This is Why I Play Guitar

Vaughn McMillan

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ABQ NM
I've been playing guitar for over 55 years, and for almost 45 of those years (off and on) people have paid me to do it. In the '80s it was possible to make a living playing 6 nights a week in my local market, but that ship sailed decades ago. These days there's not as many venues paying for live music, and those that do, are only doing it one night per week, sometimes two. This makes it virtually impossible to actually make enough money to live on, at least in this market. I can't speak for all the musicians in Albuquerque, but in our band we aren't doing it for the money, we do it for the fun. We get paid enough money paid to cover gas and gear maintenance, but that's about it. And we don't play for free. (Actually, I play for free, but charge to move my equipment. :))

Tonight (Friday) night we played our monthly show at the local watering hole, and the place was packed with a bunch of very enthusiastic folks having a great time. I've posted photos of the band here before, so I figured I'd show you what we see. We were in between songs in the middle of the second set and I finally remembered to grab my phone and snap a quick photo of what it looks like from where I'm standing. (When we were actually playing, that dance floor was more full.) Out of the frame to the right in the back is another area about the same size with 4 pool tables, and from what I could see it was too crowded back there to comfortably play pool. The whole joint was literally packed.

This is why I play guitar.
Full House 2 1024.jpg
 
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Chuck Ellis

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6,531
Location
Tellico Plains, Tennessee
I have absolutely no musical talent... my 8 year old son actually told me in his best stage whisper to not sing in church as I sounded terrible....

But my brother in law down in Texas was quite an accomplished musician... I have a very vague memory of him and a couple of other fellows standing in a corner of my parents front room playing for a dance my parents gave... he was a fiddler back then. (I was about 4 and my sister was 6 and I think BIL was about 16 at the time)... She was 21 and he was 32 when they married....

He was good enough that Hank Snow came through where he was playing at a local VFW hall and offered him a place in his band....Charles (My BIL) couldn't stand Snow and his band so he turned him down.... but I think it was more he didn't like to travel and didn't think he could make a living with his music... he was a front alignment mechanic and people came from miles all around his shop to have him align their cars.... even the highway patrol and several county sheriff depts.... at some point he switched from the fiddle to bass guitar... said his neck was beginning to bother him....

Before the boys started school my sister would go with him to his gigs and watch that the other girls didn't flirt with her man.... (you've heard a jealous woman was a green eyed monster, my sister was born with green eyes... :D :rofl:)....she would take the boys and when Rob the older one was 4 or 5 he had his toy guitar and would get on stage and "play" with dad....Wish I had pictures of that to show, but was long before cell phones... and he's about 60 or 61 now.

That looks like a fun place, but I'm not a fan of big crowds and was never much of one to do the bar scene.
 

Mike Stafford

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1,569
Location
Coastal plain of North Carolina
I have no musical talent. I was kicked out of recorder class in 3rd grade because I could not play a scale.
In church my minister took me aside and very gently told me that my singing voice was not compatible with the rest of the church and I should just hum......quietly.
I never listened to music growing up. Oh maybe just a little but I didn't then and can't now identify many groups or singers. I don't have a desire to listen to music for the most part.
My musical skills are limited to playing the radio and even then I only listen to talk stations.:cry:
 

Paul Douglass

Member
Messages
4,620
Location
S E Washington State
I have no musical talent. I was kicked out of recorder class in 3rd grade because I could not play a scale.
In church my minister took me aside and very gently told me that my singing voice was not compatible with the rest of the church and I should just hum......quietly.
I never listened to music growing up. Oh maybe just a little but I didn't then and can't now identify many groups or singers. I don't have a desire to listen to music for the most part.
My musical skills are limited to playing the radio and even then I only listen to talk stations.:cry:
Me exactly. I have alway wanted to play the harmonica, have several, but I am so bad, if I even pull the box I keep one in out of my desk drawer, my dogs start howling!

My son thought, has very little talent, but it does not discourage him... He plays guitar. He has practiced, and taken lessons for years. I mean he practices by the hour. He spends a lot of time in hotels, and always has a guitar with him. He watches video lessons by the hour, and takes lessons from an instructor. It is almost an obession for him. He can play, but something is not, I don't know, it is more sort of mechanical than natural like most. He knows it, and does not aspire to be in a band or play for other people, but he just keeps on keeping on. I admire him for it. I wish I had some of his stick-to-it-ness.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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34,762
Location
ABQ NM
...The stories and now thanks to smart phones, the pictures, are priceless.
My biggest regret about all the cell phone videos that get shot is that they are generally poor quality, both video and audio. We'd love to get some decent video footage of the band (and audience), but just don't have the equipment and personnel resources to do it.
 
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