I would sleep with my Les Paul too if I had one. I was primarily intrigued by Otou-san‘s apprehensions about the show, noted here [->] and here [->]. The gist being him being a serious music connossiur and multi-instrument in his own right, he’d have problems getting past the perhaps unrealistic and perhaps not-up-to-snuff quality of music, musicianship, and its depiction in K-ON! Now I don’t think Otou-san is hating at all. It’s more like his own experience as a musician has created a stronger resistance to suspend his disbelief over what goes on in the show.
After all, to have a Gibson Les Paul Custom for your first guitar while you’ve never strummed a single string prior is high fantasy. While Otou-san I think owns one himself having bought it as an adult, I’ve never been able to buy one. By now I’ve no more pretensions of being a guitar player (it’s been 13 years since I was in a band), the Gibson Les Paul that Yui bought through divine intervention [->] is still a dream of mine to own.
To repeat the obvious: K-ON! isn’t a realistic depiction of musicians. Musicianship is a device that the show uses to depict moe. That’s it. Anything else is a bonus. As a moe delivery module it works quite well. Aside from the intrinsic appeal of the character design [->], the characters have moments of devastating cuteness [->] [->] [->].
But if you’re looking for a more down-to-earth depiction of musicianship, the underground punk scene, and the life and times of a Japanese rock band then I recommend Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad. I love the manga, the anime, the OSTs, and the tribute albums. I love the clumsy lyrics, the engrish, the clumsy MC-ing, the Beatles cover, everything about it.
Beck however, is not a moe show. It does have a devastatingly gorgeous tsundere in Minami Maho:
People who watch K-ON! for the moe may find little to appreciate in Beck, but I daresay any fan of underdogs trying to make it will have a blast watching this show if they can get past the somewhat unorthodox character design and how Beck the dog looks himself (and the engrish; I underestimate how off-putting this is for people not me – since I rather enjoy it).
I don’t have electric guitars anymore. I did however fanboyed in my own way. Check out my sneakers:
Koyuki’s Squier Telecaster [->], I don’t think he was able to afford a real Fender one. Koyuki played rhythm guitar and vocals for Beck (the band’s name), and the guitar fit his image just fine – very workmanlike and unassuming.
Ryuusuke’s “Lucille” Les Paul Custom. It’s very similar to the guitar Yui bought in K-ON!, only that in the Beck narrative, the “Lucille” was owned by a legendary blues guitar player and who was shot dead while playing it. This is very loosely based on B. B. King’s guitar [->].
I didn’t paint those myself. Some guy here in Manila does custom paint jobs for shoes and t-shirts.
Ever since I saw Slash from Guns N’ Roses play with the sunburst Les Paul Custom when I was 13, I knew I wanted one. Next year, 20 years later I just might get one. I can dream right? Maybe there’s a Mugi-chan out there to buy it for me.
Ascaloth prepared an excellent guide to the musical instruments in K-ON! [->] It’s really worth checking out.
My favorite Beck fansite is this one [->] (it’s got almost everything you need).