Memory – Age 10

Upright Pianola.P2

(My first love)

My first love……the piano

For those who know me now, this statement may surprise you. My first love of a musical instrument was actually with the piano.
Having moved into a new house when I was eight (8) years of age, my mother began playing her music. Much of the music album she played were piano-based classical pieces, and played at volume through my father’s oversea’s purchased Bang and Olufsen stereo system. I loved the tones of the piano as a musical instrument. I recall being attracted to the multiple string tones that could concurrently emanate from within the large wooden structure of an acoustic piano cabinet.  I recall I would listen in awe of the piano players’ ability to play. I had no knowledge of how these players were playing at that time. I just loved the sounds, and the places these sounds took me. In most instances, it was as if the recorded piano was next to me, and mostly I felt that my head was actually placed within the acoustic piano cabinet. It was that clear, and bell-like in tone.
I now understand how these sounds are constructed. In simplistic term, the piano player would play both a left-hand bass note chordal vamp, whilst simultaneously playing a right-hand mid or high register melodic line. The combination of these two often conversational acts, created musical and sonic textures that were complex and multi-layered in notes – tones and harmonics. I recall how these beautifully constructed musical and sonic passages could stand on their own – almost an orchestra in themselves. The piano as an instrument could certainly lighten my deepest thoughts. It certainly lifted the world off my shoulders when things were dark, as if summoning angels from afar.
As I describe in my Music Practitioner Part 1 – Beginnings blog, when I was about ten (10) years old, I moved downstairs into a large rumpus room with an old gramophone radio (a record player and radio), and a pianola (as above) inherited from my grandfather. Whilst I tinkered on the piano from time to time, I found I actually spent more time listening to others’ songs and productions on the gramophone radio in these times. I was never interested in the piano as an instrument for me to play. I can not remember ever badgering my parents for piano lessons; nor can I recall scouring music magazines looking at pictures of the various types of pianos.
However, I do recall quietly badgering my parents for a guitar. I do vividly recall scouring those same music magazines looking at pictures of guitars. Just a few months later, I found my self with a guitar in my hand. That was four and a half decades ago.

My first love affair……the guitar

I am not sure if I remember exactly the first time I heard one of these six (6) stringed instruments. Who was playing this instrument on that first occasion? Was it T-Bone Walker, Django Reinhardt, Robert Johnson, Howling Wolfe, Woody Guthrie, John Lee Hooker, Les Paul, Albert King, BB King, Muddy Waters, Bill Hailey, Bo Diddley, Lonnie Donegan, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochrane, Elvis, Scotty Moore, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Mike Bloomfield, Jeff Beck, Alvin Lee, Lonnie Mack, Pete Townsend, Neil Young, David Gilmour, David Bowie, Cat Stevens, T-Rex, or Rory Gallagher?
(Robert Johnson 1936)
(T-Bone Walker 1966)
So what was it about this instrument that grabbed my attention? It did not seem to make any difference to me whether the six stringed instruments were an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, or a hybrid – an electric hollow body (referred to as a semi-acoustic for a number of years) guitar. Every production seemed to have something on offer from this six stringed instrument; the infectious rhythms, the jangly harmony of the strummed chords, the melody played as a relatively thin lead line, or the improvised lead lines with a range of processing or distortion applied.  
(The Jimi Hendrix Experience 1968)
Irrespective of who was playing, or on what type of six (6) stringed instrument it was, I could soon hear every note, interval or chord played in a production.  I could hear the range of tones from the variety of timbers, pickups, string gauge, the type of approach the guitar player was taking in playing this instrument – strumming, fingerpicking, finger picks, or flat picking, the velocity in which they caressed or attacked the instrument, the type and gauge of plectrum being used, the amp, or the processing applied.
(Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia 1980)
I suppose my love affair with this six stringed instrument may have been somewhat influenced by my brother. He did after all bring his red electric hollow body into my world, and teased me everyday with it… perhaps….
Perhaps my pursuit was fuelled by me being left-handed, with a limited number of guitars to play –  cajoling me, whispering to me, teasing me that I wouldn’t get to play any of them? mmmm…. likely….
Perhaps my interest was motivated by the daring showmanship of many performers I had seen playing guitar and singing – entertaining a crowd?  mmm… very cool….
Perhaps, my interest was motivated by witnessing something being played that appeared to be technically difficult – and yet so smooth, so fluid, so musical? mmm… was likely to have been….
Or perhaps, I was inspired by certain troubadours to develop the craft of guitar playing, along with singing, and songwriting – to a depth I had never heard before?  mmmm, certainly was true…….
(Cat Stevens 1970)
Perhaps I was attracted ’cause I could physically embrace the entire instrument, my body around hers?  mmmm…. that was for sure…..

