by Kevin Burton
The last time my granddaughter was here she said, “I love that song! That’s my favorite song that you do.”
She had been upstairs with Grandma Burton, I think baking something, listening to me jamming in the basement. We couldn’t figure out which song she was talking about. I named five or six of my better songs, the ones I had just played.
I wouldn’t let it go, couldn’t. I wanted the compliment, no matter how hard I had to work to get it. And I was working pretty hard.
“No, no, that’s not it,” she kept saying.
That’s our thing most times when she is here. We go to the music studio area. I play my Yamaha and then she plays something on her tablet.
She has some kind of software that shows an octave or so of a piano keyboard on the tablet. The musical range is about as short as her attention span, but in that short time frame she can really wail. We take turns playing the rock and roll.
But this time it was just me playing. My wife and I never would have figured out what song she was talking about, her favorite, except that she asked the question, “Were you playing your guitar?
Oops. Uh, no.
I do own a guitar. I know right where it is. If you took a picture of me, I could smile, hold the guitar just right and look like a guitar player. But I am not.
The guitar was a birthday gift. I talked to my wife about an electric guitar, then thought better of it. Better prove I have some level of ability on an acoustic before buying an electric and an amplifier.
Well I have yet to prove anything. I just don’t see the guitar happening. I can’t make my hands do the things they would need to do. I never wanted to be a guitar hero anyway. I just wanted to play well enough to strum and do some writing. Even that seems far beyond me.
Since I have another birthday coming up, I am hoping someone who reads this blog and who cooks burgers and pork chops on the grill for me, might get me a saxophone or a bass guitar. Maybe I can save face on one of those.
But there was no saving face in the presence of granddaughter Willow. Her favorite Kev song, with the guitar on it, we figured out was my warmup song, “Junior’s Farm,” by Paul McCartney and Wings.
There you have it, the latest evidence that Paul McCartney writes better songs than I do and that Willow, at seven, is a discerning consumer of the rock and roll.
Not only that, she may have some A&R skills. She obviously thought I carried off “Junior’s Farm” OK. So I did it at karaoke night for the first time soon thereafter and it was well received. How about that?
But then came the virus, the ultimate sour note. That’s why I haven’t been back to karaoke and why my granddaughter hasn’t been here lately. Good times in abeyance, but crystalized in tunes of the heart. Once captured in song they can never be lost or forgotten.
So now my desired destination is Willow’s farm. It’s a place with a loud, joyful soundtrack. It’s a place where alligators dance and others follow suit, or else. It’s a place done up in pink, with a little purple, very tasteful.
It’s a place where little girls dream untidy dreams and old men do no better.
Where else would I be going, right about now?