Monday, February 14, 2011


The summer I was 15, a slightly younger kid who lived down the street from me used to go out on his parents' pool deck every afternoon and play the riff from "Smoke On the Water" (the first-thing-everybody-used-to-learn-on-guitar in between "Sunshine of Your Love" and, I dunno, maybe "Enter Sandman") over and over again for hours. One afternoon, I went and knocked on his door and offered to teach him the entahr song if he could get his parents to buy him a Fender Telecaster (which I figured I'd then be able to borrow from him).

Somehow my ploy worked, and he called me up a few days later to tell me that his mother had bought him the guitar. I went over to his house and played it for a bit, then told him that I'd come over the following day and show him the rest of the song.

Unfortunately, that night, he was reading the owner's manual for the Tele and got to the part about removing the cover from the bridge pickup -- a simple matter of popping off the metal cover. Not understanding the difference between the pickups, he took a screwdriver and tried to remove the cover from the neck pickup, which was bolted to the scratch plate, and wound up destroying the guitar. He called me up the next day and told me about it. I never did teach him the rest of the song, but at least he stopped going out on his parents' pool deck and playing every afternoon. The neighbors should have thanked me.


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