Monday, January 30, 2006

Zombie Tag: Round 2

I had so much fun doing this the first time I am doing it again.
This is my Grampop, his Gibson guitar, and me. He was a musician and an artist disguised as a machinist. In his younger days he had fronted a couple of different bands. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and he spent a lot of time singing to me. 'You Are My Sunshine' was one I remember being sung almost every time. Other times he'd make up some silly little ditty right on the spot and maybe I'd do some crazy dance to go with it. It always put the biggest smile on my face and we always wound up laughing.

He had quite a collection of guitars, all Gibson. He would not consider any other maker. He had this hollow body electric, a double neck slide guitar, a dobro. I don't even know what others he had. My grandmother sold most of them when he died, but this one got stashed away because my uncle had learned to play on it and demanded it be kept. Around the time Grampop died, Dan Fogelberg came out with 'Leader of the Band.' I cried like a baby the first time I heard that song.

The leader of the band is tired
and his eyes are growing old.
but his blood runs through my instrument
and his song is in my soul.
My life has been a poor attempt
to imitate the man.
I'm just a living legacy
of the leader fo the band.

When Nana died my uncle didn't really have any interest in the guitar anymore and it passed to me. I had always wanted to learn to play. I took lessons for a year until my teacher moved away. I feel close to my grandfather when I make my feeble attempts at music but here I am practicing shortly after I started lessons. I don't cry anymore when I hear "Leader of the Band' but I smile instead thinking back over so many happy memories.



Jodes said...

that was a great post and I love that song.....

logo said...

Fogelberg is a funny name.
Gibson's are nice guitars.
Nice zombie tag, I like it.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Sweet. Nice pix too.

Blither said...

Awww.. Lime! *Huggy Goodness*

FunkyB said...

Wow... how precious and sweet a tale. Thank you for sharing that!

bsoholic said...

That's a really nice guitar. Glad it was decided to be kept. For memories and a nice guitar.

The Village Idiot said...

python and a musician...I am in heaven

Indigo said...

Isn't it wonderful how music leads to such powerful memories. They last a lifetime.

Fred said...


lecram sinun said...

A wonderful memory, lime! :) So, your grandpa was a Gibson man, huh? That is very cool!

Anonymous said...

What a great post lime.
It is heartwarming to read about the effect our elders have had on us.
That is why I say to others if they are still alive enjoy them, listen to them while you still can.

Great pic lime!

Sheri said...

wow-what a great story and super pictures! You have such a treasure trove of stuff to blog about!

snavy said...

Very cool to be able to learn and play on your grandfather's guitar. Awesome memory - ty for sharing. Audioblog playing a tune!

The Zombieslayer said...

He had quite a collection of guitars, all Gibson. He would not consider any other maker.

If it weren't for the fact that Gibson's aren't good for whammy bars, I'd have all Gibsons as well. Instead, I have Ibanez's.

Gibson's have the best necks of any guitars. Also, they're known for their tone. Love a Les Paul. Now if only someone would figure out how to put a Floyd Rose whammy bar on a Les Paul and I'd be playing a Gibson.

Chickadee said...

Isn't that funny how such an appropriate song comes out during the same time as a significant event in our lives?

What a wonderful tribute to your grandpop. In taking up guitar you are honoring your grandpop's memory and in a way,spending time with him again.

Bridget Jones said...

That song (Leader of the Band) reminded me of my dad from day 1 and still makes me cry.

The other one that does that is Father And Son (Cat STevens, or whatever he calls himself now)


The Village Idiot said...

Are you taking lessons or learning from a book?

I learned from a book, but there were a couple of periods where I took lessons and I learned much faster. I recommend lessons 1) because you have a clear goal every week. (learn this for the next lesson). 2) You have someone there to show you, correct you, and answer your questions, and, 3) perhaps most importantly, you play with someone else, which is the best part of playing an instrument.

Stop wasting your money on tattoos and get yerself some lessons, if you haven't already.

the idiot