Fanning the Spark

After Easter dinner, we were all sitting around the living room and, as often happens, the talk between Micah and I turned to music. Micah has a recording studio, where he creates his albums, which astonish me. I've been thinking for some time (I might have even written about it here--I'm not sure) of writing some music for an album. A sort of last gasp from the musician I used to be kind of thing. You know what I mean? Anyway, he said that he'd be very happy to produce one for me, and even play some of the instruments on it. Imagine! Both of us on an album together! We would be continuing a tradition my dad and I started when he backed me up on drums on a recording I made for Paul McCartney in 1980.

The music won't be classical, although it will probably have some classical elements such as background orchestration and structure, but I'd also like to do some songs by people who have influenced me through the years. Which do I want? An album of new material or a tribute album? I have to sort this through, because I don't think I want to combine these concepts. Maybe I could, I don't know. I'm just in the thinking phase of this, trying to oh, so gently coax my muse back into my life.

Another decision I have to make is, what kind of 12-string do I want? I've always played a 12-string -- it's my signature instrument -- but my last one got auctioned in The Big Dump of 2001, along with all of my other instruments and all of my music. Maybe my muse was auctioned that day as well...

I can't afford to buy a new guitar, of course, but I can dream. Hey, a person has to start somewhere, and who knows? One might fall into my lap somehow. The only thing I do know is that I can't record an album without one. So which do I put out into the universe as the 12-string guitar I simply cannot live without? (The links below take you to brief examples of each guitar's sound.)

The Takamine 12-string. I had one of these for years and I adored it. I was heartsick when someone broke into my house and stole it. I grieved for months over that guitar; it was like having a child kidnapped.

The Takamine (pronounced tock-a-MEE-nee) has a full, resonant tone that is really perfect for chords, especially when I tune it to an open tuning. It has a visceral effect on me, the same resonating effect on my body that a pipe organ has, only not in my butt. Let me explain. Have you ever sat listening to a pipe organ, and the organist steps on those bass pedals and you can feel it rumbling through the floor and the seat right into your butt? That's what the Takamine does, only through my body.

But then, I might want, instead... Ovation 12-string. I've never owned an Ovation, but I've played plenty of them and I love the crisp, bell-like tone that's created by the rounded metal back. If you've ever heard We Just Disagree by Dave Mason, that singing, angelic rhythm guitar is an Ovation. It's really good for picking patterns and solo riffs.

Ideally, I would have both guitars, but life doesn't seem to go that way. I'll probably get neither, but thinking about them reconnects me to a me who got lost somewhere 'way back when, a me who is desperately trying to find its way home, like a dog that travels miles and miles to find its family.

So while I'm dreaming these fragile dreams, I'd appreciate it if Life didn't piss on my parade and put out the little spark I'm trying to fan.

Onto other things...

I woke up this morning after one of those all too rare great nights of sleep. The weather is beautiful today, so I'm going to be dragging all of the plants out onto the patio to feed and water.

Have a good one!


  1. The very idea of being able to plan an have someone immediately there to produce that some kind of miracle, or what? Good luck!

  2. Yeah, why didn't he have a studio when he was two!?


  3. You, who support other people in their creative endeavors like a friendly cheerleader everyone can count on, have someone here in Illinois who would be happy to collect that album.

    Just so you know.

  4. You'll get the first public copy.

  5. You know how I feel about it. (And we'll find a way to get you the guitar you need.) ILD!

  6. UPDATE THURSDAY: I've opted out the Ovation. Its tone is too "specialized" for my purposes.


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