Wednesday, March 24, 2010

it was probably around age 11 that our middle son, chris, started lobbying for a guitar. not taking his request seriously, i didn't accede to his wishes right away. but he continued to broach the subject from time to time until i guess he wore me down. it may have been for his 13th birthday, but i finally agreed to take him around to the various pawn shops about town in hopes that we might find a used guitar he would like (but for cheap i'm sure i was thinking). it was in a pawn shop on e. 10th that we found a new, not previously owned, guitar in my price range. another $10 for a cheap case, and voila, chris was instantly in the guitar business. i had it my mind that he would play around with the guitar for a while then it would end up in a corner collecting dust. that was not the case at all. before long chris was back asking if he might have guitar lessons. seeming like a reasonable request, we got him signed up for lessons with jerry thompson at randy's music mart. to my surprise he was diligent in his practicing the lessons jerry gave him each week. you might say chris took to the guitar like a baby duck to water. it was on a subsequent birthday, his 13th or 14th i think, he requested an electric guitar. an entry level, bright red fender stratocaster and baby practice amp came to live at out house. i'm guessing the fender may have led to the formation of "burned blue", the first band he played with. guitar lessons continued with jerry. his prowess with the guitar grew as did the skills of the rest of "burned blue"-- chris on guitar and vocals, johnny gibson on drums, ty swindell on base and vocals and ky williams on guitar. it doesn't take a trained ear to hear the growth of their sound when comparing the songs on "sometimes maybe" and those on"balancing lead an light". i hated to hear that the guys of "burned blue" would be going their separate ways and on to other projects. one of my great regrets is that we didn't encourage/force chris to take piano lessons. if there is anything holding chris back musically, it is that he doesn't read music very well. he has a great ear, but not reading music well is a limiting factor for him. he "writes" music in his mind but noatation is another thing.. where might his music have gone, where might it have taken him, if only... still, what he has been able to do is amazing to me. he makes me proud!

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