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Which Doobie you be?

Published Events Magazine Winter 2008
Music Editor – Wayne D’Amico

As a 6 year old boy entering the first grade, I was bestowed the parental “opportunity” to take music lessons.  Unlike many stories I’ve read from famous musicians, my family was not particularly musical.  My Dad had played piano and trumpet growing up, but it never kicked in to be a part of his life beyond retaining a joy for listening.  It was actually my great Aunt (my grandmother’s sister) who had just purchased our family a piano on which my older brother was given first dibbs to take lessons since he was 9.  After some sort of blubbering episode, I was, however, given a choice to begin lessons as well on another instrument.

I can’t quite recall just how I chose Guitar, but I do recall my very first lesson.  My mother took me down to Jimmy Azzolina’s Music Box in downtown Meriden to buy a guitar a take my first lesson. This was any early brush with fame as Jimmy’s son Jay, to this day, is a working jazz/fusion guitarist enjoying a solo career after breaking in as lead Guitarist for Spyro Gyra in early 90’s.  

Heading down into the basement where the practice rooms were, I took my ¾ size Stella Acoustic Guitar, sat down and waited for my Instructor to arrive.  After only a few moments, which seemed like a lifetime for a 6 year old sitting in a 5 by 7 room, this super casual guy came in with long curly blond hair parted in the middle, holding what I now know to be a Blonde Gibson 335 Electric guitar.  He sat down, gave me a casual but sincere, “Hey dude”, then proceeded to show me how to make an E minor chord using only 2 fingers and I was off to playing America’s “Horse with no name”.  How cool was that?

Many hours and years of practice, most beginning with some form of complaint, and 5 teachers later, at 40, I consider myself a proficient entertainer, who can not imagine any quality of life without MY MUSIC.  

Music touches each of us in a different way, yet one thing we can all agree upon is that Music is a part of everyone’s life every day, even if unnoticed. You don’t have to be a musician or a fanatic who knows every Artist for every song, or know the B side of a 1963 record to appreciate that music is something that can only be avoided by ear plugs or hearing disorder.

Not a day passes without incidentally being exposed to music whether in a TV or Radio ads, talk radio saigway, the ring of a cell phone or just hitchin’ a ride in the elevator.

Bottom line is Music can be so enriching to one’s life and can be enjoyed from cradle to grave.  It is never too late to begin making music and never too early to start.  In our world of grossly over paid sports figures,   back to back soccer and basketball schedules, let’s remember as my Great Aunt was wise enough to know, if not for ourselves, let’s remember to expose our young to music as an acceptable, rewarding and productive alternative to anything.  They might even choose to put down the game boy and pick up a flute after a while.

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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