A bereaved carpenter from Aylesbury is attempting to break the world record for the largest electric guitar ensemble performing at one time while fundraising for Bucks based charity Brain Tumour Research.
Dave Pile, 55, lost his mother June to a brain tumour in March 2013 and is now organising a Guinness World Record attempt to raise funds for research into the disease.
The Great Guitar Challenge will be taking place on Sunday July 22 at the annual Ealing Blues Festival and, to break the record, Dave requires 450 guitarists to join him on the day and play ‘Heroes’ by David Bowie.
The current world record was achieved by Sky Group (India) in January 2013 when 368 participants assembled at the Agri Expo in Dimapur, India. Laurence Knight, lead singer of the world-famous tribute band The Bowie Experience, will sing on the day as hundreds of guitarists play the iconic David Bowie song.
BlackstarAmplification has also signed up to sponsor the day, supporting the challenge with a new Blackstar Fly 3 micro amp for all participants. Dave said: “My idea to break a world record came about two years after losing my mum to a brain tumour.
“I’ve been raising money for Brain Tumour Research over the last year or so with an abseil down the Spinnaker tower amongst a few ‘Wear A Hat Days’.
“But this latest venture is proving to be the toughest!
“Mum never liked a fuss about anything and would always play down any attention to herself. Sorry Mum but this is for you. “I’m calling on all guitarists to join us and help smash the world record and raise much-needed funds for Brain Tumour Research.
“It saddens me that so little is known about this disease and that less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers.” June, from Nuneaton, died aged 72 following a short and gruelling battle with a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – a highly aggressive type of tumour. Despite surgery to remove part ofthe tumour and subsequent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, June died less than six months later. Michael Thelwall, head of community fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Dave’s world record attempt in aid of Brain Tumour Research is going to be spectacular and I hope it will raise awareness of how underfunded research into the disease is. “Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer – and less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers – yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. “We are extremely grateful to Dave for fundraising and we wish him, and everyone else involved, the best of luck for the world record attempt.” Guitarists can register for the event via Eventbrite - the ticket price includes a donation to Brain Tumour Research and entitles participants to a new Blackstar Fly 3 micro amp, a t-shirt to mark the event and a free day’s entry to the Ealing Blues Festival. For more information visit www.greatguitarchallenge.com