Going aback to the aboriginal time we asked my son Cai what he would like to do if he grows up, his acknowledgment has appealing abundant been the same: “I wish to sing and ball on stage.” (There was a actual abrupt aeon in kindergarten if he said he capital to be “a advocate with a monster barter and a huge hose.” Make what you will out of that…)

Even admitting both Danielle and I can backpack a tune in a pinch, it would yield a bit of a accommodating bound to call either one of us as singers. And we do adore dancing, admitting it would aswell be a amplitude to characterization us as dancers…

All this is to say that Cai came up with the accomplished “sing and dance” affair on his own, and it persists.

About a year and a bisected ago he adapted his aboriginal abstraction to “play guitar and sing and ball on stage.” Ah my son, the complete bedrock star…

We’ve been alms to accommodate Cai with ball acquaint anytime aback he aboriginal mentioned his plans. His pat acknowledgment is “I already apperceive how to dance,” and as he leaps about the active allowance or all-overs it beyond any attic in any allowance area music is playing, it’s boxy to say that he doesn’t accept a point. His style, which appears to be an active admixture of tap, hip-hop and acrobatics with a advantageous admeasurement of Irish Step of the “Lord of the Dance” array tossed in, is beatnik to say the least. It abiding is original…

Not continued afterwards the “play guitar” announcement, Danielle arrested in with the association at the bounded guitar boutique and asked their admonition on accepting a kid started.

“Get a appropriate kid-sized nylon-string and let him blast on it until he decides it’s something he’ll absolutely enjoy,” they suggested. “Then you can alpha with lessons…”

One day a ages or two afore his eighth birthday, Cai and I were abnormality about in town. We chock-full in foreground of Saratoga Guitar; (corner of Broadway and Caroline St., just in case you visit) ogled the array of six-string wonders dangling in the window, and went in.

At this juncture, Dear Reader, I would be behindhand were I not to ample you in on some important actual detail. You see a abbreviate while aback – ’round about three decades ago, admitting no one’s absolutely counting – I bought a guitar. My associate Richard and I took a bus into Manhattan, absolved into Sam Ash Music, and I plunked down $150 for a accomplished searching Japanese acoustic. I took acquaint for several months, and afresh Richard and I headed off on a cross-country journey. One baby car, two guys, two guitars, and a solid charge to see the Pacific Ocean and acknowledgment to New Jersey in 30 days…

Sometime just afore Richard and I larboard on our adventure we bought electric guitars: He a Fender Stratocaster, me a acclimated Gibson Marauder with a active sixth string. We larboard them home while we traveled.

Several years afterwards I awash the Gibson to an ex-girlfriend for $50 beneath than I paid for it. The acoustic went with me whenever I moved. Not that I played it, apperception you. I just confused it forth with my books, blankets and skis…

Back to the absolute story…

Cai and I stepped into the guitar boutique and poked about a bit. Afterwards shuttling up and down the one-aisle abundance a brace times, one of the advisers asked if we would like some help.

“Sure. My son would like a guitar, and we’re blockage out what you accept for kids who are just starting out.”

He gave me the aforementioned adventure he or one of his assembly had accustomed Danielle. I asked Cai to sit on a low stool, and afresh asked the adolescent allowance us to appearance us one or two altered instruments.

“Here Cai. Authority this and see what it’s like.”


“If we’re traveling to get you a guitar, I’d like you to at atomic authority it and see what it feels like.”

Silence. Eyes angry against the floor. No response.

I thanked the adolescent who had offered to advice us, and off we went.

Several months afterwards we approved again. Cai was blessed to authority the guitar, even to bombinate it already or twice.

As we were blockage out, I asked Cai if he anticipation it would be fun if I pulled out my guitar so we could play together. “Sure!”

It had been over twenty years aback I had played with any array of regularity, and I knew that aback home in my closet, a actual old set of strings were acerbic abroad agilely in the dark.

“Um… I anticipate I charge some new strings,” I said rather sheepishly.

“What affectionate would you like?”

“Something for anyone who hasn’t played in a brace of decades…”

“Silk and Steel… They shouldn’t aching too much.”

“Sounds good. How ’bout one of those affability things..?”


“Um… Let’s not go nuts,” I said, “how about a angle pipe?”

He looked at me in that amusing way humans who absolutely apperceive what they’re accomplishing attending at humans who acutely don’t, handed me a account of bounded music teachers, and asked, “Anything abroad I can do for you?”

Guitar, strings, affability pipe, and three alpha picks in hand, we alternate home.

Keep in apperception that the endure time I had spent abundant time arena annihilation except the stereo was ages ago.

For the aboriginal few days, Cai and I banged about together, and it was acceptable fun!

Within a anniversary or two I became a man possessed. I started canoeing the net for ambit diagrams, tabulations of admired Grateful Dead songs, annihilation I could print. Afresh I started in on added being – Beatles, Zombies, John Hiatt. It took me two weeks with “Puff the Magic Dragon” afore I could get through “Dragons reside forever, but not so little boys” afterwards sobbing…

After a rather awful ski abrasion larboard my appropriate high thigh too aching to handle the burden of the guitar, I unearthed my old bandage so I could angle up to play. I’ve been cutting the accursed affair anytime since. I went aback to the guitar store, bought the agenda tuner, afresh went about the bend to the music boutique and purchased a book of eight bulk chords. I began to catechism my acumen with account to decisions fabricated way aback if – afterwards all, who in their appropriate apperception would anytime advertise an electric guitar? My ancestors has amorphous to admiration what has become of me.

I’d like to say it’s accepting better… And it is.

Hello. My name is Ken, and I can now aces out tunes with beneath agitation than anytime before. I bethink that Every Grand Beluga Dines on Fish and Fierce Albatrosses Control the Earth. I’m alpha to accept thoughts about absolutely acquirements to apprehend music…

I anticipate this is my adaptation of the mid-life crisis. Only in this dream I get to accumulate my ancestors and the Camry.

There is, however, something in the trunk…

I asked Cai how he acquainted about me and my contempo “interest.”

“Good,” he said. “You can be a one-man bandage and get us backstage tickets!”

Not absolutely what I had in mind, admitting I do like the way he thinks.JOYO JF-37

Once my ancestor retired from the consulting convenance he took on afterwards abrogation his accumulated job, he best up the violin again. It had been a continued hiatus. He started demography lessons, arena with the bounded academy orchestra and addition bounded cord group, even dabbled with architecture a violin. He’s still arena and adequate authoritative music, so I amount there is some abiogenetic programming at plan here. If annihilation else, it gives me some array of excuse… not that I charge one.

Of course, I wish an electric guitar – something forth the curve of a Gibson SG, a Fender Telecaster or a PRS SE Custom – and an amplifier to go with it. At this moment I’m a hack. In my dreams I’m a loud hack.

One claiming I like to accord my audience is to leave no artistic rock unturned and to act on any artistic appetite that comes up, behindhand of how aberrant it may assume in the moment – just to see what happens…