Like the rest or the country/world right now, I’m trying to make meaningful use of the abundance free time that fate and the Coronavirus has bestowed upon me/us.
What to do… what to do…
This morning I picked up my electric guitar for the first time in… well, months. It’s a Gibson ES-335 – the electric guitar that I had wanted for decades but only finally got about 8 years ago (but that’s a whole other story.)
It had been so long since I’d played it, it took me a couple of minutes to remember how it all fit together, to get the amp set up and the guitar plugged in and tuned. Then I tried to recall what I used to play on it – really, it’s been that long.
Then I remembered Albatross. Except I didn’t really remember it. I just recalled that it was something I learned from Nashville Guitar Guru David Isaacs when I took a workshop with him a couple of years ago (January, 2018).
Albatross is a dreamy guitar instrumental first recorded in 1969 by an up-and-coming little band from England called Fleetwood Mac. Maybe you’ve heard of the them? Probably so, but you probably haven’t heard Albatross, which was composed by the band’s lead guitarist at the time, somebody named Peter Green (click the link if you want to know more about his brilliant/tragic story).
OK, I thought, let’s see if I can remember how to play Albatross. So I went digging around in my hard drive to find the file that Dave had given us for the workshop.
Thinking I had found the original recording, I listened to an MP3 file that I found. It was the right tune but… it didn’t sound like I remembered the original. For the life of me I couldn’t figure out what I was listening to or who was playing the layered guitar parts.
Until it finally dawned on me: it was me.
I slowly recalled that I’d been dorking around with GarageBand at the time. There are a couple of sections of Albatross that feature bendy melodies played on two guitars a third apart. I’d completely forgotten that I played and recorded all the parts on my ES-335 over a backing track that Dave had given us to practice with.
And as I’m listening to it for the first time in two years, I’m thinking, “damn, that sounds pretty good!” (except for one slipped-string clam somewhere in the middle).
So here, use this to fill up about 3-1/2 minutes of your quarantine time. It’s the first music I’ve ever recorded and put online.
It only took 69 years (OK, only 25 years since I got on the Internet…but… that, too… is a whole other story).