Friday, October 5, 2018

A Magic Carpet Made of Steel

It wasn't until the conductor shouted, "ALL ABOARD!" that I felt the sense of history, and then the song lyrics popped into my head:

Riding on the City of New Orleans
Illinois Central, Monday morning rail…

My 18-year-old son Brendan had just handed his ticket to the Amtrak conductor, and he stepped through the door of the passenger car, when the conductor did what they have done for well over one hundred years. It is a tribute to a time when train travel was the dominant and most modern means of mobility – the unique and time-honored custom of announcing the impending departure by shouting the announcement up and down the platform.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A "Sweet" Riff

I learned to play guitar because I wanted to play the songs I liked. Even if I couldn't play them as well as the records, it was satisfying to have those small moments of triumph when I could duplicate a great riff or chord sequence from a favorite tune and a well-known guitarist. Ed King played one of the greatest rock riffs of all time, and many amateur guitarists like me did our best to learn it. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

What Got You Started?

When did you first start paying attention to music? Who were your early musical influences? I was a music fan first, and didn't learn to play guitar until I was in my early 20's. I didn't pay much attention to music until I saw the Beatles in 1964 on the Ed Sullivan show. That was also the moment when I decided I had to be a guitar player.

After that first exposure to the Beatles, I began listening to the radio. The mid-1960's was a spectacular time for rock and roll and pop music. We had the British Invasion, American surf music, Motown, blues rock, folk and folk-rock, and just plain rock and roll.