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Who Is Your Musical Mentor?

Jerry Rasmussen 21 Oct 05 - 10:00 AM
Chris Green 21 Oct 05 - 10:39 AM
DavidHannam 21 Oct 05 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,DB 21 Oct 05 - 10:55 AM
CarolC 21 Oct 05 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,Art Thieme 21 Oct 05 - 01:44 PM
kendall 21 Oct 05 - 02:01 PM
Juan P-B 21 Oct 05 - 06:15 PM
Clinton Hammond 21 Oct 05 - 06:46 PM
X 21 Oct 05 - 06:53 PM
GUEST,wld 21 Oct 05 - 07:11 PM
Chris Green 21 Oct 05 - 07:19 PM
Deckman 21 Oct 05 - 07:28 PM
Bobert 21 Oct 05 - 07:31 PM
Barry Finn 21 Oct 05 - 11:12 PM
number 6 21 Oct 05 - 11:43 PM
dwditty 21 Oct 05 - 11:50 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 22 Oct 05 - 12:10 AM
GUEST 22 Oct 05 - 02:03 AM
GUEST,Sidewinder. 22 Oct 05 - 02:44 AM
Stephen L. Rich 22 Oct 05 - 06:25 AM
Capo da Monty 22 Oct 05 - 07:26 AM
Patrick-Costello 22 Oct 05 - 08:55 AM
Juan P-B 22 Oct 05 - 11:40 AM
Jerry Rasmussen 22 Oct 05 - 11:51 AM
GUEST,Art Thieme 22 Oct 05 - 06:22 PM
Peace 22 Oct 05 - 06:43 PM
Peter T. 22 Oct 05 - 08:54 PM
yrlancslad 22 Oct 05 - 09:16 PM
iancarterb 22 Oct 05 - 11:37 PM
C-flat 23 Oct 05 - 05:16 AM
John Robinson (aka Cittern) 23 Oct 05 - 09:49 AM
Peace 23 Oct 05 - 12:47 PM
Joybell 23 Oct 05 - 06:44 PM
Paco Rabanne 24 Oct 05 - 06:15 AM
GUEST,Betsy 24 Oct 05 - 06:39 AM
Mark Ross 24 Oct 05 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Greycap 25 Oct 05 - 04:23 AM
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Subject: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 10:00 AM

In my life there have been many musicians who I've admired and who have in turn influenced my music. And my life. Some are people I've known or at least heard. Others I only know through their recordings and perhaps a rare tv appearance. Among those who have had an impact on my music are Dave Van Ronk, who taught me how to play guitar and was a musical inspiration in many other ways. Doc Watson embodied a love for the old music, with the creativity to take it to new places. Fats Domino has always delighted me because he seems to so thoroughly enjoy singing and playing. For many Catters, Rick Fielding was, and is, a musical mentor. I admired him for his generosity and his courage. I had the great honor of sharing Songwriter workshops with him, and hearing him do his last concert. While I've never had any desire to try to sound like Dave, or Doc, or Fats or Rick (and don't have the talent to, if I wanted to,) they have all impacted my life. But, if I had to pick one musical mentor who still guides my music, it would be Mississippi John Hurt. I loved his simplicity, subtlety and sly humor. I had the great blessing of hearing him perform in a small coffee house several times, and I still feel his presence in his recordings. He's one of the few people who manages to come through the speakers and into my home. But, it's more than his music that continues to encourage me. It was his humility. "Humility" is one of those words that's come to mean something different than it's original meaning.
It's too close to "humiliate," or even "humble." "Humble" is not a state that many people strive for. But, humility is not downgrading yourself, or professing your failings with false modesty. Humility is knowing who you are, with no self-deception. It's accepting yourself without apology. I felt that in Mississippi John. When he'd come ambling out onto the stage, to plunk himself down in a chair, there was no artifice... no attempt at stage presence. He was just Mississippi John, and he was going to play you a little music.
And have a good time, doing it. He held nothing back, because there was no reason to. He knew who he was, and he seemed to have moved beyond worrying about what others thought of him. He was truly modest, while at the same time being aware of his gifts and how much pleasure he brought to others. We need Mississippi John as much today as when he was alive.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Chris Green
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 10:39 AM

A bloke called Mick Bisiker. Taught me guitar, mandolin and bouzouki at school, gave me my first properly paid gig when I was eighteen, showed me how to get gigs for myself and got me my day job as well. A more complete mentor or all-round nice bloke you couldn't wish to find! Thanks Mick!


