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I have lived in numerous places, but my main home – where I pretty much grew up, and learned what’s what – is Houston, Texas.
I started playing guitar when I was 11 years old. My parents had already gotten me a piano and a saxophone, which I played in my high school band for 7 years. My piano teacher was not, shall we say, very sensitive to the musical curiosity of a young child, and the high school band simply had a very boring repertoire. So I was not keen to do a lot of practicing. When I asked my parents for a guitar, they pointed out that I had a very fine saxophone, and that I completely ignored the piano, and if I want to play guitar, they would happily pay for my lessons, but I would have to buy this instrument myself. As an 11 year old, this was obviously a daunting task.
I managed to find a friend of my sisters who said he would sell me a guitar for 10 dollars. And I had 10 dollars!! Since I had never played a fretted instrument before, I did not know what was good and what was bad. But I guess you could say I paid too much for this guitar. Not being aware of this fact, I was over the moon, and promptly showed my parents, who kept their promise, and enrolled me for lessons in the local music store. My first teacher started me out with Song Sung Blue from Neil Diamond. As a second song, I asked for The Needle and the Damage Done by Neil Young. My parents hinted that they might consider getting me a good guitar, but I would have to pay my dues and play the one I had for a “while”, so that they could see I was serious about this instrument.
Well, I played and practiced on a regular basis, and after a couple of years (in which I actually thought my guitar was really pretty good, so I had a blast playing it), they saw that my passion for the guitar was not going away, and I got an Ovation Balladeer!
And thus it began……. To be continued……