My Midlife Crisis
As you can see above I bought myself a new guitar, a for-real Fender Stratocaster (albeit one on the lower end of the price scale -- but it's still cheaper than a Ferrari). It's a beautiful instrument all the same, with a maple neck and a Tobacco Sunburst body. It sounds terrific too even with my clumsy strumming. Alas, there will be no more singing. My vocal cords were damaged -- probably permanently -- in an operation about a year ago. So now I speak (and sing) in a hoarse whisper.
That by itself isn't an insuperable flaw. Think of Tom Waits; or in more of a rock context, Rod Stewart or Joe Cocker. But there are other problems. I can't hold a note with any sureness -- my voice wobbles and cracks unpredictably. It's sort of like going through puberty again, without the side effect of developing uncontrollable boners in math class. Ah, youth!
But tho' the gods have conspired to turn me mute, sing, sing I shall, no matter who objects (though I will probably obey a court injunction forbidding it).
I recently found some more tapes, along with the notebook I made at the time. Thus I can be more certain of the dates, instrumentation, etc. Not that they would concern you, but they can be useful for jogging my memory. What I won't be doing is an extensive commentary on them, or printing the lyrics. It just takes too much time.
I looked around for a more robust host (the one I was using, HotLinkFiles had a bad habit of "losing" files) and I found a few free sites that look good. The one I'm starting with is 4shared. Not only does it work (or appear to), it lets you embed a nifty audio player with "psychedelic" visual effects. With luck, it'll trigger one of those acid flashbacks I've been waiting for.
This is one of the earliest songs I wrote, way back in the early 70s. It was recorded in the spring of 1976. At that time I would have been in Mali, West Africa, where I lived for two years. (My dad was an accountant with CN, on loan to CIDA.) I didn't have much in the way of equipment beyond a guitar and a mono cassette recorder.
The song, "Classic Touches," is doubly clever, for it refers to both the elegiac and timeless quality of my love (to whom, exactly, I forget. Doubtless some chick, somewhere) and also the fact that -- wait for it -- I was learning to play the guitar using a book on . . . classical guitar. (If this has inspired you to take up the Segovian quest, a word of friendly advice: Try to not learn on a steel-string guitar, especially one with a lousy (high) action. Unless you want pressure blisters on all your fingers.)
Warning: Teenage boy poetry; which, unless your name is John Keats or Percy Bysshe Shelley, tends toward the awful.
Note: The volume level on the original is very low. You may need headphones to hear it properly.