Castor Oil...sickeningly good

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Vincent you are not the crap

Guitar playing to me is like hooking up with girls in high school. It seems to come so easily to some yet to me it’s all fumbling and bumbling and feeling like a dope. I don't know if you can correlate the abject misery and time alone with a four year old copy of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue to guitar playing but if it can be done I'm your boy. My ineptitude was put on display at practice last week. We were working on a song of Philito’s that has this kooky Latin feel break in the middle where Trey (our real guitarist) plays this Magnificent Seven feeling rattlesnake thing and Philito (also a real guitarist who plays bass for the Prophets) is Sambaing away on the bass line and me……


Not too tasty.

One thing about the two guitarist in the band dynamic between Trey and I that is different between that of our former guitarist Wesley and I is that Trey is trying to actively make me a better guitar player. That’s not to say that Wesley didn’t care, he just let me find my own road for the most part with mixed results but to his credit he said that’s your style so go forth and be stylish. In the earlier days of the Prophets my guitar playing was a source of humor to all of my real guitar playing friends, (probably still is those fuckers), and I was fine with the joke but as time went on and we started recording I would listen to my style and begrudgingly admit, “Son that style is dogshit.” The joke had run it's course and as the band evolved it became apparent I needed to get things tightened up. To that end Trey has been showing me stuff that when he does it looks as hard as cracking a fart after lunch at Taco Bell but when I attempt it it’s like shitting out a Volkswagen Vanagon with the pop-up camper top. Not that I have ever really shat such an object but I think we can all agree that it doesn’t sound too comfortable.

Anyway back to la session de musica from the other night, Trey showed me a pretty simple chord to play that when I took about forty five seconds to position my fingers in the awkward and painful shape required sounded really cool with the song. No more CRONK and CHONK, it was really adding some flavor to the stew and I was joyful in the joyful noise I was making. Took a five second break, the fingers lost their iron grip on the strings and it was BWAAAANNNG BLOOONGGG TWANGADOO BONGGG all over again.


And there I stood like Danny DeVito in “Twins” when he lamented to Arnold that he got all the crap DNA….sad was I. The fellas were very supportive and in true mature fashion I pouted and hammered away at that cruel bitch of a guitar getting progressively more distraught and angry. Mercifully things wrapped up soon after and I took the bitch home with me determined to break her like Drago was going to break Rocky. Of course we all know how that turned out. “The guitar……it is like iron.”

Not wanting to be thought of as anything less than supremely glorious I have endeavored mightily to become a better guitar player. I practiced and practiced but my fingers just were not willing to twist and bend and behave the way that others do. I don’t want to play solos or any of that shit but I do want to play credibly and add something to the songs other than CRONK CRONK CRONK CHONK CHONK CHONK. The desire is there but the fingers and hands were not really getting with the program. Until…..

This morning I was amusing the more wee of the wee lassies playing with blocks and little plastic zebras and the like. She toddled (as toddlers are wont to do) over to the guitar case where Cruella de Musica resides and started banging on it and chewing on the corners. Ah well thinks I, here comes a life lesson for the bonnie child seeing her magnificent Pops as human and fallible. I glumly broke out the twanger quite aware of the mess to come when I would try to play the chord of DOOM. But like magic the digits assumed the position and a strumming we did go with the girly twisting and spinning away to the beat. I just stopped strumming to tip tap this here entry and announce to the world that I have finally gotten to first base with the guitar. If I keep practicing maybe I’ll get its metaphoric bra unsnapped and be able to play “Angie’ by the Stones by the time I’m fifty.

Baby steps Doctor Bob, Baby steps.


  • Julius Benedict: My name is Julius and I am your twin brother.
    Vincent Benedict: Oh, obviously! The moment I sat down I thought I was looking into a mirror.

    By Blogger Phil Rossi, at 10:06 AM  

  • There's no way you're not 50 already. Just switch to open tunings and you can fill in for Keef when he finally gives up the ghost.

    By Blogger doctorjones, at 1:08 PM  

  • Loved this piece.

    By Blogger Washington Cube, at 5:17 PM  

  • Sounds like you've discovered the infamous "constipation chord."

    By Blogger fjelehjifel, at 8:57 PM  

  • Congrats on your mention in DC Blogs:

    By Blogger Washington Cube, at 10:21 PM  

  • I know exactly how you feel. I'm a drummer, and just have a bit of fun with it. My guitar player is actually a professional drummer in real life. So he tries to show me stuff and...well...the Taco Bell/VW analogy works fine...

    By Blogger tideliar, at 4:14 PM  

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