Bill’s Bio – Chapter 4

February 22, 2008

Enlightenment

Posted 2/22/08

IMPORTANT!!!!  To hear the result of 44 years of practice and experience, PLEASE click on the link below to hear my present day rendition of “Mary Had A Little Lamb.”

Mary Had A Little Lamb

But I digress, or rather, progress beyond the limits of this chapter.  I just thought you would like the opportunity to see how far I have come since my eyes almost rolled out of their sockets after seeing my $1.59 plus tax “investment” get shot to pieces…  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do much with that particular number…

At any rate, there I was, once again, hanging ten on the precipice of melodic disaster… (That’s surfer lingo.)

And once again, I managed to keep myself from wiping out…  (That’s surfer lingo, too. Dude.)

I said to myself  “Quick – do something constructive… Play er, uh, the first 8 notes of ‘Cupid’ – that’ll make you feel better!”

And so I did.  And so it didn’t.  But it didn’t make me feel any worse, either, so I figured I had bottomed out emotionally.  And when you have bottomed out, it can only get better from there.

“OK”, I told myself, “let’s assess the situation… I have a real guitar… I have employment so I can pay for the guitar… I have a book that will show me how to play something other than the first 8 notes of ‘Cupid’…” I decided to turn another page in the “instructional” book…

As is often the case with fate, that one little act of hope taught me a great lesson and made a huge difference in my life…

The lesson? As long as you get up again after being knocked down, you win.  You only loose when you stop getting back up…  (Well, 99% of the time, anyway – something about “living to fight another day” comes to mind…)

(*For example, if you are lying on the ground because some kid 3 times your size was pummeling the snot out of you, and he vows to continue to do so if you get back up, and not stop until you are completely devoid of snot, it’s probably a good idea to stay there until he goes away  – Hence the “living to fight another day” exception to the rule.)

Had I given up at that point – if I had let my disappointment turn to despair – If I had just chucked it all right then and there and said “The heck with it – I’ve had it!  I’m taking up crochet!  Mother, buy me a needle… No, wait – make that two needles;”  if I had done any or all of those things, I would not know how to play “Camp Town Races” today. 

But more importantly, I would never have learned how to play an “E” chord.  Because, you see, on the page facing “Camp Town Races” was the chord chart…

So What’s the big deal about an “E” chord?  Well, if I hadn’t learned how to play an “E” chord, I would not have bothered to learn to play an “A” chord.  And if I had never learned how to play an “A” chord, I would never have learned to play a “B” chord.  And If I never learned how to play a “B” chord,  I would never have learned how to play the “F”,  “G,” “C” or “D” chords.  And If I had never learned to play the “G,” “C” and “D” chords, I would never have learned how to play the rest of “Cupid”…

Yes, after a mere couple of days with “The Book,” I had figured out the rest of “Cupid”…  And my musical life changed in an instant.

It was at this exact moment in time that the very genesis of my understanding of 50s and 60s rock and roll (and most of it since that time) started genesising…  It was not unlike the scene in “2001 – A Space Odyssey” where the apes started to become “aware” after their encounter with the monolith… 

… A faint spark…  Then a flicker…  Then, a slight glow…  A little breeze and then flame… 

It was almost Biblical (Refer to the Book Of Numbers – Also known as the “Begat Book” – A somewhat boring, but actually very important book in the Bible).

“Mary Had A Little Lamb” begat “Clementine” begat “Camp Town Races” begat “E” begat “A” begat “B” begat “F” begat “G” begat “C” begat “D” begat “Cupid” begat… 

…Holy Moses – All at once it was revealed to me…  And I was in complete and total awe… 

…It was the dawning of my understanding of rock and roll… I had awakened… and in one great flash of light I understood the One Great Truth, the one Axiom above all other Axioms, the First Commandment, the Central Doctrine of Rock and Roll…

  1. Ms. Kathleen Ann Margaret Kammerer Marsh! Says:
    February 25, 2008 at 9:49 am   editI can’t stand it when stories leave you hanging…for goodness sakes, what was your epiphany?
  2. Patrick Says:
    August 4, 2008 at 8:12 am   editBill,

    Did you know that Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble do a great bluesy version of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on their “Texas Flood” album? I bet you did. And, of course, Stevie Ray is a guitar god in most people’s books. Thanks for this chronicle!

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