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  #61  
Old 09-15-2019, 09:45 AM
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I'll go with the one that just pops into my mind... 1967, I was selected at age 16 to play guitar in a local production of the musical West Side Story... with the actual book, rented from whatever the rental agency is. The lead actor playing Tony was no other than Mandy Patinkin. The first time I opened the book I was scared witless. I had to work out a lot of the riffs on the piano first to get an idea of how stuff went, but finally got a good portion of it under my fingers. I typified the old joke- "How do you get a guitar player to turn down the amp"?
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  #62  
Old 09-15-2019, 10:10 AM
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In 1980 I moved to Santa Barbara Ca and stayed with my sister till finding my own place. I was working two jobs at the time to save enough money to find a place and one day I walk in to the house to get ready to head to my next job and there on the couch is David Jones of the Monkeys playing my guitar.

He says Hello mate is this your guitar? I can't imagine what the look on my face was. We ended up talking for just a minute because I need to get ready for my other job.

We all went out on Saturday night my sister, David, my girlfriend "now my wife" and I.

I have to say he was one of the most humble nicest guys you would ever want to meet. Very sad he has passed.

RIP David
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  #63  
Old 09-15-2019, 11:39 AM
L20A L20A is offline
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One of my favorite guitar memories is the day that I was in Aspen Co, at the John Denver Sanctuary with a bunch of John's fans.

One of the people that was there was Jim Conners, who wrote Grandma's Feather Bed, and was a member of John's band.

I was telling Jim that some of the stones that were lined up on the hillside were said to be placed in a way as to be the music notes to John's song Annie's Song.

Jim pulled out his harmonica and asked me if I knew the song on guitar.
I did and he then asked me to play it with him.
We played the song instrumentally.

My biggest regret is that I didn't get a picture of us that day.
However, when I put my guitar back in it's case, there were 3 one dollar bills inside the case.
I don't know who placed them there but I still have them in the case where they will stay as a reminder of that day.
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  #64  
Old 09-15-2019, 11:55 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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Mine I guess are much simpler: 1) buying my first guitar with money I earned from my first job. I still remember that day 34 years on. 2) my first visit to Fur Peach Ranch but really all of my visits there have been amazing. Made a lot of good friends.
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  #65  
Old 09-15-2019, 12:06 PM
Kyle76 Kyle76 is offline
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I had been playing for a couple of years when my elder daughter got married. At the reception, my brother-in-law told someone in the band that the bride’s father played guitar. I got invited to the stage to play along with the band. I was truly a novice, but I told the bandleader I could play some blues licks in A minor (the minor pentatonic that nearly everyone learns first). So I started playing some lead, and the band picked it up, and we played for about five minutes. My daughter and wife were getting her dressed to leave, but someone went and got them, and it was great fun. When my younger daughter got married a little over a year later, I was more prepared and arranged a specific song to do with the band (a different one that my other daughter’s). We did Elvin Bishop’s “Fooled Around and Fell in Love.” I learned the chords and lead and brought my own guitar and plugged into their equipment. Again, tremendous fun, but of course I was paying for the whole thing, so I should have gotten a chance to shine, right?
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  #66  
Old 09-15-2019, 01:01 PM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is online now
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In 2003, my grandmother was in hospice at age 93. She had a heart attack and never regained consciousness (or so we thought). Her husband was a musician, she played organ, and she delighted in my guitar odyssey.

We were encouraged to talk to her as on some level she might be able to experience that, but over three days there was no response or indication that she was aware of us in any way.

One night I brought my guitar in to while away the time. After a few minutes, she spoke my name. That was the only sound or movement in five days of hospice. You could have knocked any of us present over with a feather.

