Here’s a pic of me when I was a kid with an electric guitar in hand. There’s a story here that I want to tell:
At the time when this picture was taken I was taking guitar lessons from my Father. My Grandfather was a professional guitar player and a big band leader. He taught my Father how to play guitar and I can only imagine how thrilled the two of them were that I was playing the guitar. At the time my Grandfather owned a guitar shop in Brooklyn and he fixed up the electric guitar that I’m holding in the pic and gave it to me for Christmas. This pic was taken on Christmas morning. I’m looking pretty thrilled with that gift.
The truth behind the smile was that I hated taking guitar lessons and learning from the book that I was studying. Within a week from the date of this picture I gave them back the guitar and told them I never wanted to play guitar again. The next time I even touched a guitar was around the age of 24. Although I continued to sing and was pretty good I decided I was too cool to stay in chorus once I reached the Junior High School and quit that too, once again never to sing again until the age of 24..
At 24 years old I was in the Marines and stationed out in California. Some Marine Corps friends were sharing an apartment out in town and I went over one day for a party. When I arrived there were about 15 people sitting around the living room and they were passing a guitar around. My friend Tai, who was a musician, was trying to teach them how to play the opening riff from “Blister in the sun” by the Violent Femmes. The melody behind the following lyric – “When I’m walking I strut my stuff, and I’m so strung out, I’m high as a kite and I just might stop to check you out:”.
It’s a fairly simple 3 note riff and no one seemed to be able to play it. As I was watching I’m thinking to myself, I could play that. When the guitar got to me I played the riff easily and my love for music was instantly ignited. Tai had an extra guitar and he let me borrow it to play in the barracks. I’ve played guitar just about every single day since then. That was over 20 years ago.
When I told my Dad, who was still an avid guitar player, that I was playing guitar it must have thrilled him. He immediately grabbed an old acoustic guitar that was laying around the house, fixed it up and shipped it out to California. It was a beauty and I had my very own guitar, my first guitar!
To say I became obsessed is an understatement. The guitar became, and has remained till this day, an integral part of my life, my creativity, and my soul. I even began the long journey to recover my vocal abilities. It’s been a long but beautiful road. It’s one that I cherish immensely and attribute to saving my life on numerous occasions. I’m finally ready, after all this time, to share that blessing with the world.
The reason I’m sharing this story is to encourage you to honor your dreams and your passions. Even if you’re just dating them and enjoying the learning experience there’s a blessing hidden in there. It’s good for your soul and you just might become really good at them. It’s never too late to try something you always wanted to do. I encourage you to do it. Although our lives are short they’re also considerably long. In my example I’ve already gotten 20+ years of enjoyment out of playing the guitar/singing and there are so many years of enjoyment ahead.
At the beginning of the year I promised I’d be sharing my musical endeavors with everyone and the time has come to make that a reality. I’ve opened a Soundcloud account to share the music that I’ve written. There’s only 4 tracks up there now but I’ll keep adding to it as I record more.I’ve written a lot of music. Keep in mind that these are self produced tracks in Garage Band. They are not professionally mastered songs but I felt it was important to share anyway. Although playing and creating music is a daily part of my life I’m no audio engineer, yet! 🙂 I’m treating this as a place to share fairly developed song ideas that may one day be recorded professionally..
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share the other half of my creative soul with you. Many blessings to you and the passions in your own life. The world needs the gifts that you bring. Let’s share more often and celebrate. We need to do that more…