the cinder block that broke the camels’ back

ok, so that’s pretty much it.  after this past weekend, i’m not sure how much more i can take of our other guitar player.  this is a guy whose primary style of playing could be summed up by saying, “if you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then pound them into submission with sheer fucking volume.”

and this is a rhythm player!

i just don’t understand.  i guess it goes back to what i had said earlier about just having no clue whatsoever about what goes on around you.  this guy has no clue.  i think i’m gonna call everyone this week and try and get a consensus about whether or not to just let the guy go.  The gig we’re doing next week is too important in a lot of ways for him to come in and fuck it up for us.  Darryl called him last week and tried to confront him about a lot of the issues we’ve been having with him, and his response was a long, excuse-laden tirade that didn’t offer any hope whatsoever that he’d come around.

So i’m ready for him to be gone.  Big time.

we have one more guy who may or may not come in to audition, and once he does, we’re gonna make a decision and go with it…but he may be gone before that point comes and goes.

Point belabored long enough.

i’m going back to Tennessee next month for the first time in over a decade.  Could turn out to be pretty strange.  i know the kids are looking forward to it…i kinda have mixed feelings about it.  Dylan asked me last week if i still had my first guitar, and it gave me cause to remember that…i have a couple of old recordings of it, but i don’t have it anymore.

i was a drummer originally – started banging on stuff before i was ten, and actually got a somewhat poor excuse of a drumkit when i was 14 or so.  then a little later on, i auditioned for (and got) a gig playing with what was the only “real” band in my hometown at the time, and i thought i was hot shit.  and i had started learning some chords and stuff from my associations with other guitar players, and i watched every move the guitar players in this band made…and i applied what i could without really knowing what the hell i was doing…

i worked at the time at an AM country radio station, WLIC, and there was a guy who ran a leather shop two buildings down from the station who i used to hang out with after work during the summer, rick thomas.  rick was one of those guys who was perfect company for a kid who didn’t really know much about the world outside his little perimeter…i could listen to that guy talk for hours (and did, often enough).  anyway, rick had an old yamaha classical guitar that he needed to sell because he was short on cash, so i bought it for $35.00.  i had that guitar through the rest of high school, took it with me when i went to iceland, to wales, to the pentagon in the navy, and here to pennsylvania.  i used it to write a shitload of awful, sappy songs… to figure out how to play the fingerpicking parts in all those Fogelberg and James Taylor songs, did my early experimenting with alternate tunings – i put a lot of miles on that $35.00 guitar, man.


i had occasion to go back to tennessee after i’d been back in the states for a little while, and i decided to look mr. thomas up – i found his name in the phone book and got his wife on the phone, who thought i was a bill collector…i guess his cash drought must’ve lasted quite some time.  anyway, i got her to take my name and number where i was staying and he called me about an hour later, and i asked him to meet me at the famous savannah TN dairy queen for lunch, where i presented him with his guitar back.  he had been pretty down about having sold it to me, and i got more than my $35 worth of use from it, so i wanted it to go back where it came from…so i gave it back to him, complete with the hard case i bought to protect it during our travels.  that felt pretty good.

in the time since, i’ve acquired quite a few instruments – christ, i have five telecasters alone.  three or four strats, four martin dreadnought acoustics – but i probably wouldn’t have any of them if i hadn’t had that guitar for the important years…while i was learning the basics and finding my voice.

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