Music is a big part of my life. My aunt bought me a little kid’s record player before I went into the first grade, and she provided three 45 records with it: One was Elvis, one was Patty Page, and one was country singer Claude King. Stunned me; I had listened to radio, but being able to pick what I wanted to hear played opened up a new world.
Later, as a third grader, I was walking in the French Quarter of New Orleans one afternoon and saw a group of older men sitting in chairs on the sidewalk, jamming on some blues tune. I was gobsmacked; you mean regular folks can make their own music? Astonishing! Soon I had my aunt’s alto sax and was trying to play what I heard from those guys at Preservation Hall. It was so difficult to learn to play but that was part of the fun.
Seeing The Beatles on TV one Sunday night in early 1964 was another seminal event; I knew I’d switch from sax to guitar and bass.
Here are some of my musical buddies last night, playing in John Sapper’s backyard gazebo in Silver Spring, Maryland. We have a group of perhaps a dozen friends who get together most weekends to jam and sing. We call this assemblage The Usual Suspects, and we never know who will show up.
Last night, at John’s, it was John, Dan Collier, David Martin and me. I had already packed up my Telecaster when this song began, so I filmed it with my iPhone:
I belong to a more conventional band called The Gizmos, which plays blues, Bakersfield country, rockabilly and classic rock. I’ll try to get some video of that group soon!