It was a warm April day back in 1988 when I came back from camp to find a shiny new Harmony Acoustic hiding behind my parents couch. The afternoon sunlight through the front window gave the brand new guitar a special glow. It took me about a minute to snap out of staring at this beautiful thing until I noticed the smell. A new guitar was something I never smelled before. Come to think of it this was the closest I had ever been to a guitar. I remember running into the family room with my new friend, turning on MTV to try to imitate what the guys were doing in the videos. I was 12 and my time was divided between watching Heart, Poison, Run DMC, Beastie Boys videos and playing my parents record collection which consisted of the Beatles, The Doors, BB King and Eric Clapton. My taste in music was something my parents approved of until on a warm summer day on a show called Closet Classic Capsules. I saw a video of a black man making weird sounds with his guitar and lighting it on fire. I was hooked. Add a little Led Zeppelin 4 months later, and it was all over. My story is just like most kids with a guitar. It was more fun than school work so I got grounded.I also got jealous girlfriends and shitty grades. I remember breaking my first string. It was a G string and I went 3 months with out it until my father caved in and got me one ( He actually got 3 because he too was embarrassed to ask a stranger for a G string). Thank God I wasn't using Ernie Ball at that time.
My parents blame music for me fucking up my life. I don't need any help I can fuck it up all by myself just fine. I don't need help thank you very much. I began teaching about 10 years ago and thought it was great. I was getting paid for something I was going to do around the house anyways. It was fun until guitar hero and rock band became popular. I was teaching a 9 year old a Hendrix song and asked him if he ever saw a picture of Jimi. The boy said no so I showed him. The father got exited and said "Look, its that black guy in the video game!" It didn't dawn on me how much trouble I was in until my students stopped practicing. I asked " Did you practice the song?" and the child said "No." I asked " What did you do all week?" He answered, "I got 100,000 on Guitar Hero. Back then I was drinking so I called my wife and asked her to put the vodka in the freezer. Times have changed.