Willie Nelson_by Platon.P1 .jpg

(Willie Nelson by Platon)
Perhaps it was my desire to feel her curves, and caress her neck – all whilst learning to talk to her, in a revealing and meaningful way, with just her….. Very likely as well….

Guitar Curves.Works.P2

(Guitar curves)
Perhaps, it was my desire to connect with the earth, and smell her natural scents… Oh, so many times I recall……..

Guitar Timbers.Works.P2.jpg

(Guitar Timbers)
Perhaps it was all of these things, with the affair enabled by the portability of the instrument?  Perhaps?   Likely?  Probably?  Very likely?   No, no, no……   I AM sure!      Yes, I am so so sure ……………..
Yes, my first love affair with a musical instrument was with a guitar. Over many years, I have sometimes reflected. Did I cheat on the piano, for the guitar? Did I? Other questions usually then come in rapid succession. What would have happened if I had remained loyal? Where would I have possibly ended up? and, Could that place been anything more than what I have experienced to date?
The guitar is the mistress that I got involved with. I had leapt down the rabbit-hole. Judge me if you will, I was now well over my head: head over heals in love, in my first ever love affair.
This is another episode in my life I recall, when I was Age 10.

1969 Woodstock3Works.P2.jpg

(Woodstock 1969)

My First Guitar

My First Guitar ©David L Page 2016
My brother was several years older,
I looked up to him
he was more
physical, more athletic,
than me

 

He always had a sense of calm,
of what he wanted to do,
(he was) at one with himself…
of who he was,
and who he wanted to be….

 

so grounded…
Not so for me
I am told….

 

Apparently,
I wanted a stage to play on,
to run, and jump, and make a noise
I can still recall listening to am radio,
how much I would dream,
of it being me,
performing in front of a crowd,
and listening to the audience scream

 

But if anyone looked at me directly,
I would run and hide
the way it was,
for the time being

 

I looked up to to my brother
He always had a sense of what he wanted
who he was,
and who he wanted to be….

 

He was physical, athletic, alternative….
he and his friends listened to cool music..
he influenced me in every way…
and then…….
he started to play….
Aria-pro-ii-ta-50-45964.jpg
(Aria Electric Hollow Body Guitar)
 He got an electric hollow body (335)
(much like Fogerty from CCR)
it was big and cherry red,
he started strumming,
and then plucking it…
I remember just standing at the door,
watching, and listening, and
watching and listening, and
watching, and listening……
imagining it was me

 

I remember thinking to myself,
I wanted to do that…
Get on a stage and play,
perform in front of a crowd,
and listening to the audience scream
all day

 

(imagining) ..just like the Beatles, Jackson 5,
Cocker, CCR, Hendrix, the Who,
Led Zepp, the Aztecs, and Daddy Cool,
and me

 

When I get a little older
I want a guitar ….
and get up on a stage and perform,
and listen to the audience scream..

 

I was a lefty,
which made it strange
to strum my brothers
right-hand 335

 

It was big and red,
it just drew me in…
I would stop and try to play with it,
every time I walked passed

 

strum the strings,
strike the strings
bang the strings,
stroke the strings
to see what noise I could get out of it,
ahh… (I’d) listen to its ring…

 

When I get a little older
I want a guitar
and get up on a stage and perform,
Just to let it ring (out)…
I can hear it now
I can hear the audience scream..

