14 – Bio – Chapter 14

Guitars And Golf Shoes

 Posted 6/1/08

Before we all left, we decided that we needed to practice more, and set a time to do so.  We also decided that we would each speak with our parents and make sure that they would hold off on getting us any new gigs until we gave them the “all clear”. 

Once we had that arrangement out of the way, and with our gear in tow, we headed for the door.  I walked up to my dad and brother… Bob had an enormous grin on his face… I looked at him and said “Shut up”.  My dad gave me an affectionate slap on the back. 

As we walked out, I asked my dad what he said that made the guy standing next to him laugh so hard.   

“Well,” he said, “I said ‘You see the kid with the red guitar?’ The guy says ‘Yeah’ and I said ‘He used to be my son’.” 

That didn’t immediately make me feel a lot better, but I thought it was one of the best lines I had ever heard him deliver and it DID make me laugh pretty hard…  It also taught me another lesson in life:   

If you look for it, you can find humor in almost any situation, and if you do, it can be a great stress relief.  That has really come in handy on many occasions… 

Failure can be a great motivator.  The pain and humiliation didn’t last that long.  In fact it spurred us all on, and made us more determined to be better prepared the next time…  And we intended that there would be a next time… 

So…  We got together the next day at Havert’s house.  We came up with a plan of action on how we would, in the future, make sure we all knew what songs we were going to be playing when.  We also rehearsed the six songs in our repertoire several more times to make sure we had the words and melodies down… 

We started practicing at least three times during the week and for long hours on Saturdays.  And we added a bunch of new songs to our list of “known” music.  Havert’s parents really put up with a lot those first few weeks…  Really…  A lot… 

We also pooled some of our money and bought a couple of mikes and stands and plugged them directly into the second channels in Tim and Scott’s guitar amps.  AND Mike’s parents helped him buy a real drum set!!  Woohoo!  

We were progressing in our equipment and our proficiency… 

Then one day my dad came home from work and told me that Sears was planning a weekend “Sears Days” event a few weekends down the road, and that a Battle Of The Bands contest was going to be part of the promotion.  He asked if we might be interested in entering.  I talked with the others and we decided that we were ready this time.  Except for one thing… 

While I was the first in the band to have an instrument, I was now the one with the least “professional” equipment.  I had fallen behind in the hardware department… My five-watt amp could not be heard with the other instruments.  And, being that I was the lead guitar player, it was important that I stand out, volume wise. 

I had been saving my baby sitting money for quite awhile, and had more than a couple of hundred dollars to my name.  And I was ready to sell my existing guitar and amp to make up the rest of the needed funds for a new guitar and amplifier.   

My dad didn’t completely understand this requirement… 

I need to interject here that my dad is an avid golfer.  And he’s a really good amateur golfer.  I know this is true for several reasons: 

  • He told me so.
  • He made me caddy for him from the time I was five years old until after I was married.
  • He has stopped buying new golf shoes after a bad game. 

When I was a kid, whenever my dad shot a really bad round of golf, he would go out and buy a new pair of golf shoes. This was because, naturally, the current pair of new shoes didn’t work as well as they should have.  Apparently, a bad pair of shoes can cause a swing to go bad, or make the ball follow a trajectory (relative to a good swing) not possible as dictated by the laws of physics.  My dad must have owned fifty pairs of golf shoes by the time I was eight years old… 

This third reason brings me back to the story at hand… 

I presented my dad with the “bad golf shoe” analogy.  I compared my “old” guitar with his “old” bad golf shoes… 

My dad understood the importance of a good pair of golf shoes.  Well, he understood that I had caddied for him for more than half of my life at that point and I understood his rationale for getting new golf shoes every time he had a stroke (pun intended) of bad luck on the course… He just looked at me with a smile and approved the purchase. 

A week later, I had made the leap to my next guitar – a Sears Silvertone model 1488 Jaguar.  And Silvertone model 1485 ammplifier.  (See pictures at the end of the chapter.) 

And we had a third mike… 

And we were a week away from our second gig… 

And I still possessed my Beach Boys albums…


My second guitar

My Second Guitar and Amp…
My \




To go to Chapter 15, Click on this link:


To hear actual non-church related songs by Bill Kammerer, Click on this link


To hear actual songs by Bill Kammerer with a spiritual emphasis, click on this link


If you’d like to see some of my favorite Youtube music videos, follow this link:


If you would like to contact me directly, just click on the email address below, or send me an email from your own email account. my email address is: 



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