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http://lamkins-guitar.com/music/article/next-steps
David Lamkins picked up his first guitar a long time ago. As best he can recall the year was 1967: the year of the Summer of Love. Four decades later David has conjured up an amalgam of folk, rock and jazz solo guitar music for the occasional intimate Portland audience.
location: Portland, OR USA

Facets: attitude, goals, motivation, @musings info
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Next steps

I'm one of those "garage rock baby boomers". I started playing while in grade school, a little while before the Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. I played right up through college and a few years beyond, then stopped in my mid-20s (marriage, children, etc.) At the age of 45, I started playing again. Formed the first of several bands at age 46. Played original music in bar bands for four years, then left the two bands that I was playing with. I got tired of the endless reheasals, the crappy working conditions, and the lack of equitable compensation. (Around here, the guy collecting money at the door makes more in an evening than most of the bands that play.)

I'm in a bit of a quandry over what to do next. I tend to find the music of younger players a bit too aggressive, unmelodic, and - frankly - boring. Meanwhile, the majority of players my age seem to be stuck in the classic rock and blues genres. If I never hear someone else play Clapton, Lynrd Skynrd or Hendrix material again it'll still be too soon. Yah, sure, "my generation" is supposed to love that stuff... I still might if I didn't have to hear seven thousand poor imitations. C'mon, people, find your own damned voice! Part of my problem in finding compatible players is that my musical roots are kind of odd: a mixture of classical, folk-rock and psychedelic.

So, I've resigned myself to being bandless for a while. I'm focusing my efforts on study, practice and writing. I don't worry about "other stuff" taking over - music is one of my great pleasures in life, and I still remember how much I missed it when I gave it up for twenty years. Never again - life is too short to not enjoy it. I've been reading up a bit on Johnny A., who decided (after a seven-year gig unexpectedly ended) that he didn't want to be dependent upon a band any more. So he learned material that could stand by itself on the guitar. I'm starting to think that's a great idea.

When I do go back out to play, it'll probably be either as a solo or duo act. And it won't be in bars that start their shows at nine or ten in the evening and cram in four acts competing for a cut of the door after "expenses"... Next time, I'm going to find some venues that are looking for entertainment rather than suckers willing to play for free.

September 11 2004 19:28:48 GMT