Mudcat Café message #1991625 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75122   Message #1991625
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Ryszkiewicz
09-Mar-07 - 12:29 PM
Thread Name: Little known '60s Folk Singers
Subject: RE: Little known 1960's Folk Singers
My God. Here I go again... The year was 1963. Everybody was pumped with the Kingston Trio. Charlie and the MTA...Oh, he'll never return, yeah he'll never return, and his fate is still unlearned, he may ride forever neath the streets of Boston(Bill Madison, Bill Staines, Sword in the Stone). I'm in High School. Two friends, Jerry and Dick and we form a group we call "The New Bad Trio" aptly named because nobody in the group could play an instrument. We did have a guitar, which nobody knew how to tune, which, I guess was irrelevant, because the three of us didn't know a single chord. So we let Dick HOLD the guitar, I played the bongos, and Jerry stood there doing backups to my vocals. We did a show in front of the whole school doing Charlie and the MTA with me on lead vocals. Smash hit. Girls coming up to us, telling us we were great. So I said to myself,"wait a minute, this might turn into something." So I try playing the guitar with the loose as a moose strings, mimicking chords. Just making noises. I find a friend, who had a guitar, a Gretch. he was taking lessons, and the guitar was in tune, And, the light shines through. He knew a CHORD! The Holy Grail!. Well, I learned that chord, my figures hurt because the strings were tight like steel. But, it wasn't until the second week of February 1966 that I began to play guitar. In College I met another guy who knew 3 CHORDS! As I forced my hands to change from one chord to the next, a struggle. But hour upon hour of repetition, deep desire, and persistence got me to the point of playing a progression, A clear breakthrough. I played my first "gig" in the girl's dorm, so scared that my knees were hitting together, shaking. There was a coffeehouse. And this guy called Paul Geremia, was going to be playing there. I always carried a notebook where I would draw pictures of the chords, and later try to play them. I made sure I was in the front row when Paul began to play. When I saw that, it was like seeing God. I wrote in the book, "Forget it." What he was doing was way beyond what I could even write down or draw, I followed him out the door, asking many questions. That's where it all began, and I'm sure many of you reading this have a similar story. It is why Folk Music is important. It is why you are participating in this. It is beyond music. It is Life. From the sea shantys of the Brits, to the Bluesmen of the Delta, to the AUDIENCE. The audience is the show. The audience is the vital component that makes it happen for all of us who perform. This is why Mudcat is a great thing.
As for Paul, I choose not to remember the beer. I choose to remember the greatness and the passion, and the generosity of a great player who taught me how to play the Blues. God Bless ya Pauly. bob