Muso Aims for Record 44 Straight Hours of Guitar Playing

- Press Release

Talk about a long guitar solo. On June 21, 22 and 23, local musician Jef Sarver will attempt to set a new world record for the Longest Guitar Marathon. The attempt will take place at Potbelly Sandwich Works at 190 N. State Street in downtown Chicago, beginning at 3:15 PM on Wednesday, June 21. If Sarver is successful, he will break the record at 12:30 PM on Friday, June 23.

Sarver is no rookie in the guitar marathon business. He broke the world record of 24 hours on New Year's Eve, 2004. But his record has since been eclipsed by Guillermo Paolisso Terraza of Argentina and, most recently, by Brian Engelhart of Fenton, Michigan. "People all around the world want to break this record. Well, Chicago's a great music town, and the record should be here," said Sarver.

This challenge, comprised of a set of over 600 songs, requires some serious preparation. Sarver's in training as if he were running a marathon. "I'm doing tons of push-ups, sit-ups, taking long walks and making sure I'm as physically fit as I can be."

Why does Sarver want to take on this project while he's busy playing at Chicago area Potbelly stores five days a week, in addition to his evening gigs, and producing a new CD? "I'm a passionate songwriter, and you can't get much more passionate than this," said Sarver. "And it fits with Potbelly. Potbelly has live music in all their stores. I'm going where the music is." Sarver will also be selling his latest release Jef 5 at Potbelly during the marathon.

The Guinness Book of World Records has stringent rules for this endeavor. Sarver will be allowed only one 15 minute break every eight hours. He must have three people witness the entire event, and he will have all 44 hours filmed as an additional piece of evidence he must submit to Guinness. Sarver is not required to sing while he plays. "But I might sing during lunch," said Sarver. "Potbelly customers kind of expect that."

"We're psyched to be a part of Jef's attempt to set a new world record," said Potbelly Chairman and CEO Bryant Keil. "Jef's a great guy and our customers love him. Jef has been a part of Potbelly, playing in our stores for four years, so when he approached us with this idea, we said of course we'd work with him to make it happen. Plus, the guy just rocks."

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