The Solo Traveller's View

David Garrett and the Guys

17 Comments

An attempted Analysis of a Musical Phenomenon – Part 10

A look at the comments on YouTube makes it abundantly clear how the ladies, the girls and women see David Garrett:

“Soooo handsome and humble. Love him.” – “Guapísimo, sencillo, sensible … l love David, el mejor violinista del momento.” – “Handsome, talented artist and a sweet personality … He’s just a dreamy guy. Sigh!” – “All I can say is WOW! Great talent, gorgeous man in every sense.” – “Not only is he a hottie, he fills my heart with joy.” – “David Garrett: so schön kann klassische Musik sein.” – “He seems such a nice person and he’s so friggin’ talented!” – “Simplemente adorable, expone todos los más dulces sentimientos en segundos.” – “It is your inner beauty that is reflected in your music.” – “He is one of the most talented musicians of our generation, regularly sells out arenas across the world and looks like God’s interpretation of sex.” – “Con esa sonrisa tienes el mundo en tus manos.” – “Ein Ausnahmemensch: gutes Aussehen, Sprachtalent, Bescheidenheit und Intelligenz, und dann noch dieses künstlerische Talent – David, dein Erfolg sei dir von Herzen vergönnt!” – “Maravilhoso!!! David sai do estilo clássico para o rock com uma facilidade incrível, embelezando com perfeição seu estilo. É um Virtuoso na música e na beleza pessoal!” – “He is so sexy and handsome, and he has some really lovely interpretations. I am in love. Feeling like my soul is in heaven.” – “He is superb, and what a honey!” – “Grand virtuose! Merci, c’est original, parfait et cela permet d’ouvrir l’art du classique a de plus large horizons! Un grand merci pour cette passion intense!” – “Unvorstellbar, ohne Noten ein so langes Stück aus dem Gedächtnis zu spielen. David spielt göttlich.” – “No había conocido la perfección … HASTA HOY! Hombre de indiscutible talento y guapura!” – “This made me cry. You are an incredible musician and an amazing human being. Thank you, David” – “I’m in love!!!”

There is more – much more – of a similar nature, but these excerpts may serve to outline what it is about David that appeals to women of all ages.

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But what about the guys, the boys and men? How do they feel about him? Do they dismiss David Garrett out of hand as “that pretty fiddler” while shrugging in a superior manner, in an effort to preserve their self-worth? It would be understandable and not at all surprising. In a man’s world, ruled by competition and a pitiless Darwinian process of selection, how does any man feel about a fellow placed so far beyond the pale of fair comparison?

Let us take a look at YouTube comments by persons with such names as Antonio, Brian, Luiz, Gordon, Dirk, Tristan, Michel, Ron, Imron, Jose, Mark, Guy, Sebastian, Ross, etc. If we accept that these are not false identities, created to cover yet more female enthusiasm, then we have proof that not every man is envious, cynical or spiteful when it comes to David Garrett, for this is what they have to say:

“God, this man is awesome!” – “Sublime.” – “Wonderful. I can enjoy listening to it thousands of times. Thanks.” – “Bellissima! Magnifica! Ti da una forza esplosiva!” “I can’t believe I clapped to my laptop.” – “I started learning to play the violin because of this guy, and don’t ever regret it.” – “How does he memorize all these notes?” – “That’s really impressive!” – “Este hombre es un genio!” – “It’s actually painful to see so much talent and good looks in one guy. To those who say that there is some fairness or balance in this world, I just say two words: David. Garrett.” – “Just like Samson of the Bible was superhuman with his long hair, this is the Samson of the Violin.” –  “Garrett beweist allen, dass ein Mann kein Macho sein muss.” – “No, I’m not a girl/woman, nor am I a gay man.  His looks have zero effect on me. I just enjoy his music.” – “Super Typ!” – “Muito lindo, maravilhoso!” – “Die Kombination, die David Garrett verkörpert, ist sehr selten: Großes Talent, gepaart mit gutem Aussehen und gepflegten Umgangsformen. Er zeigt, was möglich ist. Hut ab!” – “Watching you play is moving. The passion I see in you, the joy, the absolute perfection in your music is inspiring to say the least. Often I listen, wishing I too could play so beautifully, without worry or concern showing, knowing that each note played is felt with passion and confidence.” – “Simplemente extraordinario!” – “Art in its purest form.”

