Bought a guitar and….

The Grammys had it’s moments, but overall still sucked. For starters, the artists kept their mouths shut. How boring. And frightened looking. I swore you could see the uncertainty, “Should I speak, or will I get booed?” Even Springsteen played it safe.

Did you notice the expanding trend (started last year) of highlighting music that’s back to basics? They are so desperate for it they practically threw awards at Norah Jones. You could see her and John Mayer’s true surprise. Even Eminem played with musicians in the background – Philadelphia’s kick ass hip-hop band The Roots. Damn I love that song. The tribute to Run-DMC at the end was a nice touch too.

Bruce seemed to be the glue that held everything together, even if I think he could have brought the house down, and send a message, by ripping thru “Born in the USA”. The lyrics bear listening to in this day and age.

More then ever before, the category selections made no sense. Crackheads must do the category assigning. Bon Jovi for pop song? And what’s up with nominating Pink for so little? Unlike other teen pop stars, she’s growing up to be tougher and more honest lyrically, showing real growth, instead of simply showing more ass (although really, who am I to complain?).

Metal and punk, except for the Joe Strummer tribute, were non-existant. I guess that’s as it should be.

Speaking of “back to basics”, check out the Johnny Cash video of him doing Hurt. It will rip your heart out. “You can have it all… my empire of dirt.”

You can’t be in music for the money. According to the NY Daily News, your average rock star will earn $40k from a gold album.

BTW, the NYTimes has been running a series on influential musicians. This week they cover Chuck Berry.

As for me, I’ve had more then a few tuning and action issues with my new Strat which have been keeping me busy. Most of my creative time has been spent tweaking her the past few weeks. Now she plays the way I play – which is both messy and nuanced. I transition from picking softer then a feather to harder then a jackhammer – wherever the a song takes me – and that required some work to get the action just right. Otherwise I was stuck with buzzes or needing Superman’s strength to bend strings.

One thing I now know is that it’s best for you to do your own guitar set-ups. No one, except maybe people close to you, can satisfy your needs, especially on a guitar as personalized as a Strat.

In related news… if things go well, and I think they are, I might be able to go public with news of a new band. I don’t want to jinx it. Suffice to say – practices have been kicking ass. Nothing serious – just having fun. And therapy.

8 thoughts on “Bought a guitar and….

  1. What caught my eye was the price: $170 in the equipment catalogues.

    Of course, I’ve just been amazed over the last 6 months (when I started getting catalogs from music stores again) of the price/performance curve that has mimiced that of the PC. 4 track cassette studios for $100, electronic versions for $200, and all kinds of synths/sequencers/software at prices that mortals can afford.

    Pretty incredible to a guy who hasn’t looked in about a decade.

  2. I have a Line6 amp which has most of the non-plug this into your PC functionality built-in. I actually had a POD and then my previous amp blew its speaker and I decided to trade up. Their stuff is very sweet and, given that I don’t play very much, seems very reliable and worth the cash. I’ve blogged the GP several times, if I was really playing these days no doubt I would have one.

  3. Sonic Distortion (I’m getting into them just now saddly), covered Ring of Fire too.

    What a song writer! His take on this Trent Reznor piece if unbelievable. I can’t stop playing it.

    Well Bill and Al – guess I’m just gonna have to pony up for one of these things 🙂

  4. I remember my dad bringing home the “live from folsom prison” lp when I was a kid. My dad was probably the least-musical son-of-a-welshman that ever lived (though he was capable of singing when he put his heart into it), and didn’t buy much music.

    But this record got worn out – and not by him. Sure, at first I listened to “dirty old egg-suckin’ dog” about a thousand time, but the rest of the record got looped as well. the way the band just rolled through folsom prison blues with the audience going wild in the background, the dark humor of “25 minutes to go”, and the soulful “dark as a dungeon’…

    for a 10-year-old boy, this was heavy sleddin’, musically speaking, and I loved it. the monkees, this wasn’t.

    And I still got it bad for the man in black. drugs, booze, prison, degenerative neuro disease, and he’s still making it real. that’s one helluva performer.

  5. One of my closest friends has recently been digging him too. He’s been raving about “25 minutes to go” too. We’re both huge Iron Maiden fans and told me it’s equatable, but more clever, then Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name”. When hearing that tune I can’t help but imagine the last moments of William Wallace’s last moments in Braveheart.

    I’m waiting in my cold cell when the bell begins to chime
    Reflecting on my past life and it doesn’t have much time
    Cos at 5 o’clock they take me to the Gallows Pole
    The sands of time for me are running low

    When the priest comes to read me the last rites
    I take a look through the bars at the last sights
    Of a world that has gone very wrong for me

    Can it be there’s some sort of error
    Hard to stop the surmounting terror
    Is it really the end not some crazy dream

    Somebody please tell me that I’m dreaming
    It’s not so easy to stop from screaming
    But words escape me when I try to speak
    Tears they flow but why am I crying
    After all I am not afraid of dying
    Don’t believe that there is never an end

    As the guards march me out to the courtyard
    Someone calls from a cell “God be with you”
    If there’s a God then why has he let me die?

    As I walk all my life drifts before me
    And though the end is near I’m not sorry
    Catch my soul cos it’s willing to fly away

    Mark my words please believe my soul lives on
    Please don’t worry now that I have gone
    I’ve gone beyond to see the truth

    When you know that your time is close at hand
    maybe then you’ll begin to understand
    Life down there is just a strange illusion.

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