Friday, August 3, 2012
World’s most-traveled musician comes to London Olympics
By Michael Ireland
Senior International Correspondent, ASSIST News Service
LONDON, UK (ANS) -- The man certified as the world’s most travelled musician is in London for the Olympics – entertaining crowds with free performances.
It is a feat he accomplished by air, ferry, bus, car and train in six years, six months and twenty-two days.
A man with much hair but few words, Benny explains, “This is not a Guinness World Record, as they only recognize the 195 sovereign states. I’ve also been to all the fifty-six protectorates – like Puerto Rico and the Pitcairn Islands – as certified by the World Records Academy USA.”
More Than Gold says that Benny is not only a remarkable traveler, but also an exceptional musician. He uses a distinctive style of guitar playing on an instrument he invented that combines the standard six strings with twenty sitar strings and a bongo drum.
Wherever Benny goes he takes with him a copy of the World Records certificate, the dozen or so passports that contain all his visas and entry stamps and a huge smile, the More Than Gold website states.
The smile is because Benny is more than a well-travelled musician. He is also a man on a mission. “I want people to know that I’m someone who was always seen as a failure. But, with God, failure is never final,” he says.
Benny tells how he was sent home from his first guitar lesson with the words, “Don’t come back as you have no musical ability and will never make a guitarist.”
More Than Gold says before that, his failure to match the expectations of his parents led to depression and attempted suicide at the age of sixteen.
Having reached beyond the point of not caring, he accepted an invitation to attend a Christian youth camp. Here, Benny says, “God said to me ‘Benny, even though you have been useless all your life, I need you now and I can make you a new creation.’ And God gave me new dreams, new goals, and a positive desire.”
More Than Gold says that today, as he travels the world, Benny performs without charge to audiences large and small. The largest to more than 70,000 in Hyderabad. The smallest, to an audience of one.
“For Benny the size of the crowd seems not to matter. Only that he as the opportunity to play his music and to speak about the God who changed his life,” More Than Gold said on its website.
More Than Gold explained that in London, Benny is one of the performers from over 30 nations who are contributing 700 free performances as a welcome to visitors and to help churches reach out to their communities.
This is in association with More Than Gold, the agency formed by all the main denominations to help churches make the most of the Games.
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