Richard Wybou / Blog

Richard G. Wybou

When I was a toddler my father used to play classical music on his stereo. He tells me that when Mozart was playing I would get as close to the speakers as I could. One of my favorite places to hang out and play (not music, but just play) was at the piano. When I was 6 I discovered that the piano was primarily a percussive instrument by kicking a beat on the front wooden panel of our upright piano. Mom made me stop. That was almost the end of a promising start as a composer. By 7, however, I used to walk to school making up songs in my head and by 9 I was playing things by ear on the piano. Then when I was 12 I decided that I should actually compose my own music. By 13 I had composed a classical minuet, a couple of rock songs and some slow melodious adult contemporary stuff (for my mom). At 14, I inherited my older sister's electric guitar, learned to tune it by ear and began writing songs on the guitar. My songs are like journal entries recording my thoughts and feelings experienced as I was growing up. During high school I joined the band playing the clarinet. I could not read music to save my life, but I could listen to any part and play it back flawlessly. 2nd and 3rd part clarinet parts are often dull, so I opted to play the first part clarinet part and would constantly throw off my fellow clarinetists trying to play the correct parts. The band teacher decided it was just easier to sit me with the first part players. The clarinet lends itself to jazz like pollen lends itself to bees for the purpose of making honey. I wrote my first blues/jazz song on the clarinet. During my high school years my own compositions were often highlighted with solo performances on piano during band music nights. One of my songs, written for a dear friend who's father had been assassinated by terrorists made it onto a local radio station. By the end of high school, and still unable to read music, I decided to not pursue a career as a musician. At the time (early 80's) with no internet, it was impossible to get my own music out there without the support of a record label. Unable to read music, uninterested in doing covers of popular songs (something I now regret) and unwilling to play in smokey bars were 3 good reasons to consider a career in music as unrealistic. But I could not stop writing music. The more experiences I had, the more prolific a song writer I became. Borrowing a Spanish classical acoustic guitar from a teacher/friend, I traveled to New England and developed a finger picking style and more fully developed my folk and blues styles. Everything was grist for the mill. When considering suicide at a low point in my life, I sat in front of the railroad tracks in Boston, MA and wrote a song about suicide instead. Falling in love, falling out of love, finding hope after despair, contemplating social issues, or finding myself in an inexplicably whimsical mood were all captured in the songs I wrote during the journey of my life's adventures. Now there is an internet and cool sites like ReverbNation and I'm slowly digging up old recordings to load. Some I'll have to record for the first time so this is very much a work in progress. So I humbly open up my journal for anyone interested to explore. I hope you can appreciate all of it, like some of it, and love at least one song. I appreciate all instructive feedback. As I explore all the other great artists represented in ReverbNation, I know that I could spend the rest of my life discovering and enjoying great music. I am humbled to be able to share my music and story along with all of yours.