original Post 03.17.2010
Ok, so it was a bit more than 20 years ago and I really never knew anyone named SGT Pepper (except for the album I love) and it wasn’t today… It was just shy of 23 years ago, I made a friend. A friend that would go an many adventures with me and inspire many more.
Somewhere in the mid 60’s one of the first things I remember most, while riding in back seat of the family Ford, is tuning in my 9 volt Transister Radio to an excellent tune, Summer in the City by “The Lovin’ Spoonful” What was cool is my Mom was tapping out the beat on the steering wheel (probably the last time we agreed on music) it was awesome! to this day that tune comes to my head out of nowhere, most likely because I’m in need of a good grounding, back to the foundations. Haveing been mostly exposed to bluegrass music most of my very young existance, this sound moved me in a different direction.
The Lovin Spoon full, on the seen from around 64 thru 69, was a huge influence in bringing musical intrests and insight on other bands. With hits like, Summer in the City, You didnt’ have to be so nice, Your a big boy now… the harmony’s were very bluegrass like to me, only in a very non bluegrass rock kind of way, kinda… anyway, Of course there was the Beatles (we’ll get into that late, huge as with most American kids). The Doors, Steppenwolf and many a list of others that will come up now and then…
So, back to my friend (who shall remain un-named at this time), it was an awesome day in Lake Tahoe. The story of how the friendship came to this point will probably be another blog or even a book, and maybe even a movie deal… yeah… anyway. We had put the 4X4 on top of a hill overlooking Lake Tahoe. We were imagining how we would build a house and where rooms would be, so as not to mess up the landscape and have the house but “eco-friendly” ,so to speak. The subject came up of music. She had heard I used to play guitar. I hadn’t played in a few years. Going thru a reset in my life and somehow let that slide. She Said, “I hear you play guitar”. I thought about this for more than a moment and said, “I do, and a few other instruments. I haven’t played for a while though”. Not giving any real reason she asked if I had one still, and said I have a few. The next statement and the look and feel of her emotion just blew me away. This was the moment I relized I would never put down my guitar again. “Why?, I mean you should be playing, not to impress anyone or be a superstar, it’s what you are I can tell”. Somehow this was a statement that was channeled thru her, not really from her but I could see the true concern. Being and artist herself she could see the longing for me to create. It’s what was missing. After that day in mountains, I went home, pulled out my trusty six string and started to play. and I haven’t put it down since. This was over 20 years ago. The first week with it in my arms it was as if I could feel the energy flow thru me. Sounds I’d never believed could flow were coming out of that little box guitar like magic. I know it couldn’t be me. But it was, it was every bit of my soul I could muster. I was living in paradise and the sounds of Heaven were all around me.
Since I was given my first guitar I never had the urge to play cover tunes (as they are called, call it other peoples music). Pretty much self taught, the only song I had ever played “cover” was ‘Heart Of Gold’ by Neil Young. Neil was one of my great heros, Such feeling and a true story teller of the times. You could feel the emotion in every note. If you’ve ever seen him play live you could see him close his eyes and travel thru the story. This was my goal. Not be be Neil, but to be that story teller thru sound. So I had set out on a Journey at a very young age to do this. Got side tracked and 20 or so years ago set back on track by one of the best Friends I would ever have or dream of…
It was twenty years ago today,
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play
They’ve been going in and out of style
But they’re guaranteed to raise a smile
So may I introduce to you
The act you’ve known for all these years
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
I’m sure you all know the rest… This song along with others has been rolling thru my head for weeks now. Now with guitar in lap I will not play this song but try to study. For some reason I’m so distracted I can’t seem to lay it down… Well, besides the fact I’m sick and weak, that must be it. so I’ll pluck a few scales and a melody or two and retire for the evening.
If you do nothign else with your instrument of choice today or any other day. Pick it up and hold it. The rest will come natrually…
As for your true friends… You do know who they are, cherish them no matter what. Then get on with it…