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What Happened?

Monday, October 1, 2012


An Excerpt from Friend of the Devil
(A chapter in my memoir)


I contend that I have always been somewhat off-center, and offer the following items into evidence:

  1. I played bassoon — bassoon, for God's sake! — in my high school band and orchestra.

  2. My first car was a 1952 Hudson Twin Wasp, large enough for a family of eight to use as their legal residence.

  3. When all my friends, disoriented by the folk craze of the sixties, started playing guitar, I dreamed of playing the five-string banjo!

The innumerable hours spent listening to the Kingston Trio with Dave Guard on banjo, and later Bill Monroe with his encyclopedic parade of five-string icons filled me, with not only the music of the instrument, but also with anticipatory dreams of the imagined tactile sensations: The demanding weightiness of the banjo resting on my knee; the reflective cold of the nickel-plated brass fittings; the glossy smoothness of the long, free and narrow neck with its egotistical flourishes of iridescent inlays; the tautness of the sharp, steel strings insistently pressing the sculpted wooden bridge against the membrane of the head, creating small dimpled pools around each foot; the involuntary resonant ringing produced by the raising up of the banjo from the close, dark maroon embrace of its black coffin. The endocrine flush of my first physical contact with an actual banjo was as indescribably delicious as my imaginings.


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Playing Style: Bluegrass (Scruggs)

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Playing Since: 1963
Experience Level: Purty Good

[Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Successfully retired

Gender: Male
Age: 75

My Instruments:
1927 Gibson TB-3 conversion solid tone ring, (Neck by Marty Lanham)
1896 S.S. Stewart Orchestra #2,
1900 Fairbanks Electric,
1893 Cole Model-D,
1890's George Dobson Victor

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
Flatt & Scruggs
Jimmy Martin and the Sunny Mt. Boys w/ Paul Williams and JD Crowe,
Earl Scruggs, Jimmy Arnold!, Sam Bush, Bruce Molsky, Pete Seeger, Walt Koken, Bill Keith, Ben Eldridge, Bobby Thompson, J.D. Crowe, Bela Fleck Don Stover, Rudy Lyle, Jack Hicks, Charlie Cushman, Stan Brown,

Other than Banjo stuff: Lyle Lovett, Gillian Welch, Cheap Trick, George Jones, Patty Griffin, Dizzy Gillespie, John Coltrane, Ray Flack, Jody Stecher

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 3/7/2006
Last Visit 3/6/2020

I began playing folk type music in 1963. Began learning bluegrass at college in 1964 (during the heart of the revival of worldwide interest in bluegrass). <br>Performed with the New Deal String Band 1967, 1971-72. Loretta Lynn 1979-1984. Have also appeared with Joe Stuart and the Sauceman Brothers, as well as Josh Graves.<br>I now have a great interest in old-time banjos and music. Have a small collection of turn of the century open back instruments

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