Writing qua Writing

Posted: August 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

I’ve always wanted to tell stories, and to live inside them. Withdrawal from reality? I can see how people would feel that way about me, but I’ve always felt like something out of Robert Heinlein, I. e., a stranger in a strange land.

Creative people–that is to say, those of us who are wildly right-brained–face dreadful soft bigotry from those who don’t see the world as we do, which seems to be most of the population. When I go into a new situation, my immediate reaction is to start thinking about how this place could be improved. So I like bright colors, innovative music, all that. My talent doesn’t seem to extend to music as much, though when I played professionally, I’d always try to play something that extended the understanding of the song. At the University of Illinois, in the mid to late 60’s, the measure of a group was how they replicated songs you could hear on the radio. The guys I played with did that to some extent, but we much more tried to build on what we heard. This appealed to our audiences, I think, because we always had full houses where we played–especially at Kam’s, where we were the house band.

Looking back, I’m surprised I survived the experience. Quite a bunch. At our last gig in June, 1968, a guy walked over and told me we weren’t worth (euphemism for exvrement). We played too loud, no one liked us, etc. This came in the middle of a standing ovation for Light My Fire by the Doors. I told him to beat it, and he changed all the settings on my amp when I turned my back.

Not  a good final memory of my last gig. But the Lord is good, I’ve used that guitar talent many times. Find good in everything, I guess.

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