Sunday, July 12, 2009


Since my Positive Liberty co-blogger DA Ridgely loves to reminisce about music and past memories, here's a pic that my old friend Steve Archer put up on facebook that he took at my house in Yardley, PA where I lived growing up. The house has subsequently been sold (I currently live elsewhere in Yardley). The pic was in the Summer of 1993; I had completed my first year at Berklee College of Music and was taking academic courses at the community college where I now teach. My parents/family were traveling abroad. And, at home, I had some friends over and we drank and played. Steve took the picture.

The guy next to me playing the banjo is Brian Duckett of Bucks County PA. I haven't seen him in years. Unlike me, he still actively plays quite a bit in the Bucks County area. I've since sold the guitar. It was a Gibson L-4 hollow body -- a nice jazz guitar. I bought it preparing for Berklee; I was taking classical guitar lessons and thought (at the urge of my instructor) that I might be a jazz guy. I found out that my heart was into rock. I like most different styles of music -- classical, jazz, blues, country, folk, Latin, ethnic -- but only when they form a "fusion" with rock. I can take my classical straight; but most other styles, not really. The jazz guitar fed back too much when I played it loud and distorted. So I sold it.

Here is another pic taken by Steve of me and my best friend Dave at Seaside Heights, (my parents now own a home at Seaside Park, but didn't then) NJ, during (I think) that same summer.

Oh to be 19-20 again. You don't have to worry about eating what you want and staying thin. I tell a funny story to my students (the lesson to be learned is that your metabolism is probably going to change for the worse as you age) about Dave and metabolism. Dave was always more muscular than me. Then, at 19, he stood 5'10" and weighed about 145lbs. He lived an active lifestyle (working blue collar jobs, playing sports). He didn't care what he ate. MacDonalds had this deal -- 5 for 5 Big Macs. Five Big Macs for five dollars. I witnessed him on a number of days buy 5 of them. He would eat three for lunch or dinner and then the other two at night. He would do this multiple times a week. And he drank a fair amount of alcohol and ate other foods during the day. And he kept his figure of virtually zero body fat; I was never so bad. But as you get older, you can't, or most of us can't, get away with that anymore. He now weighs between 190-220. But he keeps a pretty muscular figure.

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