still, even if it was a topic of extreme curiosity for me, Youdai seemed happy to talk about the challenges he was encountering as he saw his radio show grow the size of its audience, where the country and rock music might be headed, etc. So he agreed to do an interview with me formally for the local expat newspaper.
It was Fazi who had introduced me to Youdai. We were playing a gig at Guo Mao and he asked the DJ to come down and have a listen to us. I became an avid listener to his program and eventually he asked me to even host one of his “Anyone Can Play Guitar” lessons on the campus of the school I was teaching at, Bei Hang.
And so that is how I found myself in front of about 100 students telling them about how easy the guitar is to play, how I taught myself by borrowing my brother’s Gibson L6 when he wasn’t around, that it was both percussion and melodic, and that a lot of powerful music was fairly simple two or three chord stuff.
They seemed to dig it, and I later saw some graffiti that seemed to refer to Youdai and the frustration of culture change in China. “No one can play guitar” it read, spray-painted onto an overpass along the Third Ring Road.