Monday, September 07, 2009

Thriller: The First Album I Bought With My Own Money

In the first lesson, while tuning the student's guitar, here is a question I often ask my new students:

" What the first record you bought with your own money?"

It's a quick way to gauge the kinds of music that they probably still love dearest, to this very day. There is research that suggests that we identify closest with our favorite music from our adolescence. Hormones are the birthplace of nostalgia, I guess.

My question isn't accurate. It's not a complete study. Merely a snapshot, a window, a conversation starter. I am always delighted with the answers my students give. More so if I can teach them one of their all time favorites, ASAP!

For years I have fibbed about my own answer to this question. The truthful answer, for nearly everyone my age, is of course, Thriller. Thriller was my first trip to a record store to buy it with the cash in my hot little eleven-year-old hand. I already had "Off The Wall" because my mom thought it was cute that I liked to dance, and that I was infatuated with the jangly disco riffage of Kool and The Gang. It took me a few more years to get to the Man's, Man's world of James Brown.

If you are old enough, as I am, to really remember the Soundtrack to The Big Chill, but not remember the heyday of Motown, Michael Jackson is your Elvis. He is the biggest thing that happened post Beatles. Period. If you have to ask, you'll never know.

There was some great guitar on Thriller, too. Eddie Van Halen played the great guitar on 'Beat It' which is sadly now probably better known by it's knock-off Yankovic version. That's probably just a karmic return on EVH's not getting a writing credit on Beat It.

Ah well.

As you might suspect, I had the blues from the news this summer. So I spent a little time mourning, slide guitar style. Here is a snippet from the results:
Advancing Guitar Lessons:
Washington, D.C.
Professional Musical Fun
for Beginners and Beyond


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