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It is late at night and I should probably be in bed right now, but tonight I am thinking, probably a little too much. Maybe I am getting a bit morose, I don’t know. It might just be too much cough medicine and paracetamol. It is 11:30pm and I have been thinking way too much. It was this very morning 17/05/2010 that I heard the news that Ronnie James Dio passed away after a long fight with stomach cancer. Very sad news indeed for one of the most charismatic singers in the history of rock music. So after coming in from work I started to wonder about some other famous people who have died, especially those who died way too young. Stevie Ray Vaughan who died 10 years ago in very tragic circumstances, finally free of drugs and drink and had not long released his finest and most polished album yet. What direction would he have taken next. Jimi Hendrix, one of the most influential guitarists in the history of the instrument. Eric Roche, simply put, my favourite musician of all time and a joy to watch play as well as listen to, he will remain to this day the biggest inspiration to the music that I play. I may never be as knowledgeable as him or as fluent in music as he, but everything I play in the acoustic owes a debt of gratitude to him. I would never know the full potential of the guitar if not for him. Issaac Guillory is another favourite, such a fluid and dynamic musician. I have heard a fair few of his songs. Unfortunately I only own one of his albums, but still remains one of my favourites. Kirk Cobain, who took his own life for reasons only he knows. He changed the very fabric of music in becoming a grunge pioneer. I was never a big fan of his. The I heard the unplugged album, and when you strip of the crap he was a truly remarkable songwriter. Some people have said that had he not killed himself Nirvana would have gone in an acoustic direction because he liked doing the unplugged show so much. Once again it is something we will never know, or were never meant to know. “Dimebag” Darrell Abbot. Taken away tragically by an idiot with a gun and a stupid idea. Murdered doing the thing he lived for. I think he was one of the most underrated guitarists who ever picked an axe up. Behind the façade of a heavy metal legend was a true professional. An outright technical genius. Not very often do you come across guitarists that are so good at both rhythm and lead playing. Ayrton Senna, the horrible crash that killed the 3 times formula 1 world championship. I remember watching live coverage when he had that terrible crash, and essentially watching my hero die on live television. He was still on top of his game when he died and I wonder if he would have won anymore titles. It may have changed many a career if he had lived. Would Damon Hill and Villeneuve have won championships, would Schumacher have won 7? All of these and many others died way too soon and it is a terrible shame that we won’t get a chance to see and hear what they would have done as they matured and gotten a lot older. So this is me remembering heroes taken too soon. Be they guitar heroes or sporting heroes. More importantly anyone who has lost their lives fighting for their country. People whom you have known and loved. I want to wrap this up by saying I’m sorry if this blog has been a bit depressing but this is my way of sending out my immense respect for those no longer with us. Just wanted to take some time to honour them. Thanks for reading and normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
I spend quite a bit of my time having a look on reverb nation and myspace at some of the musicians and bands. I have heard some stuff that is truly woeful. I’m sure some people think that when they listen to my music. After all it is all just a matter of opinion. Here’s my opinion, I’m sure someone is interested because I get some hits. 99% of the music posted online by unsigned artists is fabulous. A lot of it is amazing and should be given worldwide plays along with what we consider some of the best. In fact if some of these performers and musicians were given the opportunity to release an album or two I think we would be seriously reconsidering who the “top” bands are. Before I carry on I am not one of these people who believe in good and bad musicians. Every one who picks up an instrument and tries to learn how to play it has something to offer. Every has something different to offer. Be that learning covers to the best standard they can or by putting together there own music no matter how simple it maybe. I have made friends who create wonderful songs by simply singing over some simple chord progressions, and others who are hard core shredders. All I ever judge is the quality of the music when I listen to a piece. That’s what I form a decision on whether I like it or not. Does it sound good to my ears? Well I can safely say there are a lot of bands who are getting regular air time that are bloody awful and yet some of us struggle to get a gig. If you are reading this on myspace or reverb nation and you are a musician, all you guys that I have become a fan of I have done it for one simple reason. I really like what you do and if you were releasing albums into the mainstream, and I could afford to, I would buy all of them because there is a hell of a lot worse out there. My friends are writing and recording the songs themselves, to me that is so much better, it’s where the heart of music is. It goes back to slaves creating blues and gospel in the fields. Music made in the rawest form and it sounds so much better than over produced rubbish. Lets keep plugging away because to me it may not be making me money. But I love the fact that my new friends from all over the world want to have a listen. Much love and respect, and thank you for the support. -rich-
Isn’t it nice when you have been stuck in a little bit of a rut for quite a while and suddenly something just clicks and you suddenly take a big leap forward. Things get exciting again and that is where I am at right now. I have been writing new pieces for the last couple of months but have not gotten very far until recently. I have had a lot of half finished ideas knocking about and then suddenly it all came together. It feels like I am in the zone at the moment and it feels pretty damn cool. I think playing pop songs within a band environment has helped. However the biggest thing that has helped and really got me moving was not more practice; it was not learning more songs or theory; it was not even a head injury. The best thing of all was taking a bit of a break. I have been off work for the last 10 days and in that time did very little with my acoustic. The only time i really picked it up was to just run through a couple of songs that I cover in the band. Other than that nothing really. So I have changed the old proverb it is now “a change is almost as good as a rest, but a rest is better.
