Posted by: docdenbow | May 18, 2012

I’ve Always Wanted To Do This

Isn’t it great when something or someone inspires you to do something that you have wanted to do for sometime? I’m not talking here about some “bucket list” that everyone should do. Well in a way I am. Perhaps you’ll take what I am going to try to do as a sort of gee up that’ll make you something that you’ve always wanted to do.

Throughout my life I’ve listened to and loved music. All sorts. Roxy Music early favourites alongside Trapeze. The inevitable flirtation with prog and amazingly the enjoyment of the Sex Pistols and The Damned. The joy of early Elvis Costello and Squeeze through to the NWOBHM and the spread of hard rock and heavy metal in general. I was also taken with the outrageous fashion faux pas 1980s. Who didn’t love Level 42 and Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet? Astride these titans we had Queen who killed their US career with a video from their great album “The Works.”

Moving into the 90s we had the era of tight trousers and big hair. Big songs, big choruses and as I’ve already said big hair. A lot of these bands were more style than substance and were sent to oblivion by the Seattle sound of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and countless others. As Jellyfish who I’ve mentioned in another place on this ‘ere blog never became anything other than a cult band came and sadly went. A pub band who rewrote other people’s songs were seen as the greatest thing since sliced bread and did Brit Pop come before during or after Oasis? I dunno, but it left this then aging chap totally cold.

Into the new Millenium. New albums bought? Zero. Yes, that’s zero (apart from Glenn Hughes, Black Country Communion, a Be Bop Deluxe boxed set and a couple of dirt cheap jazz CDs off EBay) What prompted this? Well a disagreement with a cretinous owner of a record shop which I virtually ran for 16 years played a part, a big part. I quit and made a huge career change into IT. Before you say or even think that everyone who works in IT is a bespectacled geek and boring with no soul, I’d like to that doesn’t apply to me. No, I just didn’t feel the need to be “down with the kids” anymore after nearly 25 years in the record shop trade and frankly for a year or two music was just not interesting to me. I’d lost, as they say, my mojo.

In the last few years my interest and love has returned. I’m re visiting old favourites some critically applauded then and now, and some decidedly dodgy. But hey it’ll all a matter of taste n’est pas? Also retrospective documentaries have piqued my interest and sent me scurrying back to my old Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac albums for example. Seeing live and meeting Glenn Hughes twice in past 12 months also has really got my musical fire re lit and the acoustic shows last year (I was at Cardiff) were absolutely brilliant.

So where does this all fit with being inspired to do something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time? I’ll tell you. Over the years I’ve bought guitars. I now own 3, an Ibanez Les Paul Custom, a cheap Legend Strat copy and a Kimbara electro acoustic. I also have an Argos classical guitar of a brand I cannot remember – but it’s been in the loft for years so I don’t count that. For amplification I have a Session Rockette 30 watt amp and a Boss BE 5 pedal board. On top of that I have a Fender practise amp. Oh yes and some Boss gadget that I can’t honestly remember what it does, but serves as a mixer of sorts. Lurking somewhere I have a Sony Walkman Pro cassette recorder and of course a couple of laptops. I also had a vintage Watkins Westminster valve amp from the early 1960s (or possibly late 1950s) but I gave that to Glenn Hughes, who learned to play electric guitar using one!

The accumulation of stuff like that would make you think that I was a pretty competent guitarist. Maybe I underestimate my “talents” but I truly think that I’m totally rubbish with a guitar in my mits. Down the years I’ve played in fits and starts, invariably alone chugging through chord books with the result that I can hit majors, minors and that’s about it. I know bits of songs, but usually give up when I get to the difficult bits. Half learned guitar solos, learning scales which in isolation add up to bog all.

I’ve watched players knocking out songs, both those who are well known and those who play in boozers, and very often I think to myself that they are playing nothing that is beyond me. The big difference is probably just finesse and a bit or a lot of work and patience.

This is a prime example –

As is this –

No reason at all, with some application that I couldn’t play a damned fair approximation of these 2 songs, the chords structure is pretty basic….so it’ll just need some time and patience. Of course with YouTube there are also online lessons, Justin Sandercoe’s channel is brilliant, so I intend to do something I’ve always wanted to do.

Become a guitarist.

I won’t be as good as Tommy Emmanuel tho’ –

And in the words of a Jack Bruce album

“I’ve always wanted to do this”

Ciao For Now




  1. That’s right there is no reason. no reason at all. So get out the guitar and start today!!

    • I’ll need sometime to get back up to speed and see whether my fingers still go to where I tell them.
      I ain’t as bad a guitarist as I make out, can play a bit of lead (All Right Now) but would now be very rusty

  2. The sixties and early seventies saw me going to gigs and festivals never a thought to play that was for others more talented. The eighties and nineties I was too busy with work to bother with music let alone think I could play and then around 2001/2 a chance meeting encouraged me to have a go.

    Shit I didn’t have a CD player until around 2000!! The next ten years saw me buy things that in the sixties I could only dream about. A Jimmy Page Les Paul, a SRV Strat, A 335 the list goes on and although I can’t do them justice I love having them. A bit of rhythm is where I really am!! singing in a band that no one would sing in but loving it when we get together.

    Started an open mic in 2004 that is still going very strong today. @newportopenmic
    There must be one around you!! If so give it a go.

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