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: DavidHannam
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 10:42 AM

I'm probably like a lot. My father. First song he taught me was 'what are we building weapons for'. I was raised on Dylan from the earliest age, and i disliked dylan until about 13, which was when my dad started teaching me guitar.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST,DB
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 10:55 AM

Probably the man who had the greatest influence on me was Ewan MacColl. I first heard him on record, singing sea songs with Bert Lloyd, and had the creepy feeling that I'd known the the songs and the voice for 'all of my life' (I was about 19 at the time).
Soon after this two friends asked Ewan and Peggy (Seeger) to come to our area and give one of their weekend workshops for local singers and would-be-singers (like me). I still regard that weekend to be the greatest educational experience of my life and consider that it shaped the rest of my life. For a start the weekend taught me that I could sing (I wasn't too sure if I could up to that point)but it also taught me about aspects of performance that I'd never even thought about. It also taught me a lot about the importance and significance of traditional song and traditional singers. Some time later I bought Ewan's Topic LP, 'The Manchester Angel' which started an interest in specifically English trad. song - an interest which continues to grow year by year.
When I left home, and moved to a 'big city', I met more people who shared my enthusiasm for Ewan, his music and folk song in general. These people became firm friends and formed the basis of my social life in my new abode.
Even long after his death, in 1989, there still appears to be a strong 'anti-MacColl' faction around and a fair amount of myth and ill-feeling. Nevertheless, there is another view that he was a giant of the folk world and a genius who made an enormous contribution to our chosen musical form. I'm firmly of the latter opinion and feel that he enriched my life and that I owe him a debt of gratitude.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: CarolC
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 12:26 PM

Mudcatter, Skipjack K8. He is one of the few people who really understands what an accordion can do on BOTH sides (left-hand as well as right-hand), and uses every part of this amazing instrument to its fullest potential. And he is very generous about sharing his knowlege with people like me, who need all the help we can get.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 01:44 PM

Paul Durst

(put him in a Forum search)

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: kendall
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 02:01 PM

My cousins, Gene Hooper , Graydon and Guy Morse who taught me a few basic chords. Then, Buryl Ives and Pete Seeger.
As far as performing for pay, and getting recorded, Gordon Bok and Sandy Paton of Folk Legacy records.

Since then, Tom Paxton and U.Utah Phillips. The only man I have met who can out lie me!


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Juan P-B
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 06:15 PM

Mike McReady - When I was a young & newly married sailor in Cornwall (It was like having an alcoholic fairy godfather) - And Dave Totterdell who taught me the value of a song


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 06:46 PM

Ian Anderson
Garnet Rogers
James Keelaghan
Stephen Fearing
Rick Deevey
Mike P Shannon
Mike O'Brien


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: X
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 06:53 PM

Banjoist, Bobby Thompson.

Bobby's Home Page


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST,wld
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 07:11 PM

I'm not proud - I steal bits and pieces musically from anybody


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Chris Green
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 07:19 PM

"Research", surely? :-)


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 07:28 PM

I'm of an older generation than the posters I see before me. With NO hesitations, my musical mentor was a man named Bill Higley ... AKA ... Willi Waw Willy. His moniker "Willi Waw" came from his radio days in Anchorage, Alaska, where he was a populiar radio DJ in the late 1940's and early 1950's.

He raised me musically, and also as a surogate father, from the time I was 13 until I married at age 23.

Does anyone out there remember him? If you do, I'd LOVE to have you get in touch with me. I'm afraid that BILL HIGLEY is one of those nameless and faceless folksingers ... and MENTORS ... that history will forget. That would be a shame and a personal tragedy.

Cheers, Bob(deckman)Nelson


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Bobert
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 07:31 PM

The one person who inspired me in the beginning is a man I have never met face to face: Bob Dylan...

Oh sure, there were a lot of influences over the years... Also folks I never met face to face: Steven Stills,John Prine, Neil Young, Leo Kottke, Paul Seibel, John Stewart, etc...

Then after wingin' it and learnin' by listenin' to other folks, I had my first actual guitart teacher 5 years ago: Sparky Rucker, who learnt me up the basics of playin' blues and playin' slide guitar...

Yeah, fir about the first year, I'd kinda had to say that Sparkey was my "mentor" but then I started listenin' to old recordin's of like Son House, Elmore James, Slim Harpo and they kinda have taken over where the John Prines and Niel Young's left off...

