I decided to start playing guitar again this week. It’s actually a decision I made a few months ago when Meghaan’s parents were in town. Sometimes I have wild ideas, and this wild idea consisted of finding my old classical guitar that I bought from my friend Mac in college, finding some strings, and starting to play again.
That week was not a normal week. We were building a deck the entire time her parents were here, so there was no down time. I ended up taking off the old strings, looking at the new strings, and giving up. The effort seemed about the same as what it would take to build a deck. And I only wanted to build one deck that week.
Several months later, I put the strings on and started playing again.
I say “again” as if that signifies that I was once good at guitar. What I really did was memorize chords and get a decent buzz and strum one of the few chords I had memorized, and perhaps I would really wow the crowd with a sloppy-yet-identifiable attempt at the Don’t Stop Believin’ solo.
Also, I think it would help this story if I mentioned that in my guitar bag, I found several lists. All of them were written on Oregon Lottery Keno slips, which tells you where I was hanging out when this guitar playing was happening (answer- Pogo’s and The Lutz).
One of the lists was titled “Autobiographies”, which I am sure was the work of me and my good friend Ted Sperling, and here is the list, in order:
Somebody said something to me so I started drinking
I did what?
So I’d been drinking
Does it have whiskey in it?
I don’t care, as long as there’s beer
What was I thinking?
You’d have to pay me to stop! (unfamiliar handwriting on this one; could be from a friend)
I’m gonna feel like hell tomorrow
Those were good times, but I’m glad they’re over.
I really want to start playing guitar again because I feel like that’s something that fathers do with their children. It certainly makes them cooler. And several of my friends who have sons play guitar, and I would like to think that they play guitar with their sons.
I always thought I would have a son and he would love Springsteen and Gaslight Anthem and Dire Straits like me. So he would want to get a guitar because he idolized Bruce and Brian and Mark, and even me to a certain extent.
I may still have a son someday, but in 2 weeks I am having a daughter. So I am relearning some of the classics so I can give her broad exposure to all kinds of music.
This week I am practicing Happy Birthday.
Next month I may move on to something really powerful like Amazing Grace.
By the time she can walk I may have Gaslight Anthem’s Our Father’s Sons dialed in.
Like the song says, as they quote Cheap Trick,
Your momma’s alright
Your daddy’s alright
They just seem a little bit weird
Hopefully she understands that we aren’t so bad.
I think she’ll really dig us.
Her mom, the choir kid from Boise who loves her friends and family and Idaho.
Her dad, the math teacher from Portland who probably spent too much time in the bars when he was younger.
Either way, I know she’ll love rock and roll.