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On July 19th, 2007, two Québec musicians, Antoine Dufour and Tommy Gauthier, decided to record a rendition of the piece “Jerry’s Breakdown” by Jerry Reed. What’s so original? They did so on one guitar, with four hands.
After the two professional musicians uploaded the video, they, quite obviously, didn’t expect such a reaction. Their video ended up linked to from multiple blogs, from journalists to musicians, some putting the emphasis on the musical aspect of the performance, others pointing out the humor in this curiosity.
And with popularity comes emulation…
From original (and humoristic) pieces.
To takes on popular pieces, like “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.
Or with the classic “La Bamba”.
While composer Patrick Globe decided to do an on-album piece with that technique…
And what if the four hands playing the guitar were the hands of two twin brothers? Doesn’t add anything to musical quality, but points for originality!
Others decided that their take, or homage, needed to stay closer to Dufour and Gauthier’s performance. They decided to take it one step further, bringing the video to the “real world”, in on-stage takes of the four-handed Dufour and Gauthier version of “Jerry’s Breakdown”.
Another one decided to simply go with a reaction video of 3 Year Old watching the musical piece…
While others decided to simply (try to) mimic the original.
Or just show that they could do THAT piece with only 2 hands.
Even tough Antoine Dufour and Tommy Gauthier’s four-handed guitar video was quite popular, and got quite a lot of visibility, in Québec and worldwide, the French-Canadian duo weren’t the first to try out four-handed play and make a video of it…
In June 2006, YouTube user GrassRoots69, and a friend, from France, did it with a blues piece… Listening to the piece, with many small mistakes, it’s quite obvious, that Dufour and Gauthier four-hand attempt was more polished, which probably led to it’s popularity, and thus, the two Quebecers can be credited with this meme’s success.
And where could Dufour and Gauthier had their idea?
Maybe from this 1989 performance of Sergio and Odair Assad of the piece “Escorregando”, says Canadian YouTube user treinspore, who decided to entitle the video “The Original Four Hands Guitar”.
On their parts, Antoine Dufour and Tommy Gauthier continue to play together, having recorded three albums since 2005. Althrough, ever since, “Four Hands Guitar” was, says Wikipedia, their most famous video.