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Brilliant! Face it, this Juilliard graduate would not be getting 2 to 7 million views unless he was doing it right.He makes it look so easy! – “Damn, those skills … and he’s such a spontaneous guy, moving all around the stage.” – “Großartig! Ich kann nichts anderes sagen als Respekt! “He is so polite and decent, it only makes me respect him more.”“Metallica auf einer Stradivari. Ich kann in Frieden sterben …” – “Play on, David! Awesome.”

Not so very different from the girls’ comments, are they? There is the same generous appreciation of David Garrett’s outstanding skill as a violinist, the same wholehearted recognition of his musical talent, and the same admiration of his personal qualities. Missing is the current of sexual attraction that powers so many of the female comments, yet even the men are touched in their soul by the magic of David’s playing:

“This made me cry; shit, he’s good.” – “His interpretation [of Beethoven] is fantastic and not only highly musical, but so human. If all the fanatic people in this world could feel this music, this could turn the earth into paradise.” – “Que du bonheur …” – “It takes a lot to affect me, but that moved me to tears. Beautiful!” – “No hay palabras para expresar lo bello de esta música y del fabuloso violinista que es David.” – “I don’t see God, but this performance makes me feel that He sent you. All of my pain, agony, anger and sorrow are vanished. Now I am crying and playing it for the 56th time.” – “Siento que me llega al fondo de mi alma ya que sus notas las siento que me calan el sentimiento y las siento fluir en el ambiente con mayor delicadeza, pureza y con una lentitud, llevandome a un infinito frenesi y complejo de emociones sintiendo lo poco puro que tiene mi Ser.” – “He finds more in every melody than you ever thought was there.” – “Ich finde es wunderschön, wie du Geige spielst. Da bekommt man Gänsehaut. Danke!” – “I can’t help but cry whenever I hear this, and I am not sure really why – it just touches something within.” 

Grown men have no problem admitting their tears and using prose that touches on the mystic when searching for words to describe what it is that moves them so deeply as they listen to David Garrett’s playing, and all of these comments may surely serve as positive proof that his appeal is not limited to females.

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The guys who know David Garrett best must be the members of his band, because they spend a lot of time with him and could be regarded as his current family. The crossover tours with these friends must offer him a welcome break from the loneliness of travelling as a classical soloist. As like-minded musicians who work, play and hang out with David, they are surely the only people who fully understand what his life is like, for they share the joys and rewards of his success, the challenges of life on the road, the sacrifice of a normal personal life for months on end, and the exhilarating strain of giving so much to so many, day after day, city after city and country after country.

In the 2009 Interview Höchstpersönlich – Part 2, this is what they said of him. Guitarist Marcus Wolf: “He’s a fantastic musician … He’s a good guy, fun, a handsome young man … I like him.” – Pianist John Haywood: “First, when I started working with him, it was quite scary. You respect his talent, his musicianship … ” – “He is very demanding, he’s got a severe work and practice schedule. That must be part of his genius. He is a very strong and earnest person … He’s a genius, a pretty intense guy.” – “He’s a complete star. He’s got it all: the looks, the playing, a fantastic connection with the audience. I can’t see any other way but – up!” – Drummer Jeff Lipstein: “There’s nothing not clear with David. His playing is so clear, it is so easy to follow him, and it is super fun … It’s as if he were communicating with us through his violin.”

On stage, they convey that impression of a band of brothers we like so much in musicians who form a group, and as viewers we would naturally like to get a better idea of who they all are. But this is not easy through the YouTube material, for they get little exposure in past videos of concerts.