I know this is not really my place to say it but I am really getting bored with the ridiculous pussy footing in the the promises made by all sides in the general election. They all keep talking about cuts in public spending and then saying that they can only make very small savings so why bother. Well if what we read in the papers is correct then they could make massive savings. Why for example do civil servants have credits cards at tax payer expense for perks. If it is right and they spent a total of 1 billion pounds, that is a lot of money if they stop this practice. Most large companies survive without spending 1 billion on perks for staff. Plus think about £1billion is a bucket load of money. How many potholes can they fix, how much equipment can they give our soldiers. It also makes me wonder why ministers are being paid at all when they are spending our money on think tanks to provide them with solutions. So what the bloody hell are they doing with there time while they wait for consultants to decide what to do. Stop this and we have even more money saved. Am I the only one who is shocked and appalled when I see adverts for civil service roles for various outreach workers and silly jobs designed to make people feel more happy in society who are already pretty well looked after. I suppose some of these jobs can be justified, however what cannot be justified is that I have seen jobs that pay in excess of £30,000 a year for usually less than 20 hours a week. Whilst I am working 44 hours and earning half that. Who pays for these ridiculous salaries, oh yes, you and me. So my message is to stop pussyfooting about because you want the civil servants to vote for you. Be bold for the sake of our country. For the vital services such as the NHS. Let me remind all the candidates that money does not solve all problems. Expertise does. Let me finish by saying this. I will not alienate people by revealing where my politics lie but…Please remember that there are only really two parties that have a chance of winning. A hung parliament will be a disaster for the UK so don’t waste your vote on lib dems, green, ukip, bnp or whomever. The only real choice is between Labour and Conservative. For any hope one of these should win. NORMAL SERVICE WILL BE RESUMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
I must have been totally mental. But the new rock band that I have joined has had me playing stuff by Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Bodyrockers and the Black Eyed Peas. This is all stuff I would have never considered listening to, let alone play. But I have to say it has really opened my eyes to pop music more so than ever before. I always thought that I had a wide ranging palette for music. But me eyes have been opened and there is a lot of good stuff out there in the pop world. I have been thinking a lot more about catchy lines, choruses and structure than ever before. It has even started leaking into my acoustic repertoire. The more modern stuff seems to go down quite well. It is actually a lot of fun to play and I am really enjoying it. Pop music has actually pulled me out of a bit of a rut in my music. Over the last few years I have been listening to some of the same old stuff and now Rockerbully (that would be the new band) has made me look at new ideas. The best thing of all is that playing with finger style ideas lover the basic three or four chord songs has opened up a lot of ideas, and meant I have been able to play around a little. It is great fun. My advice is to keep your ears open. Just because I listen to lots of guitar led music normally does not mean my ears are as open as they could be. Listen to a much bigger range of styles. You never know what you might end up incorporating into you repertoire. R&B, maybe some funk. It’s all good!
It's fun to find something new, especially when it keeps you up later than expected while you try and suss it all out and play ith it. So here I am up neraly an hour later than planned. Giving myself another place to start posting a blog. Nothing interesting is going to be in this one apart from me saying that I will be blogging more regularly. People seem to be reading my Myspace blog...www.myspace.com/acoustictricky and at Mp3.com\trickystrums I think it is. If you are interested in anything I have posted on line just type in one of the followinin a Yahoo or Google search engine and you should find something. The word is spreading. Spread it further. trickystrums trickyrocks acoustictricky