This is just me, but I find it selfish not to share my gifts with other people. I think that’s what living is all about – to give to others, and not really about what I get. The secret in life is to put myself in an environment where I am treated fairly while I’m sharing. That’s how I make a living.
Anyway, just before I turned 50, I was thinking of some way to use the little ability I have in the guitar. So I thought of doing a gig that was a Thanksgiving to my clients.
It remained just an idea for a few years, but I started doing something about it last year.
Obviously I started sharpening my skills, practicing specific songs. So everyone in my household had ears bleeding from me practicing the same frickin song over and over again. Sorry, that’s the only way to do it.
Then I bought some gear, just to figure out the hardware part. Nothing fancy – a bass modelling amp – the Roland Cube Bass 60 XL, maybe a couple of foot switches, and 11 guitars.
So it’s going to be a concert to express my thanks to all my good clients who have helped me over the years. The age range would be about 40 to 80, so that would cover songs from Nirvana to Son House.
So the songs had to have special criteria.
Resonance – the song had to be at the least vaguely familiar, radio-friendly. My clients are a nice, polite bunch, they will clap politely but in their heads they’ll think – what the hell was that? Their age group is a very broad spectrum, so I have to choose wisely.
The song had to be both challenging but within my range of ability. Too hard and I would stumble, too easy and I’d get bored and stumble still.
So these were tight rules. Even if I hadn’t played for 20 years, I knew and remembered some, but these were songs that I liked. Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” or Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979” wouldn’t exactly “resonate” with a Jesuit priest and an octogenarian lady. So out the list they go.
So I did a playlist from scratch.
Of course, to hold my interest, they also had to be songs I also really, really liked. I had to like them, if I had to practice them over and over again ad nauseum.
I naturally gravitated towards my favorites – such as Led Zeppelin, but I had to mix in some pop so the whole repertoire wouldn’t be so metal.
Save for my high school buddies, I won’t have a crowd whom you can even call “rockers”, so it looks like they’re the opposite of “hardcore” or “metal.”. I am just about the only guy I know in that circle of friends and clients who actually like Nirvana, so I gotta water down my tastes a bit.
But hey, they’re my target audience.
I’m also on the fence on getting a band to back me up. It would be nice to have one, but I need to invest in time practicing with them. I really would get a band though to play after I’m done with my own songs.
This is the first ever recording of my voice. I sound like I’m bored to death. Well, it is what it is and I don’t think I’ll ever have to rely on this to feed my family. This is the second take. There’s still some mistakes, but I’m too lazy to make another one.
Mic is just the cell phone voice recorder, amp settings same as usual. I’m using Mr. Disco.
Man, I didn’t know Aretha looked so hot.