Under His Table
I taught myself to play six-string guitar not because I was gifted or anything, I just didn't want anybody to see how terrible I was. I was in the eighth grade and the Beatles were taking over the known world (1964-ish, along with the Who, The Stones and the Kinks, et al, well, Bob Seeger, too). After the pain and blood and all, I could play the six basic chords which is all one needed so I started a band called the Little Chaps. If I thought I was bad alone, together we were God-awful but so was everybody else (that I knew) and as long as we played loudly (pre-1980's standards), all was well. We got to the point when I was in high school where I had a big Twin-12 Silvertone (tube, which doubled as the PA system) amp and a really fine Gibson Firebird (from Grinnells). As the Beatles (and others) music became complex (meaning, I couldn't play it) and females became so interesting (I seemed to be able to play them alright), I put away my band and toys and started working...until I picked back up in 2003 - almost forty years later. The music on this CD is the result. I started writing the original material on September 13, 2001 (Fight For Your Freedom) and started recording in a spare bedroom in my former home in 2003. I was drinking, then, and in the process of loosing my career and wife of twenty-two years along with everything I owned. By September of 2004 I was living with my Dad back on Lincoln Street where I grew up in Mt. Clemens, Michigan. I had little in the way of material possessions but I did hold on to my guitars, computer and microphone. I set up on the landing in the stairwell of Dad's house and started recording again in September, 2005. Why I did this is open for debate - reliving childhood, nothing better to do, avoiding responsibility, just plain loco, delusions of grandeur - but I choose to believe God showed me to it while admitting to suffering with some of the other motivations along the way. I realized that what I was learning in AA (and other sources, such as Castaneda, Zukav, the Bible, Confucius) contained songs for me. So, I started writing them out and put myself on the road to producing this CD. I also realized (and still do) that my abilities as a singer and musician were (and are) limited (to whatever I learned up to 1966). So much more the challenge, for me and the listener. I had to keep things simple as I could so all the songs are performed by what would be a four-man band - two six-string guitars, bass and rock trap set (drums). I did put a bit of piano and synth strings in a couple of places. I played everything (as best I could) at first because I needed to learn how to and then I came to believe it was supposed to be that way - a 'solo' work. (Except the lead interlude in 'Songs We Were Singing' which is played by Arnie L.) Now that I can hear what's been done I swing from a sense of fear and loathing to something like epiphany. Most likely the reality is somewhere in between, but the point is completion. Good, bad or ugly, it is what it is. I think if you picture that sixteen year old plunking away in search of music, that which is presented here comes off finely, even though the sixteen year old is now heading for sixty.