Gee-Tar Two

After settling in with my Strat for a bit, I decided I needed a nice acoustic to keep it company.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Yamaha I owned was hard to play, so I started shopping around. I tested a number of Ovation, Takamine and Ibenez models. Each had their pros, but I had a tough time choosing one with the right combination of playabilty, looks, and price point. I wanted a certain sound; I wasn’t sure what, but I’d know when I heard it.

After several trips to a few local music shops, I had just about decided on an Ovation Celebrity CC44.

But after receiving a Guitar Center mailing, that changed. Gibson was re-issuing John Lennon’s go-to acoustic under the Epiphone brand, the EJ-160E John Lennon Acoustic-Electric.

Of course, being a huge Beatles (particularly Lennon) fan. I had to check this out. I rushed down to GC, but they hadn’t received any yet, and they only had a few ordered. The sales person I spoke to took my number, and promised to call me when they arrived. I went back weekly and checked, in case the guy forgot about me. Surprisingly, I did receive a call when their stock arrived. I went in and spent a half-hour or so playing around with it, and loved it. Felt good, sounded good, looked good, and it was in my budget. I played around with a few other guitars I had looked at to be sure the Epiphone was what I wanted, but there was no question about it. I took it home.

You’d think that, armed with a nice electric and a nice acoustic-electric, I’d be satisfied. Particularly since I’m just a hobbyist, not a working musician.

You’d be wrong.

There is a phenomenon known as GAS that we’ll discuss next time.

In the meantime, Keep On Rockin’!

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Random Thoughts #4 (Birthday Edition)

On September 21, 2009, I became a 58-year-old kid. I still think (and usually behave) like a teenager, and I like it that way. Life’s too short to be stuffy and serious all the time.

Related Random Birthday Thoughts:

  • Man, I seem to be seeing a lot more scalp every morning when I comb my hair.
  • I don’t need to feel embarrassed any more if I forget something; it’s pretty much expected of me.
  • I used to be obsessed with dying. Now I’m obsessed with living. Makes for a happier me.
  • The cute girl who rings up my groceries…she’s not smiling at me because she’s flirting; she’s just being friendly to the nice old man.
  • I feel lucky because I saw Elvis and the Beatles live in concert (not at the same time, obviously); got to see Dan Marino and Joe Montana play in their prime; was able to realize my dream of visiting London and Liverpool in June of 2001; and made some wonderful friends throughout the years.
  • I feel sad because I remember where I was and what I was doing when the Kennedy brothers and John Lennon were gunned down; I realize that modern sports heroes are playing less for love of the game then they are for love of enormous paychecks and self-glorification; since 9/11/01, I will never again be comfortable spending more than a few hours at a time on a plane; I’ve lost too many friends to drugs and violence.
  • When I was younger, I felt that the music I listened to was the best ever made, and the stuff my parents listened to was lame. Now I feel that the music I listened to when I was younger was the best ever made, and the stuff my son listens to is just so much indecipherable noise.
  • It’s depressing to know that the various aches and pains I experience are not temporary. Arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and pinched nerves don’t just clear up on their own.
  • I will probably never marry again. I’m old and set in my ways; I like coming and going as I please, and not having to explain myself to anybody.
  • That being said, it’s nice to have somebody around to experience things with, somebody to talk things over with, and somebody to say goodnight to.
  • I hate being serious.
  • I have doubts that I’ll ever earn my Black Belt. My body is just not co-operating. However, I will keep trying. I will not give up.
  • Rock and roll and Disney has kept me young. Thanks to both of you.
  • And thank you for listening to an old man ramble! Doo wah diddy diddy!

The Beatles: Rock Band

When the whole Guitar Hero craze started (God, has it only been 4 years?), my then 11-year-old son didn’t pay much attention. His video game preferences tended to run to the more mundane worlds of the Mario Bros. and their various cousins. In fact, he considered himself Sonic the Hedgehog’s number 1 fan.

But, alas, they grow up so quickly. He discovered Guitar Hero through a friend, and was instantly hooked. I must admit, I got a little bit of a kick out of it, too, but what it mostly did for me was rekindle my interest in playing the real thing. Happy to say, eventually the boy caught the bug and these days plays the real thing constantly. while the game hardly gets touched.

But back when we were both playing a lot, we both often commented that it’d be way cool if there were a Beatles version of Guitar Hero. I’ve been an uberfan of the band since they hit the states, and was lucky enough to catch them in concert at Busch Stadium on their last tour in ’66. Cameron, of course, became a fan by osmosis; I’ve  always got a Beatles tune playing in the car or around the house. The first proper concert we attended together was McCartney in Philly back in 2005 (great show!), during which he made me proud by singing along with most of the songs.

So when it was announced that the Rock Band franchise was planning a Beatles version with the help/blessing of the surviving members of the band and the family members of those who couldn’t be with us, we were both giddy with anticipation as to what was to come.

It was officially announced The Beatles: Rock Band would be released on 09.09.09 (very nice, since 9 was Lennon’s favorite number), and at the recent E3 presentation, Paul and Ringo, along with Olivia and Dhani Harrison and Yoko Ono,  made a presentation revealing some of the details of the new game.

If you haven’t seen the game trailer or “cinematic opening” yet:

Yes, I preordered promptly. And man, oh man, oh man. I hate to see summer fly by, but I can’t wait for September 9!