Then I started going to Mississippi a lot and found out about R.L. Burnside and T-Model Ford and Willie King and Blind Mississippi Morris and Daniel "Slick" Ballanger and Richard Johnston and with the exception of R.L., who died a couple months back, the rest are the folks who I try to learn from...

Mentors? Well, not exactly... But folks I know I need to be around...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 11:12 PM

During the 60's as a teen I'd catch John Sabastian(Sp?), Love seeing/hearing Dave Van Ronk, loved recordings of Donovan & Dylan
Loved meeting, talking with & hearing Ewan MacColl & Peggy Segger in the mid or later 70's at a house concert near the LA area somewhere. But most of all it was at a 1 day folk festival in Plymouth Mass. where the Mayflower was docked. It was put on by the Folk Song Society Of Greater Boston, this was back in the early 70's. Up till then I never really sang outside of the shower thought I had been an apprecator of folk music since the mid 60's going to Newport & such. I attended a workshop on blues, Barbara Canns was running it, truly a great blues woman, & at some point I had mentioned that "I know of a song that's something like that" right then I realized I'm dead meat. She asked me to sing it, I told her I didn't really know it, only a small bit of it, sing what you know, I don't sing I said, yup, give it a try she challanged. So I tried, it was a bit of a prison worksong & I got an unusal response, nice job you ought to do that more often. That's what really gave me the courage to start singing. Thirty + yrs years later she attended a workshop I was giving on prison worksongs & she approched me to express how much she enjoyed the workshop (at the time she didn't have a clue as to who I was). I've never had a nicer feeling than to tell her if she like it, then she should be thanking herself, I told her she was the reason I had been singing these past 30 or so yrs. & I reminded her of that workshop (I'm sure she didn't recall me but who knows?).
That wasa turning point for me. Up till meeting Barabra I'd been a listener after I becamer a singer. Thank you Barabra (RIP), hopefully I'll get a chance to sing with her again, in the far off future. Nice thread Jerry

Barry


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: number 6
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 11:43 PM

Burt Jansch
Syd Shachzter (taught me my first basic chords)
the late Wes Montgomery
the late Lenny Breau
My very good friend G.T. Bananas for reviving the inspiration

sIx


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: dwditty
Date: 21 Oct 05 - 11:50 PM

Dave Van Ronk and Oscar Brown, Jr.....in no particular order.

dw


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 12:10 AM

Pauline
Beatrice
Maudaline
Frank
Mausado
Ed
Karen
Earnie

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 02:03 AM

WHO ARE THEY GARG?


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST,Sidewinder.
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 02:44 AM

Seeing as you asked politely I will divulge the following musical mentors;
Spike Milligan.
Roy Castle.
Toni Arthur.
Kokomo Arnold.
Billy Bragg.
Roy Acuff.
Tal Farlowe.
Humphrey Lyttleton.
Judith Durham.
Leadbelly.
Bertholt Brecht.
Gustav Mahler.
Stockhausen.
Robert Fripp.
Joe Strummer.
Satchmo.
Tupac Shakur.
Dolly Parton.
and "4 lads from Liverpool who shook the world".

Regards.

Sidewinder.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Stephen L. Rich
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 06:25 AM

I've been fortunate to have had three. Two are still alive. One has disappeared from the face of the Earth. One lives here in Madison, WI. The first is Jim Hirsch. He used to run the first open stage that I ever attended regularly (he was, at the time the director of the guitar program @ the Oldtown School of Folk Music and later succeeded Ray Tate a the director of the whole kit and kaboodle). He taught me how to stand on a stage without looking like a fool (unless I thought it would get a laugh). I haven't heard from or about him in years. The second is Wally Friedrich. He taught me how to engage and hold an audience. He did it from the street level. We used to busk at opposite ends of the Rush Street Strip in Chicago. Wally actually showed up at my wedding (in a suit and tie no less). The third was the late and much missed Fred Holstien. He taught me, perhaps, the most important lessons; what this music is for (sharing), the necesary relationship of a performer to the material (the song is more important than singer), and that the only thing more important than the song is the audience (your most immmediate and paramount debt is to them).

Though I've been influenced, to one degree or another, by every song, singer, or comedian I've ever heard in my life, those three taught me how to use the influences.

