Ah, Part 3. Where were we? Oh yeah, the early years. Well, once in high school I would continue to be classically trained in percussion and even do some time as a marching band geek, but secretly work on my guitar playing.
As luck, being the convergence of opportunity and preparedness, would have it, a neighbor in my apartment complex was a guitar player and took the time to show me some cool riffs and some songs. Though I was never entirely as comfortable playing guitar as playing drums, it was a lot easier carrying a guitar and amp around compared to a drum kit. Also, I would have a lot more input as to the songs that we played, etc. But even after 30+ years of playing guitar now, I find that I was merely a visitor to that instrument; never really mastering it. In truth, I think I used it to achieve an end whose means should have been the love of the playing. Maybe that is why I never achieved the ends I was envisioning on that instrument.
Deepak Chopra advised that after interviewing some famous songwriters that none of them were thinking of the royalties while they were creating. They were “in flow” and in love with the divine process of creative energy. As a believer that enlightenment is the act of carrying less rather then knowing more and with information such as provided by insightful life interpreters like Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukav, Dr, Wayne Dyer and Dr. Andrew Weil. I can say now that I should have stayed playing the drums. I love rhythm and beats. There is nothing more satisfying then a beefy beat of the kick drum with the puffed-thwack of a tight snare.
As inclined as I am to recant the minutia of my formative years (I am not much, but I am all I think about) and, in some instances, take a walk down amnesia lane, I will err on the side of caution and continue a more rapid cut to the chase about my background and beliefs so I can get to the heart of why and what I am to blog. But again I remind those that are plodding through these initial setup blogs that knowing something about my past and current beliefs will help when I get to more topical and technical topics. So, on with the blurb about playing rhythm guitar…
Somehow I started playing a drum kit in the way back of the stage happily bobbing my head like a happy Ringo and ended up playing rhythm guitar, signing lead and running the band. While I learned an incredible amount and had some great experience over the years playing music with bands and solo, what I ultimately found out was I enjoyed the “sound” of songs. For example, certain songs from The Police, The Beatles, ELO, AC/DC, INXS the list goes on and on of songs and bands I played covers of, had a crispness, a fresh air quality that I loved to breathe in like a cool autumn morning. Playing in a cover band for many years fed this growing obsession with the quality and texture of sound in musical arrangements. But it was when I went to my first recording studio that the official incubation period of a life long relationship with audio production would begin.
It’s difficult to articulate. But songs that sound like their lyrics or set a mood in line with the story are nirvana to me. The delayed splashed chorused guitar in “Walking on the Moon” by the Police, the flowing and tumbling guitar riff in The Beatles “Paper Back Writer”, the absolutely ominous overdriven reverb of the opening chord to a “Hard Day’s Night”, the highly compressed, clean acoustic guitar stereo slap, pump in the opening riff of “Get That Love” by the Thompson Twins or “Dust in the Wind” or “More Than a Feeling” by Boston. Do I need to mention the heavenly harmonies of Sister Hazel, the Bare Naked Ladies, The Beatles and ELO? Little did I know that all these gourmet sounds would one day make me want to be an acoustical chef? Someone who would whip up ways and means to manipulate sound, capture it and try to create and contribute to the world library of beautiful productions. The only problem was, I was a mediocre rhythm guitar player that should have stayed on drums, could sing but did not have anything profound to write about and was playing in deadend cover bands. What was I to do?
Enter the chapter of the gear slut, a fairly successful 80′s cover band named Pending Rain and the establishment of Rain Recording in 1988! Whew, only 22 years to go. But hey, I made it all the way to the age of 23 in just three entries. See you on blog 4.