Most musicians get bored playing the same thing over time. Billy Joel turned to classical music, Robert Plant turned to a more mellow sounding rock and George Michaels got caught in a bathroom. I began to realize the limitations to the bass and by luck the chance to get another 6 string presented itself. I would sit on my banister on my front porch and play my bass. One day a teenager, who was waling down my street, stopped and asked if he could come jam with me. I said sure. He ran up the street and returned with a semi-hollowbody electric. The two of us made…well we made noise. The kid tells me he’s thinking of selling the guitar. I’m not sure where I got the money but we worked out a deal and I now owned a No-name sunburst semi-hollowbody. This is where it all started. This guitar sent me down the path of….altering my instruments. I hated the sunburst finish. Having seen someone in the movies play a white Gibson ES-335 I decided to refinish my new guitar in white. And when I say refinish I mean spray paint! The guitar didn’t turn out too bad. I found out later that the kid who sold me the guitar had it refinished in that sunburst finish to the tune of $100. So now here I am on my front porch playing my white six string when this kid comes walking down my street. He’s maybe 2 years younger than me. He stops and says “Hey Man, you play guitar?” I look at him…then my guitar…then him and say “Yep”. His smile gets wide and he says “Stay here!!!” The kid runs up the street and in 10 minutes comes back lugging a guitar and his amp. So now this kid and I are playing on my porch. This kid was Mark Barry. And Mark had some talent. So we actually were able to play some music. A friendship that still lives today was born. I laugh at the fact that Mark credits me with his interest and development in music when in fact he inspired me. I can still play our song “Chinatown shuffle”. I believe I may still have an old cassette with us playing together. I mentioned Lou Lombardi in a previous post. He too inspired me. I can remember going over to his house and jamming when I was in high school. He had a No Name gold top Les Paul copy. Hmmm…looking back I bet that’s where I fell in love with the Les Paul design. Again that would be a friendship that would last a lifetime. The last friend who I’ll address here is an unlikely friend. I met Larry Haney in 7th grade. And when I say I met him I mean he bullied me. Somehow Larry and I wound up in the same high school and started hanging out together. Turns out Larry had a guitar too and we’d get together every now and again to jam. We look back now and laugh because I have a short attention span and Larry and I would jam and then I’d go off into my own little world. So we never did do anything with our music….until maybe a year ago. But that’s another story.