So recently I turned 59. It doesn’t feel much different from 58, or that from 57, but since I often still feel 35, it occasionally jars. I have little to complain about, save for a nagging sense of lack of time.
I’d been toying with getting an electric guitar for years. A frivolity I could not quite talk myself into for a long time. I have a terrific acoustic guitar which I do not play as well as I should, but which gives me a great deal of pleasure pretending to play well.
There are some things you just can’t mimic on an acoustic, though. It’s like trying to play Deep Purple on a spinet pianola. It lacks gravitas.
So an opportunity came my way and I threw common sense to the wind and bought a delightful Epiphone Les Paul. Not the one I’d had my eyes on for many years, but it’s a Les Paul. (Yeah, yeah, I hear the purists kvetching over in the corner, but it ain’t a Gibson, like that makes all that much difference. Well, it does, by several hundred dollars.)
Which necessitated getting an amplifier.
I have a good friend in Jefferson City who is something of a musician (actually, he’s a very good musician and graces me with a willingness to jam on our infrequent visits) who knows people. Sound people. I told him what I’d gotten and he said “Come on out and we’ll fix you up.”
Fix me up indeed.
I’ve been out of the music biz too long, I didn’t even recognize the name—a Line—but it’s a gem. 50 watts, all the bells and whistles (well, at least more than I’ll master in the next several years) and by pure serendipity the color scheme matches my axe. It came with a pedal board, too, which, for the price I paid, astonished me.
I have every intention of getting down to it and learning some songs. I’ve been playing it almost every day since I brought it home. It is loud. We have installed it in my office, so I can close the door, and Donna can enjoy it through the walls and floor. It’s more than I need.
I did not buy the Ferrari. I’m having a much more modest midlife, er, crisis. More a midlife ruffle, really. Despite my complaining, I’m a reasonably happy guy. Hell, I’m still alive, which after last year’s little contretemps is a very positive thing.
I’ve been finding online lessons. Stumbled on a guitar player of some considerable merit who does instructional videos, although I can barely keep up. (He tends to assume you already know the rudiments.) So I thought I’d put one here just to show you how far out of reach my aspirations go.
Till I started surfing for this kind of thing I’d never heard of this guy. (Told you I’ve kind of been out of it for a while.) Turns out he did a turn with Asia. Yeah, Heat of the Moment Asia, but an incarnation with only one original member, Geoffrey Downes. I’m trying to imagine what they must’ve sounded like with this guy.
Anyway, I’m dipping into his how-to vids. He reminds me a lot of Ian Anderson.
Anyway, I must now get back to the start-up of my second half-century. Stay tuned.