Tag Archives: guitars

Back in the Day, If I Had Only . . . Nah, It’s Best Not to Think Such Things

Before I began writing a string of best sellers . . . all right, one best seller . . . okay, I haven’t broken through to the best seller list yet; however, and I want you to take this to heart, I am only a few thousand books away, I was going to be a rock star.

Back in the 70’s, when but a teenager, I had been playing my father’s guitar (a 58 diamond anniversary Gretsch) when I decided to save my coins and purchased a black 76 Les Paul custom with three gold pickups. Allow me to tell you I was ready to set the world on fire.

Once we went through the process of selecting the band members, we began to hone our craft. To start off, we played cover tunes consisting of the most popular songs of the day.

We were officially ranked as a garage band. In those days, as I am sure is the same today, noise remains a problem. I cannot count the number of times the police were called on our tiny little foursome for releasing an overabundance of racket. I believe they call it, “disturbing the peace.”

One of our largest obstacles was equipment. For the most part, guitars, amplifiers, and drum sets were a cinch . . . well, a cinch compared to the difficult items.

The first on the list . . . and this was a biggie . . . a PA system. I played for years with a substandard singing apparatus. Of course, when I think back, our second-rate PA’s matched our inferior ability to play, so it all came out in the wash.

It’s a lot like writing. You endure much criticism before you finally hash out what you need to succeed.

The later years were much kinder and rewarding. We were booked every weekend, with occasional weekdays, and some out of town work. With full-time jobs, this was about all, and truthfully more, than we could handle. I gave it up several months before my baby boy was born.

Like many things, it was fun while it lasted, but I’m glad that it’s gone.

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Ya Never Know What Might Happen Until What Might Happen, Happens to Happen

son-of-chris-riding-shotgun-playing-guitar-at-pfEarlier in life, I fancied myself a musician headed for the big time. Oh, I guess you could say I had my moment in the small time limelight, but that’s about as far as it got in my world of hard rock mania. I quit the band about six months before my son was born. I figured it wouldn’t be right trying to raise a child and play music every weekend. It turned out to be the right decision.

I did, however, continue to beat on my acoustic and would occasionally fire up the Les Paul for my rock fix. This also turned out to be the right decision. I would hand my little buddy a pick and sit down to play for him some of his favorite tunes. We’d dim the lights in the house, maybe light a candle or two, and I’d begin to play and sing “Wooly Swamp” or  “Black Water Hattie” and let him use his pick to scratch down the strings every once in a while. When he got older, he began to listen to my favorite band, “RUSH.” He began to play bass and after a while we started learning “RUSH” tunes. We saw them in concert in 2002 and every year they toured after that, until their 40th anniversary in 2015, which turned out to be their farewell tour. They were good times.

In fact, my son was the reason I began to write. On a surf fishing trip to Cape Hatteras, after I was informed that a layoff was on the horizon, he suggested I give writing a try. He had read several of my short stories and thought writing may be a good fit. I wasn’t sure I had a novel in me, being so used to penning short stories. I gave it a try, and my fourth novel entitled “DEADLY REIGN” is due to be released in March 2017. Never hurts to try!

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