Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Return of the Lighter Notes

One of the members of our humble trio is a teacher, and every Spring he is involved in a giant project that precludes any rock and roll. Last night the hiatus ended, and all was right in my world again. I unveiled the new guitar technique, and everything held together. It is a finger picking style – sort of like Mark Knopler’s, although his fingers are twisted in a weird angle. I wish I could compare it to Jeff Beck’s pick-less approach but who am I kidding?
Then there’s Lindsay Buckingham, who gets a very distinctive sound without a pick. I just want to grab the strings. It feels genuine, like my own personal glory days when I was an actual better-than-average bass player and everyday felt like I was in a movie.
The key is this particular guitar. We were going to play a gig at the Bite, and I wanted something just in case I broke a string. It was in a big tent and Bill Walton was the guest of honor. My brother had sent me a tie-dyed shirt from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so I thought, “If not now, when?” Bill opened his speech talking about it.
I digress. It turns out this Les Paul knockoff that was supposed to be a last ditch effort in a pinch, is now my main guitar, while my $1,800 dollar custom made beast, sits in a guitar stand and sulks.
What made last night fun was the ending when three complete strangers, who had been walking down the street, rang the front doorbell, and ended up in the garage with us, complimenting the music. Life can be so pleasant. I went home in time to hear my joke slamming President Bush on the Tonight Show. By the way, Kevin, the Tonight Show bandleader, doesn’t use a pick on his guitar, either. My joke went out to 70 countries, but I was happiest about playing in the garage. All was back in its rightful place: Comedy as something I can do, but music as the way - the best path through life.


At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good.

RE Leno: so which joke was it?

At 7:54 AM, Blogger pril said...

i jammed five nights last week, and one was a paid deal. It was really nice. All my equipment is cheap crap, too. It's great :)

At 8:20 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

The joke was, "President Bush doesn't like to change personnel. He got it from having the same third grade teacher year after year after year."

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Jacqui said...

I was one of the three strangers who knocked on the garage door last night. I just couldn't resist checking out your blog today.

That was so much fun! You all were so kind to invite us in to talk. When I leave Portland to go back to my home in Anchorage, I will leave with tons of great memories.

Good joke, too.

At 1:07 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Thanks, Jacqui. That was nice of you and your buddies last night. I remember asking if my therapist had sent you to help with my low self-esteem. Actually, I always knew if we kept at the music long enough, we'd eventually get a compliment.
Have a safe trip back to Alaska.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger Jacqui said...

I will and if you ever get to Alaska...


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