John Kerry Shows Chinese Diplomats His Guitar Chops

Secretary of State John Kerry, who as a teenager played bass for the Electras - a rock group he formed with high school classmates - still has some guitar chops at age 70.

On July 10, while on a diplomatic mission in China, Kerry took a few moments to show off some of his finger-picking skills for Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong and others in the Great Hall of the People.

The impromptu concert, captured on a cellphone and published on the State Department's YouTube channel, followed a lunch for the fifth annual U.S.-China People-to-People Exchange.

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Kerry, with some urging from Liu, played a few pieces on the acoustic guitar for the Chinese diplomats. Afterward, he tweeted about the event:

John Kerry plays guitar for diplomats

How'd Kerry do?

"For the first piece in the clip, Secretary Kerry sounds very good - like a well-practiced amateur with a love of the guitar," Michael Molenda, the editor in chief of Guitar Player magazine, told the Washington Post. "His fingering is fluid and the notes sound full, robust, and accurate. But in the second piece, you can hear buzzes and muted notes that betray a certain lack of fingering technique."

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This isn't the first time Kerry has picked up a guitar in public. In his 2004 presidential campaign, for example, he once joined both Moby and John Fogerty on stage.



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