While home for the holidays I reunited with my Fender Princeton Chorus amp, my 8th grade birthday present.
(dream sequence flashback)
I had just joined middle school jazz band after auditioning with The Beatles' "Blackbird," which was the only song I knew how to play (okay, so that was my first cover). I made the cut because I was the only guitarist to audtion, and even then it's questionable why they chose me.
The first day of rehearsal the entire band kicked off a Bb scale in unison. I didn't know where to find a Bb, so I practically burned a hole in the floor, growing redder and redder and hotter and hotter as the boys around me snickered. It's incredible that I ever held a guitar past that dreadful hour. Jesse, a sweet guy on bass guitar I had a crush on, tried directing me from across the room, mouthing what to do. But it was useless. I was totally lost.
Somehow I got through the year without ever really knowing what I was doing, and playing a lot of wrong notes. I took a few lessons with a jazz student from a local university, but I resented those fluorescent-lit half hours of watching him show off his badabadebadabedas while I failed to locate Bb (I still can't without a tuner).
The following year I decided I was done trying to learn guitar and I started to write songs in my own tunings. That's when I fell in love with songwriting - twisting the pegs until the notes sounded right (or at least interesting), feeling new finger formations, hearing words inside notes and notes inside words. Though I remained a diehard Phishhead and music snob/nerd I became absorbed with writing my own music.
Over the past twenty years I've written hundreds of songs, but I haven't learned anyone else's. It's not that I don't love other people's music - being a fan is central to becoming a musician - it's just that I in a lot of ways I don't feel like a "real" musician. Plus now being a musician involves so much more than sitting on my bedroom floor... in fact it's been many years since I've had a bedroom, and I spend more time on administrative tasks than I do on creative ones.
So the intention of this 52 Covers adventure is to loosen up, to have fun, to learn, to grow, to share, to connect, to be a fan, to love the process, to enjoy, to inspire, and to make music the priority.
Crackly and buzzy from a decade of sitting in my mom's attic I dusted off the amp and plugged in. The smooth warble immediately reminded me of "All Apologies," a song I've loved since I was an eighth grader sneaking MTV. I hope you enjoy it too. Thanks for tuning in! Let me know your requests!