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We are living amongst you

as appeared Essex Events Magazine - Music Column
Summer 2008
Wayne D'Amico

For some reason, over the past few weeks I have run into so many friends and acquaintances who, for as long as I've known them, have only recently had reason to talk about about playing music. For one it was because he has a 40 year old guitar in his closet that he hasn't touched in 38 years and he wants to sell it. He heard I "do stuff with old guitars". For another he saw me with a guitar case and struck up a conversation about being a player and that his career is in the music business as a manufacturers rep. I did not know that! With yet another I found he is an active song writer, musician and singer who writes and records music regularly.

Growing up, my parents just were not the kind of folks that imposed anything on me due to their fanaticism. Although we were exposed and offered the opportunity to participate in many youth activities, we were not forced to do cub scouts or play organized sports. As a result, I recall trying scouting, Judo, tennis, volleyball, chess, art and others, but it was those guitar lessons that really stuck. From the first grade I began learning how to play guitar, certainly fighting the rigorous practice regiment along the way, but subconsciously my overall appreciation for music really evolved. I remember buying albums and 45's and recording them to cassettes, duplicating the album cover artwork by hand and spending hours of down time in my room listening and keeping occupied with music related activities.

As I came of high school age there was a rude awakening. I found myself gravitating towards "the bandroom". This was not an association for the faint of heart. You really must develop a passion to be there, because the association alone was enough to classify you as a geek, nerd or other endearing moniker for the less than cool.

I must say I never understood that. After all who represents "cool" better than Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Gene Simmons or Miles Davis.

Nevertheless, I think it is this common experience during our youth, that causes many an aspiring musician to keep their affinity to music and talents of playing a musical instrument a secret from the rest of the world. Whatever the reason, it often takes some divine happening for people to express and share their talents and passion for music with others. That said, I have never met a fellow musician, who once outed, did not prefer to converse on that topic thereafter more than any other including the weather and the box scores.

This is so unfortunate and should be a call to musicians and music lovers around the globe to stand tall and be proud of their musical talents. We musicians of every talent level are the envy of the rest of the world. After all, there a two types of people in the world; those that can play an instrument and those that "always wanted too" or "wished they'd stuck with it".

Musicians are everywhere, just watch American Idol. Be proud of your coveted talents and passion and share it with others. Exposing and expressing one's talents as a musician will bring about many new and true friendships that grow a part of your life that brings nothing but joy. Talk about your stress relief... that is until you join a band, but that's for another column.

Wayne D'Amico, based in Essex CT, has been a working musician and musical entertainer for over 25 years and hosts, a website for Guitar and professional musical gear enthusiasts.

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