Django Reinhardt – Guitar-Maestro (2/4)
A dramatical event at November 2nd 1928 stopps the carreer as musician of young Django, just 18 years old.
His wife Bella had prepared flowers of plastic which were made for sale on the market the next day, and had spread them around all over the caravan.
By accident a burning candle dropped down and just within a few seconds the whole caravan ablazed in big fire!
Django just had the time to securely save his wife, himself breaking down unconscious afterwhat. He barely himself could be saved alive by others in the last second from the burning caravan.
Heavily injured and burnt by the blazing fire in his caravan Django Reinhardt is brought to a hospital in Paris. He is to stay in hospitals and sanitariums for the next 1 1/2 years.
The fire had burned him so strongly that all of his left bodyside was heavily injured, especially his left hand was burned so vast that he wasn´t able to use his ringfinger and pinky anymore very well, even after recovering (see photos (top) left).
Django will always keep having problems with his health for the rest of his short life with lots of pain very often in the following years, thus never recovering completely from this accident…
The (wrong) prophecy of the doctors in the parisian hospital was stating that he would never ever be able to play banjo or guitar again cause of his heavy injuries. At that time his combustion could be medically treated only insufficiently and Django has big pains over and over again.
After a few weeks the doctors even offer him to amputate his left arm and leg, otherwise they wouldn´t be able to help him anymore … Django immediately changes to another hospital in Fontainebleau.
As it seems this was a good decision, as after another half year of well going recovery his brother Joseph is able to bring Django´s beloved guitar into the hospital and Django starts practising guitar again with an absolute iron will, always working against his heavy pains.
He is practising and working, working, working to get back his playing skills … until after another one year later Django will be able to leave the hospital again. He had then spent about 1 1/2 years there and in this time worked like mad to get back to old playing-abilties.
Due to his disablilty left over and caused by the burnt skin of his left hand (see top photos above) he wasn´t able to play regularely used chord-voicings anymore (e.g. like full barré-chords), so Django had to change his way of playing chords as of his soloing all the same, to be able to play without pain.
But Django starts to develop his very own unique play-techniques and voicings on the guitar (known as the famous “three-finger”-voicings, e.g. our example left as Am6). Which later on will be taken over by many famous Jazz-musicians, thus influencing all of the jazz-world entering into modern jazz-harmonics and voicings in the later years…
In these dark and heavy days Django had made the impossible and recaptured back the music for himself. He was to become one of the greatest and most famous guitarists of all times on this planet… and his greatest success is just ahead of him and yet to come up.
Read more -> Django Reinhardt – Guitar-Maestro (3/4)
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