My Cousin Is Coming Over, He Plays Guitar . . .


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My uncle came to visit me this week, he gave me my first guitar nearly 30 years ago and taught me the foundations of my playing. When I was a kid, we’d go into Daddy’s Junky Music to browse guitars and it was quite rare where a few people wouldn’t stop and watch him play because he was just really damn good.

I haven’t gotten to see him much in the last 20 years and the only clips I see of him are his cover band doing the regular ’ole cover songs in bars, so in my ignorance and hubris, I assumed at some point that my playing had at least met up to his by this point. Ha.

He picked up my Strat when he got to my place and within 5 minutes I was thinking “You idiot…” (to myself). I was showing him some of Andy Wood’s live stuff and my uncle was picking it ALL up from ear, playing everything about 1 second after Andy did, did the same thing with EJ’s Austin City Limits DVD after; leads, chords, didn’t matter, he was ON it. His ear is just phenomenal as is his memorization of the fretboard. I was schooled, to say the least. It wasn’t just a phrase here and there, he was going through entire songs he’s never heard before.

All I could think was “I’ve got a long way to go”. It was the most comforting humbling experience I’ve had with the guitar since my teens.


He was a local hero in the greater Hartford area back in the 80s and local guitar shops would always be abuzz with his "almost/oh so close" exploits. Like when his band got a spot in a movie with Michael J Fox and Joan Jett... Some of the old timers who clearly just wanted to be close to the heat were already carving out his star on the Walk of Fame.

None of this is a shot at the guy... Just fun to reminisce and hold those young memories in the light of adulthood.

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