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Most visible is Marcus Wolf on the guitar. He is shown as a dependable support and the perfect foil for David. Most invisible, as so often, is the man at the bass, Jeff Allen, himself a Juilliard graduate. On occasion we get glimpses of a drum solo or a quick look at the keyboard, but the cameras seem quite determined to keep the focus on David alone, and they usually cut away whenever Franck van der Heijden gets too close to the frontman.

Ah, that Franck! He is an eye-catching presence, a man who has the makings of a rock god himself: the stature, the looks, the talent, the skills … yet he remains very much in the background. Is this reticence written into his contract? My first impression is that he may not be getting enough credit, even though he is a major contributor as producer, composer, arranger, conductor and instrumentalist.

176a Franck van der Heijden

It isn’t as if anything or anyone could steal David Garrett’s thunder, surely. So wouldn’t it be nice if the cameras could do what David himself did so touchingly when he dedicated a song to all those who support him in his shows? He shared pictures and humorous comments of a personal nature with the audience to make these people visible, and we appreciated it. They probably did too.

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I think I may not be alone in wishing for a more equable video coverage of the supporting cast, and I’d like to put a request out there: Could the second half of David Garrett and his Band get a little more time in the spotlight, please? We can safely promise that it won’t hurt the first half in the least.

***

To be continued with David Garrett and the Critics. If you click ‘follow blog via email’ you won’t miss it.

(The photographs are screenshots drawn from YouTube, for the purpose of illustration only. I trust the authors will allow this use of their picture material. No copyright infringement is intended. The photo of Franck and David was shared on Facebook. Unfortunately I did not make a note of the source at the time, so I am grateful for any helpful hints regarding the author of this great image.) 

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Author: Fabienne Wolf

writing solo traveller

17 thoughts on “David Garrett and the Guys

  1. Hace ya tiempo de estas publicaciones, pero igual quiero agradecerte todo lo que haces. Yo tal como alguien que te escribió, soy abuela, mi nieta de 9 años estudia canto y guitarra y yo la he hecho escuchar a David y esta encantada, busca sus vídeos en YouTube y adora Viva la vida … Buen saludos!

  2. Dear Fabienne,
    Thank you for your very good blogs, from another discoverer of David’s music and story. I would like to send you a word note as some comments are not for publication. pls advise.

    • Dear Ada, you can use the contact page of my blog to send me a private message. I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Thank you Fabienne, beautiful article, I did not imagine that men left such enthusiastic comments about him, my boyfriend often gives me that look that tells everything and asks me “Still watching that blonde violinist on YouTube?”;-) But talking about David’s friends, we cannot forget about Jörg, don’t you think? He is kind of David’s shadow during those long tours around the world, crossover and classical. It is thanks to your translation of Vera’s interview that I came to know that they met by chance before David was even known. Their relationship and friendship seems very strong and I am sure that David has found in Jörg more than a bodyguard or a tour manager.

    • You are right, of course, Marina – that friendship is an important chapter of David’s life, and one that should surely come under its own heading. But, given the circumstances, I am in no position to write it.

  4. You too are very blessed, with your gift of writing! My story is much like the other people who made comments. With a friend we watched “The Devils Violinist ” I think I have the title right. I knew the actor knew the violin, I googled his name DAVID GARRETT. The movie didn’t get the reviews it deserved, it was wonderful! I have watched it many times, always something new. I am a Grandmother, David Garrett’s music has put new life into my bones. I am so happy so many people feel the same, thought for a moment my mind was going. I bought “Explosive” for myself for Christmas. His song ‘Serenity’ is a prayer for all in this world of insanity. THANK YOU SO MUCH! German not easy, am trying.

  5. Fascinating analysis, Fabienne. I’ve really enjoyed your articles, which are interesting, well-researched, and not shallow gushing. Thank you for writing them. I’ll be reading if you write more!

