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No one asks for encore from 520 guitar players

By Reuters, 6/29/2003

PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - They might have played out of tune, but at least they're the world's largest guitar band.

More than 520 serious and would-be guitar players gathered in Portland, Oregon Sunday to set a record for Guinness World Records and raise funds for a nonprofit organization for the homeless.

The massed guitarists strummed Woody and Arlo Guthrie's ''This Land is Your Land'' in the key of G for an hour, led by a band of amplified musicians from a local music store.

Participants wore lyrics and chord guides on the backs of their shirts to aid the players behind them.

''I thought I might cry because an hour is a long time but I think also there is something in the song,'' said organizer Monica Beemer.

To meet Guinness requirements, guitarists registered before two witnesses and wore numbers during play. Beemer, who worked with Guinness officials, said the record was easily set.

''We really can't fail today because there is no record,'' she said. ''Next year we'll try to break this record.''


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