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Flint Grey / Blog

Beginnings - The First Guitar

I had a guitar for two months before I realized you had the press the strings all the way down to the neck to make any sound other than mindless, out of tune, open string strumming. In my defense, the strings were far enough off the neck of the guitar to make pushing them that far a rather abstract concept and quite the journey for someone as perpetually confused as I was (and still am, to be honest). The action was so absurdly high that the instrument was better suited as a work out tool than an actual guitar. I still remember the moment of enlightenment clearly when a classmate in the small parochial school I attended picked up the guitar and played the opening chords to Pinball Wizard. A shocking, mind blowing revelation, mind you. Now armed with this arcane knowledge, and already sure of my destiny of becoming the next big thing, I was off.... to a complete standing start.

It’s a typical story I suppose - my brother wanted a guitar for Christmas, our parents were led astray by a music store owner that primarily sold instruments for school bands...’‘trust me, it’s the perfect acoustic guitar for beginners”. My brother never touched it, and since all I really cared about was music I grabbed it and ran, so to speak. I made absolutely no progress for several years as my father tried to save me from the evils of rock-n-roll by making me take country guitar lessons, which I, in my infinite wisdom, refused to try and play. Very clever. It was a bad combination - music I was too thick headed to appreciate and the near physical impossibility of playing the instrument. Several years later, now in the public school system, and after my parents had surrendered to my constant whining and purchased me an electric guitar, a friend and I did the only honorable thing possible by making the wretched acoustic our shop class project, which consisted of painting it red, white and blue, hanging it up and using it as a target for practicing our fastball, much to the disgust of our shop teacher, who I believe was just happy we left him and his better students alone.

That was now several lifetimes ago at the end of a decade when I was sure that music was going to save the world.

A blog. Why? Good question. No answer. Reverbnation says the band profile will be 78% complete after I write this and maybe I feel the need to be 78% complete. Perhaps that’s the answer. Who reads blogs by anonymous, unsuccessful musicians? More than likely no-one. So I guess it’s an opportunity to amuse myself....easy to do now that I’m unemployed - which, come to think of it, makes me a full time musician. The pay is the same, better actually when you receive unemployment checks. Who knows, maybe I’ll attract a reader or two who are amused by longterm efforts of futility and they’ll listen to the music of the bands I play in. This band here is Flint Grey, an original group I’m in with my long time partner in crime and favorite songwriter, Dave Leach. I like our music. A lot. We are playing our first gig since July this Friday at a small BBQ in Eudora, KS. More on that next time.