Memories # 9: Guitarman


As a young wanna-be guitar player, I bought one of those Mel Bay’s Guitar Lessons books and proceeded to really confuse myself to the point of pretty-much giving up. Then one day a buddy showed me tablature, 12 bar blues, barre chords, and the pentatonic minor scale, and I was off and running. I would never become an accomplished guitarist, but one night I had my 15 minutes of fame.

My wife bought me an electric guitar for $75.00 one Christmas (one she would later throw into a bonfire), and I bought a big amp with all kinds of distortion and effects. If you set the controls right, you can just touch any string and it will sound like a symphony.

My brother Brian and I were getting together and jamming, and practicing regularly, so I’d have to say I was at the height of my short-lived musical phase, when a friend called  and asked me to bring the amp to his trailer for an impromptu session. When I got there, his wife explained that he had been called away, but would be back soon, so I set up the amp and started running through a few riffs. Just then, his teen-age daughter came through the door with a bunch of friends–it was her birthday, and the party had been moved here.

More and more girls poured in, until the entire trailer was packed with bodies dancing to the music I was providing. Shy, introverted, geeky me, for a moment, a guitarman.

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