While my guitar gently weeps

Today’s post is dedicated to Mike Herman and Roger Friedensen.

ssssssssssaaaaaaaaation1I’ve decided to learn how to play the guitar. I’m not sure when, or why, I made this decision, but it’s been a long time coming.

I think it began in grammar school when I noticed that two types of guys got the hottest women:

– football players
– guitar players

The desire re-surfaced decades later when I began attending the annual PRSA Counselors Academy Spring Conferences.

I watched with jaw agape as two of my peers, Mike Herman and Roger Friedensen, not only made magic on their guitars but brought their own unique interpretations to well-worn standards.

I’ve never told them this, but I was incredibly impressed that these top PR professionals also happened to play the sh*t out of a guitar.

And, then, I began to perform stand-up comedy which, truth be told, requires a very different kind of talent. Successful comedians have a knack for observing, and relating, things we all see and experience. But, they put an unusually insightful and funny spin on it. That’s a gift to be sure, but I’d never rank Louis C.K. alongside, say, Eric Clapton or Tom Petty as truly gifted artists.

And, so as I looked at what I’ve accomplished to date and have yet to accomplish, I decided I needed to learn the guitar. But, because I’m an incredibly competitive person, learning a few strings from, say, ‘Paint It Black’ or ‘Crazy Train’ simply just won’t cut it.

I have two goals:

– Play lead guitar with my instructor’s band, the Barbarians, one year from today
– Play alongside Mike and Roger at some future Counselors Academy shindig (if they’ll have me).

I’d go on, but I need to memorize the opening riffs to Donovan’s ‘Rikki Tiki Tavi.’ My second lesson is tomorrow, and I need to be ready.

8 thoughts on “While my guitar gently weeps

  1. Gosh, Steve. Thanks so much for the shout-out, though truth be told, I’ve always thought stand-up comedy takes more skill and talent than banging on a wooden box with metal wire tied on it.

    And I echo Mike’s invitation. It would be an honor to have you join the band. At the very worst, we could be your opening act.

    “Here Comes The Sun” is a most worthy goal. Took me quite a while before I could play it somewhat cleanly. The chords are easy, but the picking pattern and timing are formidable. But heck, for someone who climbs mountains, does stand-up in NYC and runs a public relations powerhouse named for his dog (not to mention going toe-to-toe with Salerno…), guitar is gonna be a piece of cake.

    Rock on, buddy.

    P.S. It’s true about guitars and women. Helped me woo Teresa and marry way above my pay grade.

  2. Thanks for the kind words and we’d be proud to welcome you to the stage!

  3. I was given a guitar recently and started playing for the first time since arts camp when I graduated middle school. I gave up because I knew I’d never be Springsteen yet somehow, being a well-regarded tenor in the high school chorus wasn’t quite the same. My goal is to master Bob Dylan’s “Tangled Up In Blue.”

    Let’s compare progress from time to time.