I still am deeply moved and honored by that opportunity to connect with someone close to me on a deep and profound level.
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  #67  
Old 09-15-2019, 01:37 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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At this point there are so many but here are a couple. I've related this one before: Back in 2007 I got a couple of music videos where the lead guitarist used vintage Gibson ES-335 guitars. Both had really sweet tones and I was enchanted. I went on a quest to see if it was possible to find a modern one that sounded that sweet. Over several months I tried out about ten or eleven of them and I actually found one that was really sweet. My family was in a pretty financially tight phase so I didn't mention it to my wife and basically put it out of my mind. Christmas Eve came and we had the whole family at our place with a fire in the fireplace and enjoyed our Christmas Eve together. We gave our bedroom to my son and daughter in law. When everyone was in bed my wife and I set up the fold-out sofa and got ready for bed next to the fireplace. Before we tucked in she pulled a tony little package from under the tree and had me open it. Inside was a little note saying, "The day after Christmas let's go get that guitar." Somehow she'd sniffed out what was happening and decided to make it happen. What an amazing friend she is!

The other thing has happened a couple of times but is so memorable to me. I produced a song for a national artist and she asked me to play electric guitar and to come up with a solo for her song, which I did. A day later she came in to hear my work. She liked the solo so much that she jumped out of her chair and hugged and teared up. It's really nice when your work moves someone that strongly.

Bob
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  #68  
Old 09-15-2019, 03:43 PM
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When I built my first acoustic guitar one of the pleasant aspects of building it was the strong smell that emanated from the walnut as I carefully steam bent the sides over a hot copper bending pipe.

I played that guitar for many years and often on humid days that same odor would waft up from the sound hole and bring back that same pleasant memory. It always brought a smile to my face, and waht more can you ask of an instrument?
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  #69  
Old 09-15-2019, 06:09 PM
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Here's one I had written up:

I had a great jam session with a cellist. This was special for so many reasons:
- I had never jammed with a cellist and was excited to pull it off
- The fella is someone I’ve wanted to try this with. He’s the Jimmy Stewart/Tom Hanks of our town, grew up here, teaches English at a close university, has kids who’ve grown up as leaders. (One graduated from Harvard and is a Lt in the Marines) just an incredibly kind, thoughtful guy, beloved.
- He’s dying of cancer. Stage 4 lung caught late because he doesn’t do anything bad, metastasized to his spine. Diagnosed in November and supposed to be dead in weeks. Turns out his clean lifestyle and cancer type qualified him for the first human trials of a gene therapy. So he’s lived months longer and got to see his youngest son graduate high school with my daughter. I sat next to him at the ceremony - his son’s speech about his diagnosis and how the town has rallied in support of the family brought the gym to open tears.

At graduation, when I said we should try music, this time he said yes. He’s a Classical sight reader, so was wary, and had balked when I’ve tried before, but I told him to trust me. So last night I showed up, did my Band Wrangler thing and we connected. I set up a song, e.g. Save it For Later by the English Beat. Easy 3-chord groove. I fed him a couple of lines I had worked out over the past week - a bass-ish line for the verse, and a legato melodic line for the chorus. I then called out the song changes while we played and he understood immediately and I talked less. By the time we got to the lead break, I just said “It’s you, man” and he took off with a gorgeous improvised solo - long, languid notes and phrases. Afterwards, he told me he’d never done that before. In his life. I got verklempt. He got verklempt. (Heck, I’m still verklempt.) We did Beatles, 80’s - he killed on Tainted Love and Is She Really Going Out with Him - and classics like Sam Cooke’s What a Wonderful World, Motown and Moondance(!!). Very inside the moment. The stuff you hope for when you make music with others. That.

I played my ‘46 Gibson J-45. A fundamental mahogany thump that his tone fit with perfectly - no ringy harmonics that would linger and clash with his long lines. He was playing an Italian cello from the 1740’s that he inherited from his father in law and is clearly a top-tier instrument. Amazing tone. Lyrical, vocal.

Had to share it. We discussed how to make it happen again, soon. Good.

Thanks for reading this if you made it this far - in these stressful times, I thought this type of story might be a nice one to share. Happy Independence Day here in the U.S.
************
That was a bit over a year ago. My friend Kit died about 2 weeks ago. He got a lot out of the time he had.
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  #70  
Old 09-16-2019, 04:34 AM
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One of my fondest memories.