Stephen Lee


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Capo da Monty
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 07:26 AM

In the early years Gordon Lightfoot Ralph McTell Tom Paxton.

More recently Mike Silver and "Derbyshires Finest" Jack Hudson who's friendship I value greatly.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Patrick-Costello
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 08:55 AM

Peggy Seeger was the first banjo player who ever gave me any kind of useful advice.

Other than that, most of the people who taught and inspired me were folks I just happened to bump into by accident. I don't know many of their names other than "old guy on the subway" or "old guy at a festival". One guy who told me his name called himself Harmonica Joe.


Harmonica Joe
from The How and the Tao of Folk Guitar (ISBN: 097441901X)

"Hey kid, you want to make a couple of dollars?"

I wasn't so naïve that I didn't know the usual course of action a kid was supposed to take when an old man in a raincoat asks a question like that. But this guy looked pretty harmless, and I was curious about the huge chromatic harmonica he had pulled out of his pocket, so I didn't run like hell.

He was waving the harmonica around like a wand as he started talking again. "You break out that guitar and we can make a few bucks. Maybe get us some lunch. Maybe make enough to get some burgers to take home with me. Come on kid. Play a tune with Harmonica Joe."

I was on the boardwalk in Atlantic City looking for something to do while my grandfather trolled the slot machine pits in one of the casinos. He wasn't really interested in gambling. Oh, he might toss a few bucks into the slots but he was really interested in talking to the little old lady bingo queens. These trips were more about a technically free bus ride (they would charge you ten bucks for the trip and then give you a roll of quarters at the door) and a chance to bird-dog down by the ocean. I only came along because mom thought somebody needed to keep an eye on him.

I was in the habit of taking my guitar with me everywhere I went back then. It made things like taking a bus trip kind of rough because the case was so big and heavy, but I figured you never know when you might run into a chance to play so I kept it with me. We would make this trip every once in a while and sometimes I could sneak in and play some slots. That wasn't too much fun because whenever I managed to hit a jackpot grandpop would claim my winnings. It was funny. He didn't have a problem with me gambling, but he did have a problem with letting me keep what I won. On this particular trip one of the security guards stopped me at the door. I guess the sight of a kid dragging this huge guitar case around while ogling the cocktail waitresses was kind of hard to miss. I tried to con my way through by giving the security guard a big grin and saying "I'm with the band."

It didn't work. If anything, it made everything worse.

Grandpop wasn't much help. He just hollered "Ah, it serves you right for being a wise guy!" as they threw me out. He even kept my free roll of quarters. So I had the boardwalk to myself on a cool day. I had no money and nothing to do. I started wandering around looking at the tourists and the wannabe gangster types until I saw the old guy covered with birds.

He was trying to eat a hotdog in this arthritic kind of slouch. He looked like his back was too messed up to stand up straight. The pigeons and seagulls were lined up on his back and shoulders trying to reach around his head and swipe a piece of his lunch. There were so many birds piled on him that I couldn't really see his face. As I walked over to get a better look he noticed me and brought his head up to look me in the eye, well, he tried to but a seagull hopped up on his hat.

"Hey old timer. That's a pretty good trick with the birds."

"Help me out here kid. Get these damn birds off of me!"

I cracked up. I dropped my guitar case and started swatting at his passengers. They were pretty fearless and it took a little bit of work to get rid of them all.

"Hell of a thing when a man can't eat his lunch." He said. Then my guitar case caught his attention and he asked me if I knew how to play.

"A little," I said. "But I'm not really that good."

He thought about it for a second and asked me if I wanted to make a few bucks as he waved his harmonica.

So there I was wandering down the boardwalk following this little old man with a crooked back. He was talking a mile a minute and I had a hard time understanding everything he was saying. Part of it was the way he talked, but I was also trying as hard as I could not to break out laughing. He still had his slightly used and pigeon-pecked hotdog in one hand and his harmonica in the other and as he talked he swung them around like batons.

"Now the first thing we have to do is find ourselves a spot. You've got to have a good spot. In front of the casinos is no good because everybody going in or out is either broke or saving up to go broke. You know the house always wins? Don't gamble son, it'll ruin you as quick as a showgirl. I should know. Now we want a spot where we can hit the couples. Couples are good because if you sing to the girl her boyfriend has to throw you a tip or she'll think he's a heel."

"So we sing to the girl and we find a good spot."

