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What Got You Into Music?


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My dad. He was an immigrant tailor from Italy...in metro NYC...where I was born. (I'm in Australia, now.) He, and a WW2 buddy, opened a dry-cleaning shop. A black lady...their presser...was in charge of the AM radio. All Motown. The fellas had a hard time learning English...but they LOVED Motown! Ha!  I still laugh over that juxtaposition! Anyway...he brought me home a HARMONY Bobkat in 1962 and that sorta did it...

 

I miss the old guy...

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:thumb:  Do you still have the bobkat?

Of course. Each of my sons learned their first E chord on it...just like I did! I've got quite a few nice classics. My fav is a Gibson FB-12...one of only 24 made in '67. I bought it new...

 

About that Bobkat...

 

Ya got me thinking. When I was getting it from #2 son on to #3 son...it needed a new (and matched) tuning peg. The guy at the store really was twisting my arm to buy something "new" for my kid. I explained the family connection...and he just didn't wanna get it. Sure, it's a clunker of a thing..like memories we carry around...

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Before I was nine, I used to listen to pop music for kids.  My favorite songs were The Yellow Rose Of Texas, How Much Is That Doggie In The Window, Amen, The Green Barrette, Wipe Out, and Louie Louie I.  By age 13, I graduated to Love Her Madly, Bottle Of Wine, a few Creedence Clearwater songs, Sugar Sugar, Yummy Yummy Yummy, I Think I Love You.  I've got to say that was the highlight of my musical career.  Down in my basement with a home made drum set pretending to really be playing those songs with a few friends who were also pretending on fake instruments.  

I was always attracted to musical instruments.  Always had to try and play everything.  But I was most fascinated with the drums.  

In a previous time, in a different neighborhood, when I was very young, I remember one of my older cousins next door had a set, and invited me to play them.  I'll never forgot how he reacted to the first time I attempted to play Wipe Out.  His compliment had me believe that I was a great drummer for almost a decade, until I got into the high school band.

In between those two times mentioned, I was about 10 years old, I remember where I was, the season it was, what I was doing, and the people I was with, when I heard this song playing on a transistor radio that sounded like no other.  But for the life of me, I can not remember what that song was till this very day. hearing that song was out of this world to me, it was like some sort of enlightening experience which nothing ever had given me before.  It's insane, that a song that gave me such a sensational experience I can never ever remember again, which I wonder if I ever heard again.

Then music, my most favorite thing I sabotaged.  It was in sixth grade.  I prevented myself and the rest of my class to fall behind in music because of my  intentional bad behavior to consistently, every day, disrupt the class.  I don't think that we excelled past the second song.  I'll never forget it either.  My Hat It Has Three Corners.  Ashamed to say.  I actually made the nun, whom I'll never forget run out of the class in tears.  God have mercy on my soul!

Then for about three years afterward, I just listened to music.  Then I started getting these original melodies that came out of just feelings.  I spite of it all, never could make any sense lyrically.  Never had the courage to get together with a group.  I grew to be very insecure, I lacked confidence.  Far cry from the sixth grade monster that I used to be.  Probably due to lack of education.

At that point in time, I was moved back to the old neighborhood.  A neighbor gave my sister a guitar. But.  I was the one to pick it up.  During this time I used to listen to that cousin from yester years.  With my guitar in hand I used to try playing in my room at my house to him heard from down the street.  I was always ambitious to go over and try and jam, but never did.  The furthest I got was half way across my yard then turned back. We had become kind of like enemies over the years.  As a matter of fact.  The second sensible song that I ever accomplished was about him and I, (Cousin Ernie) which was about 40 years later.

It wasn't only until I decided to write songs for Jesus Christ that I could make songs that made sense.  Before that, no matter how I tried, I could not write lyrics that meant anything.

Edited by louielouwhy
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