Around 5 years ago, when I'd just completed my book about the women who built Gibson's guitars during WWII, I got a gig at Ronnie Scott's, the venerable jazz club in London. When I walked in, the manager said, "Oh, Jeff's coming to see you tonight." "Jeff who?" "Jeff Beck." Gulp!

Jeff sat in the front row. What a night.

Our hang afterward:



A video of my opening tune:

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  #71  
Old 09-16-2019, 05:35 AM
Neil K Walk Neil K Walk is offline
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For my high school graduation my mom bought me an Epiphone knockoff of what I’d call a 1980s era Kramer along with a Tom Scholz Rockman. It was a flashy electric with a Strat type body with a humbucker at the bridge and two single coiled pickups along with a Floyd Rose bridge and some pearl inlays along the headstock and it cost all of $300.

After I graduated from boot camp the following year I got orders to a ship already operating near the Strait of Hormuz (outside of the Persian Gulf.) I flew halfway around the world with that guitar, from Philadelphia all the way to a little atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean called Diego Garcia. On the morning of July 4,1988 I was too jet lagged to sleep so I put on my headphones and rocked out to Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” on my bed - because no matter what I played I kept coming back to Tom Scholz’s licks!

It got even better. Because of the date we had the day off so later that day three of my friends from boot camp and I walked several miles to a small scuba shop located in the island’s large inland bay and snorkeled for several hours.

The next day we boarded a cargo plane to an even smaller island where we all got loaded on a helicopter bound for a support shift slated to replenish our ship the next day. I’ll never forget the bemused pause the flight crewman took when he saw Ricky Recruit walking up with a sea bag and a guitar case. After a couple beats he just grabbed the guitar and chucked aboard. I have no doubt the guy could work for Delta!

The guitar made it home but after that cruise it got stolen while still aboard ship. Though we all served our country, not everyone who serves does so with honor. I still miss that guitar sometimes. I had many good jam sessions with that guitar before that unfortunate day.
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  #72  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:07 AM
The Bard Rocks The Bard Rocks is offline
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In '78 I was on a long odyssey across the us, accompanied by my new Martin M38. Round 'bout Christmas time, I decided to hightail it home for the holidays. Upon my return to Denver, I had a place to stay for the night but couldn't enter until very late evening. Buses were free then (for a while), so I elected to travel around on them until it got late enough.

Slowly the bus emptied of people until finally the only passengers were me and a little boy, We were Godknowswhere, it was dark and there were no lights any8where around. The driver, a large Hispanic man, halted the bus, got up and addressed me in a thick accent. I was not sure what he meant bu9t hue gestured for me to hand him the guitar. It was the most valuable thing I owned and I figured I was going to be robbed. The kid would be no help in a fight, which I readied myself for.

But instead, he opened it and began to play, then handed it to me to play for him. The kid was his son. We played until he had to take it back to the garage for the night and by then I able to get in the apartment where I had a place to stay.
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  #73  
Old 09-16-2019, 06:13 AM
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My favorite memory will be of this Saturday when I play at my son's wedding. I was practicing yesterday and it felt like all my years of playing were done to be ready for this.
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Last edited by Mr. Paul; 09-16-2019 at 06:34 AM.
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  #74  
Old 09-16-2019, 07:04 AM
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Ludere Ludere is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Paul View Post
My favorite memory will be of this Saturday when I play at my son's wedding. I was practicing yesterday and it felt like all my years of playing were done to be ready for this.
Now THAT is awesome. Enjoy.

...
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  #75  
Old 09-16-2019, 07:11 AM
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... some of my best guitar/music memories are from a period vice a specific incident ... back when there was peace in the valley, we would have ‘jams’ as a family (my ex was a professional vocalist for a time and I’ve always been hackin' away at some stringed thing or another) ... I tripped across this a little while back ... my two youngest at ages 10 and 3 ... they’re 26 and 19 now ...



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