 

He plugged it in,
To the stereo amp
To hear its electrics…
trying to get it to sing…..

 

When I get a little older
I want a guitar
and get up on a stage and perform,
Just to let it ring (out),
I can hear it now
getting up on a stage to perform,
I can see it now,
I can hear it now
listen to the audience scream..

 

My dad came home
from one of his trips overseas,
behind him stood a large cardboard box,
within it,
something for me….

Arai Guitar.Dreadnought 211

(Aria Acoustic Dreadnought Guitar)
An acoustic dreadnought
a lefty cherry burst ,
red fading down to natural,
just,  just, just
just for me…

 

she was mine…
I strummed it..
I struck the strings,
I banged it,
I stroked the strings
any thing to make a noise

 

It spoke to me….
metal strings off a spruce wood top
Ahhhh……..
music to my ears……

 

When I get a little older
I want to get up on a stage and perform,
Just to let my guitar ring (out)…
I can hear it now
I can hear the audience scream..

 

Now I just got to learn
What to do, how to play…
where to put my fingers
how can I get my fingers to move….
like Alvin Lee
Ouch, ouch…

 

My 10 year old fingers
trying to push down on the strings
Lots of metal buzzing…
strumming, striking, banging, stroking
I can hear it now…
ringing in my room,
ah music to my ears

 

When I get a little older
I want to get up on a stage and perform,
strumming, striking, banging, stroking
my guitar
I can hear it now….
letting it ring (out)
I can hear it now….
I can hear the audience scream..

 

When I get a little older
I want to get up on a stage and perform,
strumming, striking, banging, stroking
my guitar
I can hear it now….
letting it ring (out)
I can hear it now….
I can hear the audience scream..
“My First Guitar”©David L Page 2016. This audio event represents a developed sense of my recollection of this significant event.

Guitar Room.20141004.P2.v3

(A number of the mistresses I have had over the years)
The next blog in this Project 1 series is Memory – Age 11.
References
Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia 1980 music video link performing courtesy of: Live in concert 12/6/1980 – Warfield Theatre San Francisco, CA©1980   Accessed 19th August, 2016.
A number of my mistresses I have had over the years image courtesy of: David L Page  Accessed 19th August, 2016
Arai Acoustic Guitar image courtesy of: Arai Guitar Accessed 19th August, 2016
Arai Electric Hollow Body Guitar image courtesy of: Audiofanzine Accessed 19th August, 2016
Cat Stevens 1970 promotional music video link performing Father & Son courtesy of: A&M Records©1970   Accessed 19th August, 2016.
Guitar Curves image courtesy of: Handmade Classical Guitars Accessed 19th August, 2016
Guitar Timbers image courtesy of: Mega Music Accessed 19th August, 2016
My First Guitar …. audio link courtesy of: David L Page  Accessed 19th August, 2016
My first love image courtesy of: David L Page  Accessed 19th August, 2016
Page, David L. 2016. “My First Guitar” ©David L Page 2016
Page, David L. 2014. Music Practitioner Part 1 – Beginnings Accessed 19th August, 2016
Robert Johnson 1936 music video link performing Come On In My Kitchen courtesy of: Come On In My Kitchen©1936   Accessed 19th August, 2016.
T-Bone Walker 1966 music video link performing Goin’ to Chicago courtesy of: Live in London 30//11/1966©1966   Accessed 19th August, 2016.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience 1968 music video link performing Foxey Lady courtesy of: Live at Miami Pop Festival USA©1968   Accessed 19th August, 2016.
Willie Nelson image courtesy of Platon at: Hasselblad  Accessed 19th August, 2016
Woodstock 1969 image courtesy of: Land of Punt Accessed 19th August, 2016
– ©David L Page 17/05/1990
– updated ©David L Page 20/08/2016
– updated ©David L Page 23/10/2016
Copyright: No aspect of the content of this blog or blog site is to be reprinted or used within any practice without strict permission directly from David L Page.
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