Anyone Can Play Guitar (film)

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Anyone Can Play Guitar
DVD release cover
Directed byJon Spira
Written byJon Spira
Produced byJon Spira
Hank Starrs
CinematographyJohn Hunt
Gary Shenton
Jon Spira
Danjel Starborg
John Twycross
Edited byBen Lavington-Martin
Jon Spira
John Twycross
Release date
  • October 2010 (2010-10)
Running time
124 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

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 including The Cornflower Concept.[4]

Creation of the film was initially through a Production Award from Film Oxford as well as 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 20 September 2011 at Oxford's Phoenix Picturehouse.[8]

The BFI screened the London premiere on 31 October 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 31 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", 24 September 2010, accessed 8 December 2010
  3. ^ a b Amanda Williams, "Music fans invited to back movie", "Oxford Mail", 10 January 2011, accessed 10 January 2011
  4. ^ Jason Martin, "Filmmaker talks music and movies", "BBC Oxford", 19 August 2009, accessed 8 December 2010
  5. ^ "6Q with Jon Spira of 'Anyone Can Play Guitar'", 19 October 2010, accessed 18 April 2011
  6. ^ a b Jon Spira, "Indiegogo updates", 10 April 2011, accessed 18 April 2011
  7. ^ Tim Hughes, "Code Red", The Oxford Times, 7 October 2010, accessed 9 December 2010
  8. ^ a b "Movie charts city's music scene". The Oxford Mail. 22 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Sonic Cinema Presents" Archived 4 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine "BFI", accessed 5 November 2011
  10. ^ Music In Oxford, [1] Archived 27 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine, 10 July 2011, accessed 18 September 2011

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