After arriving home from work on a hot summer evening and seeing the long-haired, lanky figure of John crouching on my doorstep, I felt both exhausted and grimy. Initially, I was afraid that he would coerce me to listen to some newly found chord sequence… After all, it was I who suggested to him, to take up the guitar. I had suggested to him that his enthusiasm for music may be an indication of unrealized potential. He agreed.
The fact that he had acquired the antique six-string guitar gave me the impression that I had been incorrect about what I had thought. With his excitement for learning tablature and listening to the radio, it was difficult to determine whether or not he was progressing in his musical studies. Too much smearing and torturous treatment given to the chords and strings. Despite the fact that a musician friend of ours had informed me that John was developing a “unique style,” I remained skeptical. All of that sloppy pounding made me wonder that any music will ever be produced in the future.
It was becoming late and he had to catch a south-bound bus. He told me there was a family situation in Kansas. “I’ll see you when I get back,” he said. “I’ll practice for you while I am away.” His next words were, “I’ve got to go.” “I’ll see you when I come back,” he remarked, referring to his return.
It was a phone call in the spring of the following year that indicated his return to the town, in which he extended an invitation to come and have a beer with him.
A lovely almost haunting melody was just ending as I approached his front door… Because the tune was so complex, it sounded like two guitars playing together. Upon entering, I saw John playing his acoustic guitar in front of a little tape recorder. His eyes twinkled with delight as he handed me the tape and asked if I was ready to get down and dirty.