“He has potential, if only he would apply himself…” is what I was told on a regular basis. The problem was I didn’t want to apply myself… to geography, or math anyway. And sports…preventing a fly ball from breaking my nose…or running to keep from inevitably being tackled seemed…well, certainly not very lucrative.
I came from a big family with a lot of music in the house. I’ll never forget there was a 45 record…Hound Dog…the Elvis one…that was cool. These Yeah Yeah Yeah guys came out, The Beatles. I had a big family and they all had records of their eras: 78’s, 45’s, the LP. Big bands, jazz, rock, R&B, Funk, Fusion…I listened to and ruined all their records.
I started lessons when I was about 10. I borrowed my older brothers 1954 Gibson, an ES-125 (with a single P-90 pickup.) I was only in seventh grade when I was accepted in the local Community College’s summer program for Arts & Music. I had a four hour major of arts in the morning, and a three hour minor of music, which included an hour of piano theory, an hour of guitar theory, and one hour of synthesizer…very cool! I saw a Hendrix impersonator and was hooked – the Electric Guitar was amazing. I had a Fender Mustang feeding back through a homemade Heathkit tube amp the very next day.
I graduated from High School but just barely, and with as little interest and effort as possible. I never learned to like that geography and math. I was looking for trouble and finding it. I had been expelled every year from 7th grade on. I already had a police record. I was hanging with the wrong crowd: partying wanna – be musicians.