My first instrument (the first I actually played at least) was the accordion. Back in those dim, dark days of the fifties parents were told, “It’s a heckuva instrument – a band all by itself” and so my folks bought me an accordion and signed me up for lessons.
My first paying gig (and several more after that) were on the accordion, but I always wanted more. I wanted to rock. Accordions don’t rock.
Eventually, I got a guitar. It was terrible, but I played it anyway. The strings were high off the frets (which started falling out soon after I bought the thing) but it was a start.
In junior high I started my first band with 2 friends. I played accordion (it was still what I was best at), Jack played the guitar (he still plays – we sort of keep in touch) and Greg played the drums.
Our first performance, a school noon-time show, we played a boogie piece I’d learned on accordion. Unfortunately, I played the song in the key of C. Jack only knew a boogie pattern in E. I’m not sure what Greg was doing, but we sounded so bad that some older guys who had a real band (the Blenders) were standing in the wings and one of them turned Jack down and played the right backing so it sounded like Jack was playing in the same key as me.
The band (we called ourselves The Turbulents) broke up soon after that but I was hooked. Next time, I’ll tell you a little more about what led to over 50 years of music. It wasn’t always pretty but mostly it was fun. See you then.