Anyone Can Play Guitar (film)

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Anyone Can Play Guitar
DVD release cover
Directed by Jon Spira
Produced by Jon Spira
Hank Starrs
Written by Jon Spira
Cinematography John Hunt
Gary Shenton
Jon Spira
Danjel Starborg
John Twycross
Edited by Ben Lavington-Martin
Jon Spira
John Twycross
Release dates
  • October 2010 (2010-10)
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Anyone Can Play Guitar is a documentary film made by Jon Spira,[1] examining the music scene in Oxford over the period starting 1978, but focusing on 1984–2007. The film takes its name from the Radiohead song of the same name.[2]

Through over 300 hours of interviews with band members and other key people in the Oxford music community, distilled down to one and a half hours,[2] the film examines the roles of community, the music industry, and luck in a band gaining commercial success.

Narrated by Stewart Lee,[3] it features interviews and concert footage of several bands that have been nationally and internationally successful (Radiohead, Supergrass, Foals), as well as some that had moderate success (e.g. The Candyskins, Ride, Swervedriver), and many more that were not commercially successful.[4]

Creation of the film was self-funded by Spira, but finishing the sound mix and picture grade to a professional standard needed additional funding, which Spira sought through the Indiegogo crowd funding site.[3][5] The initial target of $15,000 was reached before the campaign closing date, and the campaign was extended to $30,000 to raise funds for final music and film footage rights clearance.[6]


Previews were screened at the OX4 music festival in October 2010, as part of Oxfam's OxJam musical fund-raising initiative,[7] and at an industry screening in April 2011.[6]

The film's ticket-only premiere – for an audience of 300 donors and participants in the film – was on September 20, 2011, at Oxford's Phoenix Picturehouse.[8]

The BFI screened the London premiere on October 31, 2011, followed by a Q&A session with Spira, Ed O'Brien of Radiohead, Gaz Coombes of Supergrass, Mark Gardener of Ride, and Nick Cope of The Candyskins, hosted by Adam Buxton.[9]

The film's DVD release is set as the 31st of October 2011,[10] supported by a tour of independent cinemas.[8]


  1. ^ "Anyone Can Play Guitar", "Total Guitar" 209, Winter 2010
  2. ^ a b "Fans fund independent music film Anyone Can Play Guitar" "BBC Introducing", September 24, 2010, accessed December 8, 2010
  3. ^ a b Amanda Williams, "Music fans invited to back movie", "Oxford Mail", January 10, 2011, accessed January 10, 2011
  4. ^ Jason Martin, "Filmmaker talks music and movies", "BBC Oxford", August 19, 2009, accessed December 8, 2010
  5. ^ "6Q with Jon Spira of 'Anyone Can Play Guitar'", October 19, 2010, accessed April 18, 2011
  6. ^ a b Jon Spira, "Indiegogo updates", April 10, 2011, accessed April 18, 2011
  7. ^ Tim Hughes, "Code Red", The Oxford Times, October 7, 2010, accessed December 9, 2010
  8. ^ a b "Movie charts city's music scene". The Oxford Mail. September 22, 2011. Retrieved September 23, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Sonic Cinema Presents" "BFI", accessed November 5, 2011
  10. ^ Music In Oxford, [1], July 10, 2011, accessed September 18th, 2011

External links[edit]