  6. Brazil’s thanks to you.

  7. Dear Fabienne, thank you very much for all these articles on David Garrett.

  8. Hello Fabienne, the second surprise for my thanks? Do not be, I am very excited and grateful for the wonderful work also under the psychological profile, you have done and needless to say I agree as usual with everything you write. You have approached him a figure, even biblical, superhuman, symbolically: Samson and his long hair! “The Samson of the Violin”. I’ve always thought of him as “the Violin Angel”! He has been defined in many ways, but I particularly like this.
    David Garrett is brilliant, extraordinary, charismatic and in all this always remains fresh and delicious and incredibly simple, he even blushes when embarrassed. A unique man, a great artist!
    People like that are myths, born rarely and at different times, and symbolize the ideal of beauty and perfection for an entire society. David Garrett, precocious talent, genius and great artist perfectionist in his art, symbolizes this ideal perfectly! Samson and inspirational angel along with his music, (for me magic), his sublime art reaches our hearts, our deepest being.
    I have to give a reason for regarding his excellent team, that supports him in his concerts with great skill and love. See? Once again I only talked of David! The fact is that just because he has an aura, a light inside a reflector that always accompanies him! In the midst of a thousand people, viewed from above, I could know and identify him. But how can you not love him? Impossible!
    I will stop here, it will be a big job to translate it all into English, but I’ll try. Hello and good job, I wish would never end talk about him!

  9. I come from a musical family, and have one of those “ears” that detects the slightest note off key. It’s annoying, but that’s the way it is. My father was a solo pianist with Seattle Symphony, and also trained at Julliard, so I do understand some aspects of what it’s like to be a professional musician. My Dad gave his career up to marry my mother and raise a very large family. From the very first note I heard coming out of David’s violin, I was captured by the beauty and have spent much toooo much time watching him play on YouTube! I’ve never been so affected by the music AND the musician before. He really is the total package when it comes to excellence in music. He’s somewhat of a genius, and coming from my background it’s so so wonderful to see the mind of a musical genius at work. It’s especially gratifying to watch him play, not just to listen to the music. You get used to little things about him just from watching how he acts and reacts to different situations. I know he has put on entire concerts when he is ill, but he wouldn’t think of cancelling. He is blessed with unusual talent, but without all the hard work he puts into growing and using that talent, he wouldn’t be so excellent. I feel sorry for him on one issue; he knows a normal life of marriage and family are impossible with the life he leads. It’s a sacrifice, but he has chosen to be the musician he is by sacrificing many things. I don’t think some people know how hard he has worked. It’s amazing to read a biography of how he left home in Germany at 17, determined to attend Julliard in New York. That took a lot of courage and persistence. Also, people ask ” what is it about David Garrett”? He’s got a funny bone like I’ve never seen in a classical musician. That is confirmed by his siblings who have said there is never a dull moment with David. He’s very funny, tends to laugh and make others laugh. However, there’s no laughing when he goes for about four hours of practice every day. He’s such a combination of unusual talent, and personality. He’s a wonderful entertainer, and that is very unusual for a musician who has been brought up in classical music. He also is happy if his fans are happy with his music. I’ve noticed when he’s just with a few people, he’s absolutely delighted to entertain them at a moment’s notice. His reward is their appreciation of his music. This is getting rather long, but to the people who “wonder” what the big deal is about David, I just shake my head, and wonder where they were when brains were handed out! :() Wonderful musician; his personal life is no one’s business, but people tend to think it is. It’s not; enjoy the music, and the beautiful man God created. Leave him alone to figure out his private life, what little there is.

  10. Thank you Fabienne. It is great to get to know him better through the eyes of an objective observer. I loved it when he dedicated a song to all those who support him in his shows, not just the band members, but all of those involved in his successful career. It would have been nice to have those comments in English, so that a larger chunk of his audience could understand what he said about each of them.

  11. Lovely article, Fabienne! I think you had a hard work on that. My head usually goes round and round when I read people´s comments on youtube. I remember articles from Beatles doing same questions about them. I think it may be a real friendship by now. How long it will last, that’s the question. Let us wait! Who knows? The Rolling Stones have been on the road yet …
    Kisses to you.

    • Thank you, Angela, happy to hear that you like it! Yes, you’re right – scanning hundreds of YouTube comments does make the head spin, though the insights it yields are well worth the trouble, I think. Love to Brazil.

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