Tag Archives: Rock ‘n roll
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.
If you take the time to think about today, as opposed to yesteryear, in the context of your own life, you’ll notice quite a bit of growth. At least “growth” is what we hope to see and certainly that of a positive nature.
Some people grow very little, comparatively, because they were mature as children through puberty and into adulthood. Not that they never made a mistake–it’s just that their mistakes were more like, “Oh no, my library book is overdue,” or “I’m ten minutes past curfew.”
That being the right hand meant there was plenty of room for a multitude of left hands. If you were a left hand, it didn’t matter if you were a mature child or mature through puberty. Once you hit young adulthood, your mistakes included words like: bail, full coverage and “what do you mean you’re two weeks late?”
I was somewhere in the middle. Had a good childhood, made it through puberty, but when I reached young adulthood, I embraced an unequaled love for the great outdoors.
For instance: I was especially fond of drinking beer on the back porch. The front porch was as equally enjoyable; as was the tailgate of my truck, the woods, sitting on the well top eating crabs, and just about any place my rear end would fit was a good place to sozzle down the suds.
Several years earlier, I learned of a whole new world–the wonderful world of fishing. Wait a minute… Why not combine the two? Now I was literally beside myself with joy. One of me was drinking and the other fishing. The next major discovery was of a place where the water contained salt, larger fish, and things called waves. These were special places; places that required extended travel and room rentals for overnight stays.
What a revelation! This meant I could actually take my suds swilling, rod reeling, show on the road, and take it I did.
Now, during this time that I like to refer to as “fermentation enlightenment,” another beast was rearing its rather attractive head. This particular beast arrived on the scene with its name forever sewn into its tighty whitey waistband–that name, “rock ‘n roll.”
You see I had started playing guitar at age 11, and to the best of my figuring why not incorporate this, “rock ‘n roll” into the fold. So what do you know, now I have a reason to guzzle that golden beverage on the inside.
First, you get together with friends who are of a similar mind but play different instruments. Once you have begged, borrowed and pilfered your way through musicians of the same caliber, you will eventually hit that magic number. This magic number I am referring to is the amount of bodies needed to play all the necessary instruments which enables you to refer to yourself as a “band.”
Now you can begin that long journey down the road to rock stardom. I learned early on that there were two paths to achieve this goal. Dedicate yourself to the craft, work hard, practice hard, live rock ‘n roll and maybe one day, you’ll make it; or pound down enough of the golden beverage so that you’re oblivious to the way you sound, which in turn means you’ll never make it, but you really don’t care.
Guess which one I chose… You got it… Bottoms up!
That’s just the way it goes. Sometimes in life even though we strive for mediocrity, we’re unable to reach that lofty goal.
Thankfully, somewhere along the line (before my liver packed up and moved into a retirement home) the golden beverage transformed into ionized water and green tea.
Writing is my passion, but on a cool clear night, if I listen closely I can still hear my Les Paul whine as my fingers sizzle down the ebony fret board…….Nah, it’s just the neighbor’s cat.