The Spark for Music

At 14, I remember hearing the solo from Stairway to Heaven and how it affected me. From then on, I wanted to learn and play guitar, absorbing as many different styles as I could. But I needed a guitar first!  I saved up enough money from my paper route to buy a Jumbo Acoustic from Sam’s ABC in Ottawa [yeah, I’m that old]. The action was really high and like the song said, “I played it ’till my finger’s bled”. Man, my fingers were sore. Eventually, I bought my sister’s Washburn acoustic for $200, which was a lot easier on my fingers and the guitar wasn’t lonely anymore.

I heard this guy on the radio [I think it was CKCU] one day by the name of Rev Gary Davis. He was a Country Blues fingerpicker who had an alternate Bass going while playing the melody on the treble strings. Sounded like a one man band, which is what the Black Artists of that era had to play at the dances in those days. So I got a How to book for Rev Gary Davis and slowly learned his music. I was also taking lessons from various teachers, including a stint at the Folklore Centre on Bronson Av. I remember my teacher walking in one day and saying that he was now a professional musician. I was thoroughly impressed with that statement at the time, but not so much anymore.

My very first band was formed when I was around 16 years old. I went to a friends place and he had some drums. He mentioned he knew a Bass player, and the rest is history! Well…… maybe not. I do remember the first song we played. It was “You Really Got Me” by The Kinks. After the song was over, I was so excited, I was literally jumping up and down for joy. I was hooked on the energy of Rock n Roll. I still am. Till next time…