Something Old Is New Again
I love music. That was probably the most obvious statement of 2016. That being said, I can’t play a single instrument. Not the bass, not the guitar, and absolutely not the drums. Singing is done in the car with the volume turned way, and I mean way up. I do however, play a world class air guitar. Years ago the band Great White held an air guitar contest at Tower Records in Anaheim. I placed 4th out of 50 contestants and won tickets to see Great White open for Judas Priest.
In the third grade I had to take a musical instrument so I chose the trumpet. Mostly because it had a spit valve and I thought that was cool. Plus, I was a boy, in the third grade. The trumpet came with a case that had crushed blue imitation velvet lined inside. The teacher taught us the basics of “Mary Had Little Lamb”, and sent us home to practice for thirty minutes a day. But to a boy in third grade it might as well been 30 hours. My cheeks and lips hurt after the first day. The next day I went into my room and closed the door to practice. This time I added a tape recorder to the process.
On the third day of practice, I again went into my room closed the door. The tape recorder came out from underneath the bed and I pushed play. Next to the recorder was my box of baseball cards and for the next half hour I played a baseball game. This continued for the next couple of weeks with my parents cringing and questioning why I wasn’t getting any better.
Learning how to play guitar is something I’ve always wanted to do. My problem is I want to pick up the instrument and play "Eruption" flawlessly. Since that never happened, I never have learned to play. Now that I’m older, I think my patience is has grown enough to give it another try.
My son is now in sixth grade and he now has a music class. For their class they get to use a ukulele. Much cooler than a trumpet and he likes it. For his birthday Power Chord’s executive producer, Brett sent him a top of the line ukulele. Jaxon picked it up and played that Hawaiian song... not “Tiny Bubbles” but the other one... you know the one I mean. Then he taught it to me.
In the corner of my office I have an acoustic guitar that is little more than a dust collector. We grabbed it and sat on the couch and tried to figure out how to play that Hawaiian song on six strings instead of four. During our trials, he played something that sounded a bit like “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi. That got him to turn on the Bluetooth speaker and go on my phone to put it on. He asked me to play rock songs that had acoustic guitars in it.
We listened to songs for over an hour. Picking out songs we wanted to learn, we had a great conversation about music. For me, a grizzled vet, it was like listening to those songs for the first time. It was a truly great hour.