"That's right! You're getting the idea. I might get myself some lunch today! I told you my name was Harmonica Joe? I used to be on the radio." He started to sing, "Hello and what do you know? It's Harmonica Joe on the ra-di-oh!"

We wandered around until Joe found a spot he liked. We were close to a couple of tourist trap shops with cheesy t-shirts and salt water taffy baskets on display.

"Now here's what we'll do. I'll call the songs. You know any jazz tunes?"

"No."

"Good. Then that's what we'll play. You get to a chord you don't know just move your hand up and down across the strings and smile at the people. Out here they can't hear you so if they see you moving around like you're playing they will think the ocean is just drowning you out."

He went over some more things like how to casually draw attention to my guitar case so people would think to toss in some money and how you have to play standing up so people won't think you're lazy.

It was pretty cool because Joe really had this system down. We worked the people passing by just as easy as you please while we played. When a couple stopped to listen he would fuss over the girl and take her by the hand to do a couple of dance steps. When a family stopped he would stoop down and fuss over the kids, which was my cue to look at the dad and give a little cough as I lightly kicked my guitar case to rattle the change.

The whole time this was going on Harmonica Joe talked to me about performing. He talked some about the places he had been, but most of the time he talked about how the game works. He said that entertaining people wasn't just about playing well, you also had to be able make them feel good about listening to you.

I'm not sure how long we played that afternoon. Time just sort of flew by because I was having so much fun playing and watching Joe work his audience. It all came to a halt when Joe all of a sudden kicked my guitar case closed and shoved it under a bench in one sweeping motion of his foot. The next thing I knew Joe had stashed his harmonica in his pocket and just sort of stood there like he was asking me the time or something.

I couldn't figure out what was going on until the cop walked over.

"Nice try, Joe. But I've been watching you two for a while now."

"Why hello officer. It's a lovely day isn't it?"

"Joe, how many times have I told you that I don't want you out panhandling on my boardwalk?"

"Panhandling? You're acting like every musician out on the street is some kind of bum!"

"Joe, you are a bum." Before Joe could say anything the cop turned to me. "Who are you?"

I gave him a big grin and said, "It's ok. I'm with the band."

He didn't seem to think that was any funnier than the security guard did. "So you're out here learning to be a bum?"

"I thought I'd give it a shot. If things don't work out I could always be a co. . ."

Joe cut me off right in the middle of the punch line. "He's just a kid playing a little bit of guitar for old Joe. Nothing wrong with that is there, officer?"

The cop gave me the hairy eyeball for a moment. I gave him by best grin again and he finally relaxed and started to laugh.

"Well, you guys didn't sound too bad. Matter of fact you sound better than the guys further down the boardwalk, but they ain't breaking the law because they have a license."

I started to say something but Joe kicked me and gave me the signal to keep my mouth shut.

The cop looked at us again, gave a deep sigh as he shook his head and said, "I'm going to take a walk. When I come back I want both of you gone. I'm sick of telling you this Joe. I don't want to see you again today."

So that was that. Time to hit the bricks. I was sad that it was over but I had a great time and, whether he knew it or not, Joe had taught me a lot about performing. It also hit me right about then that I was dead tired. This had been a lot of fun but it was also a lot of work.

I dragged my guitar case out from under the bench and was kind of shocked at how much money the marks had thrown in. There was a lot of change but there were quite a few ones and fives.

Joe took a peek at the money and his face brightened up. "Not a bad take for a little bit of work. Fifty-fifty sound good to you?"

I thought about it for a second and decided that I could go one better than that. I scooped up the money and handed it to Joe. "Here. You take it and get yourself those burgers."

Joe tried to argue with me but I wouldn't hear about it. I told him that it was the least I could do in return for some of the tricks he had shared with me (and in the years afterward knowing how to rustle up a few bucks on the street has gotten me out of more than one bad scrape) and that the only thing I would probably do with my half was give my grandfather another shot at the slots. We said our goodbyes and Joe gave me a quick hug before he disappeared into the crowd.

I was squaring away my guitar case when my grandfather came running over shouting, "What the hell have you been up to?" Apparently he had seen me handing Joe a fistful of money because he started yelling at me about hanging out with bums and giving money away.

We took a walk up and down the boardwalk to kill some time before the bus came back to take us home. Grandpop carried on the whole time that Joe was just going to go get drunk with the money and that I was a total jackass for thinking otherwise.

"Ah, I don't care grandpop. I liked the old guy and I think you're wrong about him. You don't know the guy. He's just going to buy some cheeseburgers."

