I always wanted to play guitar but didn’t want to bother with lessons. But unlike other kids who discovered they weren’t Eric Clapton and promptly ditched the instrument, I persevered. Over the next few decades, I came up with enough chops to fake my way through a whole bunch of songs and remembered enough lyrics to actually perform them.
When I hit about 40, I figured, what the heck, let’s try this in front of an audience. What’s the worst they can do?
The worst they can do, as it turns out, is to ignore you. I wrote a stupid little song about that once. It crams too many words into the allotted time, and I run out of breath if I try to sing it. Which I won’t.
At one point, though, I guess I made enough of an impression on a few people that they hired me a couple of times to play at a local bar. They actually seemed to like me. In limited doses.
I have a habit of not stopping once I get going, and the last time I played that bar, I stood up there strumming and moaning for nearly three hours straight. Finally, the lady who hired me basically said enough is enough, right in the middle of my “Rockin’ in the Free World/Nights in White Satin” medley.
The economy tanked around then, and I’d like to think that’s why I never was invited back. But I don’t.
Associated listening: “Yer Album” by the James Gang (1969)