Pre-Disco....

.... when I was a little boy, there was a family that lived nearby..... a Mother, Father, two daughters, and two sons.......

... the Mother was a psychotic, manipulative lunatic....... the Father was a worker on a construction crew who drank a little bit too much... in retrospect, probably because he had to live with a woman like that.....

..... their children suffered, though.... half of them born with their Mother's head-troubles - and the other half born with their Father's insane ability to gravitate TOWARDS someone like their Mother..... hell, those kids were probably doomed from before they were even conceived......

..... the Mother left home when the youngest was about 4, and then proceeded to marry as many men as would be foolish enough say, "I do."..... and she went through more than I can even remember..... I think I heard someone say 14 a few years ago, but I can't really vouch for that....... but I wouldn't discount the number - having known her........

... it's funny...... I can't imagine that 14 able bodied Human Males would be capable of all wanting to marry her over the past 20 years or so.....

.... the Father ended up raising all of those kids by himself while the Mother whored across three states.......

.... that man taught me to play guitar when I was 14 years old...... I'd get dropped off at his house three times a week after school, and he'd strum his guitar and sing....... my Mom bought his guitar for me, and he'd lovingly stroke it each time I arrived with it each week...... I don't really think that he truly wanted to part with it, but he needed the money....... I imagine that raising four children on a joiner's salary would be tough work, so he sold it to make ends meet......

.... it was a Yamaha FG-340..... 1974 model, if my dust-covered memory serves.... and he could make it sound beautiful.....

... he taught me the basic chords, and a little bit of lead that he knew........ I can still play the intro lead to "Lyin' Eyes" by the Eagles...... he taught me the chords to "Hotel California" - which I later taught myself to fingerpick rather badly.......

..... he'd come home from the job site and find me sitting on his front porch with the rest of his kids - just waiting to be let inside - and he'd laugh and say, "you are back again!??.... are your fingers sore, boy?!"...... I'd grin and make my way to the couch while one of his kids fetched a beer for him from the kitchen...... he'd take the guitar from me, and he'd start to play....... he'd always play ten minutes before he asked me to show him what I had practiced.........

... his name was Mark, and his last name was Scottish...... as a matter of fact, when the kilts were picked out for my Scottish wedding, we had three to pick...... and since none of my family names were Scots, the choices were made by our love of friends and family..... I wore the Hollyrood tartan (that of the Princes of Scotland)... my Best Man wore ancient Macdonald of Sleat, my cousin wore Mackenzie, and my brother wore Stewart (in tribute to my uncle by marriage that we all love).....

... you know, I never told Mark that I ever honored him at my own wedding like that.... I think it would have made him happy..... looking back now, I understand why I never told him..... but really, that was a mistake on my part....

.... anyway, I am losing the point of this post, so I must adjust........ after all, this post is about guitars, playing, and music........

.... Mark was about 5'10" & stocky..... huge shoulders, ham-hands, and a face that had been weathered from working outdoors his whole life... he had a shock of wiry red hair & a full beard that was just as red..... he was gruff..... he was the kind of guy that you'd want to have your back in any bar fight from Englewood, TN to Singapore........ and do you know what he would sing first every time I handed him the guitar?.......

.... a Bee Gee's tune from before I was born...... check it out..... watching a man like HIM play and sing a song in such a falsetto is something that I will never forget.......

...... how can you mend a broken heart?........... fuck me........ at the time, all I could think was, "wow!... look at the way he is singing and playing at the same time!"..... but now?........

.... he still loved that woman who had shat all over him..... she was on his mind every second of every day.......

..... I can see it now - as an adult - but I still cannot understand it......... there he was laboring, toiling, failing, and all he could think of when I handed him that guitar was the woman that he still loved unconditionally.........

....... odd that he has been on my mind lately, I guess........ I heard that he had a stroke last year and lost the ability to play guitar....... he died last month of another stroke at the age of 64........ I suspect that the Bee Gee's never had a better pre-Disco fan than Mark......

.... I should have told him about the kilts.....

by Eric on January 26, 2011 | Bullshit (7) | TrackBack (0) | Music
Bullshit So Far

Excellent story! I don't know why men marry crazy women, but I have known a few similar marriages - my brother's being the first to come to mind. Also the Kenny Roger's song "Lucille" came to mind.

Speaking of the Holyrood House - while in Scotland the maid a the hotel asked me if we were going to see "the Hoolyrood Hoose." I said, "What?!" It took me a while before I figured out what she was saying.

Bullshitted by Lou on January 27, 2011 08:16 AM

Sounds a lot like my Uncle. Memories of home and music

Bullshitted by BloodSpite on January 27, 2011 09:29 AM

Sounds like you're describing certain members of my wife's family, particularly the part of the mother leaving all the kiddies behind. Pathetic. Not to mention a few guys who either can't recognize a loser or try to "fix" or "rescue" her, not understanding until too late that he's the one that needs to be "rescued". From her.

But it's cool that there are some people who's paths we cross that are able to pass on the gifts they have to friends and strangers. I wouldn't mind someone like that teaching me how to play guitar. Or drums. Or piano. Or something.


Bullshitted by diamond dave on January 27, 2011 12:16 PM

I think you just did.
Damn.......I guess we all have those we wish we'd said something to.

Bullshitted by kdzu on January 27, 2011 10:20 PM

I loved this. He sounds like your equivalent to my Bubba, whose theme song could easily have been "Bad Liver and a Broken Heart." He even had a girlfriend he called "Cath'," who left him for another guy.

Bullshitted by Erica on January 28, 2011 09:35 PM

I got mixed up (not that bad) with one- and after *knowing* she was bad Ju-Ju,,,realized that it was pheromones.
She was kinda cute and not very smart- with about a dozen kids from half that many daddys, but she sucked me in- even when my brain was shouting "BAD IDEA!!! STOPP!!!!" I was over there like a dog with a beacth in heat.

Bullshitted by Kurt P on January 28, 2011 11:33 PM

Excellent tribute to him Eric... And a lovely post.

Bullshitted by Richmond on January 29, 2011 09:30 PM