Following up from yesterday’s post “What is going on in this picture?“, I received another update from my friend @ncaucasuscaucus (who sent me the original photo) and he found this picture yesterday at The Atlantic, which shows the same band of fighters with the “Combat Guitarist” seconds after yesterday’s picture. Here’s the picture and below is a quote from a journalist that was nearby when the picture was snapped:
So it appears the photo is definitely real. Again, Guy #2 from yesterday (in green running and shooting from the back of the pack) scares me. Meanwhile, the “Combat Guitarist” strums away. I would love to know what he is singing as it appears to be quite motivating. Someone should find that guy and record whatever he is singing and upload to iTunes so I can add it to my running play list. It’s obviously got these guys fired up.
The photographer, Aris Messinis, explains during an interview what was going on when he took the photo.
“That day the NTC fighters were trying to advance to the centre of the city and it was a heavy street fight with lot of incoming and outgoing firing. (AK-47, machine guns, anti-aircraft machine guns, RPGs, sniper firing),” Messinis told Channel 4 News.
Messinis was amazed to see the man playing guitar amidst the battle but the fighting was so hard it was impossible to cross the street to talk to him.
“I realised by looking at him through my camera that he was trying to encourage the other fighters.
“It was impossible to hear his music becaue the distance between me and him was some 50 metres and the ‘Boom! Boom!’ was too loud.”
Such was the ferocity of the fighting one of Aris’ fellow journalists was wounded by a mortar shell, highlight how dangerous the battle zone was.
“But,” writes Aris, “The whole time that I was in that place I didn’t saw him participating in the battle except his encouraging music.”
The story continues on describing the hunt for the “Combat Guitarist”. If anyone else knows more, please post or forward along. I’d be interested to here what he is doing now; post Qaddafi.
It turns out there were quite a few “Combat Guitarists” in Libya. See the article for more details and here is one of the YouTube clips they noted showing a different guitarist playing for marching troops in Libya.