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gerry mckeveny: Blog

Monday Musings: 11/18/13

Posted on November 18, 2013 with 0 comments
It's more than a little sobering to think that more than four decades have passed since a little store named Contempo Music opened on Main Street in East Islip. I recall vividly the excitement with which I pedaled my bicycle down there after finishing my paper route the first week they were open. I was already playing a bit-having been shown some chords, a fingerpicking pattern and a couple of riffs by my older brother. I put a Conqueror Telecaster knock-off on layaway and signed up for lessons.

My first lesson was on a Saturday. I saw to it that my route was finished early so I had plenty of time to get there. I wish I could recall how much it cost-I do know that I paid for it myself out of my Newsday carrier earnings. The lesson began with me working haltingly through the early pages of Alfred's Book 1, progressed into improvisation(I had no clue about scales, etc., but could somehow or other spin out some Garcia-esque lines)and culminated in the teacher showing me Steve Howe's intro to "Roundabout". I went home elated and played that intro at least a hundred times.

Fast forward forty years and change: My kids are pretty much grown, the grey hairs have pretty much taken over my head, and I am starting off my Monday very slowly owing to the fact I had a one-nighter near Woodstock last night with Gathering Time(thanks to the lovely people of Phoenicia and the Flying Cat concert series!). Throughout my twelve years of parochial education I heard a lot about vocation-the idea of a life and work to which one is particularly called. I'm beginning to think I've found mine...of course, I'm joking. I was pretty sure of it when I walked out of Contempo Music the day of my first lesson back in 1972.