Incredible blind Kiwi guitarist goes viral
A video of a blind Kiwi guitarist named Champ performing Eddie Van Halen's virtuoso instrumental 'Eruption' is being widely shared on Facebook.
It was recorded and posted by Auckland's Studio One Seven Six, with an impassioned message from engineer Johann Ward wanting to introduce more people to the hidden talent he discovered.
"I met Champ at a New Year's Eve gig in the Clevedon Hotel," says Ward.
"He cannot see, yet he plays my guitar better than a lot who can. He is truly inspirational, his passion oozes onto you and if you sit down and talk to him for roughly five minutes, he will tell you what his world looks like - and it's truly beautiful."
'Eruption' is widely considered one of the greatest guitar solos of all time.
In the 'Blind guy shreds guitar like a piano' video, Champ plays the challenging track from a seated position with the guitar face-up on his lap.
"He made me feel like I was one of the greats and kept telling me that he wants to grasp this opportunity of receiving such exposure," says Ward.
"To think that he can play this great, yet he has been neglected phenomenally by all of us. My goal in making this video is that he can live his dream and tour the world by being picked up by someone, a label... ANYTHING. I'd be happy to put my career on the side for this man and have the privilege of playing on stage with him."
One Seven Six asks anyone interested in sponsoring Champ to send them a message via their official Facebook page.