Here’s something you don’t hear every day…

Jimi Hendrix was one hell of a good…rythym player.

He really was. Where his solo playing was all blues/ pentatonic scale– based (much like everyone else), his chording had a very delicate and decorative flair to it. Lots of Baroque-style trills and flairs added to chord suspensions, and a very melodic sensibility. Very J.S. Bach.


This is the final exam for my three Learning Connection guitar students. Kind of advanced for a 101 course, but they surprised me by not exactly being beginners; hence the not-exactly-for-beginners final.

Five major chords, one measure each, keep the rythym smooth and steady. It’s not so much the chords themselves but the changing from one to the next, in proper time, that causes the crying and knashing of teeth.

Those chords also happen to be the changes to Hey Joe, from Jimi’s first album ( Are You Experienced, Reprise Records, 1967 ) The students are aware of that, and that I certainly didn’t expect anyone to cover Jimi’s version; just give me five chords, first position, keep a nice even tempo, …and repeat…

I was pondering whether to make CD copies for them to practice with, and then said…oh hell, they can get that themselves, if they’re interested. I really just meant it to be an exercise, anyway.

The crying and knashing will commence this evening, 6 pm sharp.

But it did serve to get me listening to the old chestnut again, in never-ending appreciation. Jimi was freaking awesome. A little dated, naturally, but the creative spark is just timeless.

It also served to get me to ponder the lyrics to Hey, Joe

Mother of God. It’s a song about a guy who kills his girlfriend and tries to escape to Mexico.

Why was that OK in 1967?… no one said a word about it….nowadays, the guy who wrote that would be on a Homeland Security watchlist. He couldn’t get on a plane. He couldn’t get off a plane. There’d be a mandatory background check, and Dr. Phil would do a two-day taping to examine him.

And what about the first line? ” Hey Joe, where you going with that gun in your hand?” In 1967, apparently just a pleasant bit of conversation…today, a Senate sub-committee demanding to know why he didn’t call 911…was it because he knew him? Was it because he was involved? Was he a Democrat? Where is his birth certificate?

But to just listen to the song… the dynamics build very slowly to a wonderful crescendo… gloriously angelic background singing…spirited rythym section…great soloing… hell , by the end of this thing, I’d go shoot her myself if it would help him get across the border any sooner. “ No, you go ahead, Joe, I’ve got this…and here, take my Rosetta Stone Spanish Edition…and shoot the guy, too? Well sure, might as well…seeing as how I’m out already…you take care, now. Buh-by.”

Yep. That Jimi Hendrix sure had a way with a song…

Published in: on February 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

11 Questions?…

Well this sounds like fun. Kind of a chain letter. Sadly, though, the chain breaks with me because I don’t even know 11 other bloggers to send questions to. I will nonetheless answer the 11 and try to think of 11 more.

I suppose I would know 11 others if I were on Facebook, but I am likely the only person on the planet right now who believes that Facebook will be the straw that destroys Western civilization.

I know that sounds kind of right-wing nutjob, and if anything I’m more like a left-wing nutjob, but I aspire to become more of a centrist nutjob.

Still, anyone that I make that statement to always agrees …then goes on Facebook to gossip about the nutjob they just talked to. Then they show you their vacation photos, tell you what they are about to have for lunch, then describe just about where yesterday’s lunch is in their intestinal tract, then it’s a list of pharmaceuticals that Jimmy the paper boy has in stock this week, and then finally who the real father is to the pregnant 15-year old from three doors down.

Now, I don’t know, but I’ve been told…she gets her pharmaceuticals for free. Just sayin.’ Child support, 21st century-style. Caring, responsible parenthood.

I know they’ll be good parents because their parents said so on Facebook. Course, they’re all divorced now…but they met on Facebook, so they’ll always be in touch.

And, I’m getting really tired of people who keep sayin’ ” just sayin.” So I’m not sayin’ anymore.

And… I really do sound like a nutjob. A well-balanced one, though. Centrist.

Anyhow… on to the 11 questions.

1) Rodney Graham. Until the day I caught two consecutive line drives of his playing baseball, and he punched me several times. End of our friendship, and my baseball career.

2) Richard Boyce. Truly the worst bass player who has ever lived, yet he continued on valiantly. An inspirational example of perseverance.

3) After hiring Richard as their new bass player, they disappeared.

4) Zen and the Art of Bass Playing. Seriously. Because it really and truly is all about the journey, not the end result.

5) Yes.

6) Glory ( 1989, Denzel, Matthew, Cary, Morgan)

7) Twilight Zone ( but who gets to be Rod…)

8) None. Hard to believe, but there it is.

9) One…as always…

10) The ones with the bathtubs. I just don’t get the bathtub thing.

11) I’ll take the fifth on that one.

My 11 soon to follow…


Published in: on February 18, 2013 at 8:19 pm  Leave a Comment  


Friday night at 2000 hrs ( 8 pm for civilians), and I’m at work. I’ve been doing Friday 3-11’s lately. One of the few who is maniacally responsible enough to show up for duty with a blizzard en route. There are 5 of us here tonight; 2 security, 2 maintenance, 1 engineer. On my security cameras, I’m watching payloaders, backhoes, and a Bobcat ( I so really want one of those…only$ 36,000) trying to keep the connector roads and parking lots clear. Better to move 6 inches of snow 8 times rather than move 3 feet all at once. Have to feel bad for those guys, though. They’ll be going straight through all day tomorrow, at least. It’s snowing sideways at about 60 mph. The building was just officially closed through Monday morning, and there is a full road ban in place ( arrests, fines, and prison time?!! ) Security’s relief has already called out to report for work ( no surprises there )-which means we will certainly be here until the world re-opens. The power is dipping on and off, but there is a huge backup diesel generator that’s supposed to be able to run for a few days. Otherwise, Metlife would would not only lose fax and phone lines, but there would be a threat to the data center. That would be the downside to having converted the acres of paper files to electronic storage. Snoopy will be really pissed. That damned thing better kick in when it’s supposed to. We’ll find out shortly. A large tree just came down and blocked one of the roads off. One less to plow. On the plus side; us security guys brought enough supplies to live through a nuclear strike, and I also brought a fold-up cot, two woolen blankets and a wheat-hull pillow. So no one has to sleep sitting up in an office chair. ( I am such a mother hen- old re-enactor habits.) And, the Chief Engineer phoned in permission giving us access to the full kitchen. So, I’m thinking… fire up a grill, maybe sirloin steaks with sauteed mushroom and onion in a white garlic sauce. Maybe special details aren’t so bad after all. Always wanted to try cooking on a commercial grill. Grill’s hot. Check with you later.


A little ambitious on the sirloin steak idea; but did manage shaved steak with mushroom/onion/hot Italian peppers/ melted provolone on toasted rolls.

Pretty damned good. Breakfast, I believe, will be omelettes with hash browns.

Not the big puffy American– style ones…the thin French ones ala Julia Child. With their choice of fillings, of course. That’s the whole idea. Thank you, Julia…

I’d like to be able to say ” do you want fries with that”, but I’m not sure how to get one of the deep- fryers working. Wouldn’t want to mess up and accidentally summon the fire department on a night like this. Not to mention being summarily dismissed from security.

But then maybe I could work in the kitchen…

Maybe we’ll just go with chips instead. And I’d better get started on a lunch menu…