"If you believe that you must be stupid. Don't you know anything?"

We were walking past the McDonalds on the boardwalk when Joe stepped out lugging this big bag of cheeseburgers and a large cup of coffee. He spotted me and started waving the bag shouting, "God bless you boy! I got my lunch and I got some to take home! Goodbye, and don't forget old Harmonica Joe!"

I shouted back, "Hello and what do you know? It's Harmonica Joe on the ra-di-oh!"

He did a couple of quick dance steps and shuffled off into the crowd.

For the first time in my life my grandfather didn't have anything to say.

-Patrick


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Juan P-B
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 11:40 AM

Ahhhh! Sidewinder mentioned the very gorgeous Toni Arthur... I remember her beautiful voice and quite poosibly the shortest skirt I have EVER seen..... And

Our own Leadfingers!! talk about Rough Diamonds!! But what a gent AND a lovely whistle player too (Shame about the banjo Terry!! - Love You mate!)


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Jerry Rasmussen
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 11:51 AM

Great story, Patrick! Usually when I see a post that long, I just skim over it, but I read (and enjoyed) every word. Too bad it had to come to an end.....

Thanks for sharing it.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST,Art Thieme
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 06:22 PM

Jerry is correct. That's a keeper post!

I've had the same kinds of experiences with the hobo Paul Durst in Chicago


Lee O. B. Quiggins of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee --a blind singer singing on Main street--Evansville, Indiana

Jim Shelby, Christina Hasell and Carl Offutt a Baptist church gospel group in Evansville, Indiana ('62)

Ernie Johnson--a truck driver from Tennessee

Three-String, a blues singer I tried to record in his home on stilts by the Ohio River in Kentucky---across from Indiana. I got my heavy reel-to-reel tape recorder up is high ladder only to find he had no electricity.

Blind Arvella Gray -- a blues singer I photographed playing on the street in Chicago at Grand and State.

Walter Vinson--one of the Mississippi Sheiks who I taped in Chicago in the early '60s.

Bill Chipman of Senath, Missouri who I taped in Chicago about '65.

And Sam Hinton, Jim Ringer, Blind Jim Brewer, Pete Seeger, Josh White, Jean Ritchie, U. Utah, Sandy Paton---and a ton more...

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Peace
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 06:43 PM

Jerry,

I would love to be able to answer this, but the list seems endless. It includes everyone who's ever told me something I wrote 'touched' them in some way. The list would include many musicians--both known and relatively unknown--and songwriters known and relatively unknown. The list includes everyone who ever encouraged me to keep writing or start writing again; keep playing or start playing again. The list would include all the people who bought me meals when I was hitching around Quebec playing for my supper in roadside hotels, and those who gave me a couch or piece of floor to sleep on during that summer. It would include Miss van Reet, my Grade 11 teacher who told me I had failed the year and why didn't I go do what I really WANTED to do: be a 'folksinger/songwriter' in New York. I wouldn't really know where to start, and for sure this would end up being a 10,000 word post if I said thanks the way I feel I should.

There are a few special people, you included, but saying who some of those folks are would sound like name dropping, and I just wouldn't feel right about doing that. But thank you for starting yet another thread that has brought back some vivid memories.

PS Glad you're back, Jerry.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 08:54 PM

Rick Fielding.

But there was also a lanky guy with a beard who ran a tennis/horsebackriding/theatre/swimming summer school with his wife in a big house in northwest Missouri in the 60's and I would dearly like to know who he was and what ever happened to him and his school, he used to play the banjo, mostly all the Kingston Trio songs and a million others after our communal lunch, which is where I learned practically every folk song I knew until I met Rick.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: yrlancslad
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 09:16 PM

I agree with guest DB, Ewan MacCOLL. From the first time I heard him on a 10 inch LP called Shuttle and Cage when I was working down the pit as a 16 year old-came to it through the Union. Later on I came to know him and spent several weekends at his home researching folk songs for me to sing.I know thatmany people didn't like him but I always found him a warm and friendly gentleman and think that much of the anti-MacColl stuff was pure envy about a man who is still the best singer to come out of the British revival. After Ewan, Louis Killen, whose singing style I thought sounded similar to my own.Some 40 odd years later I'm still occasionally likened to Killen by some old codger and am still flattered by the comparision


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: iancarterb
Date: 22 Oct 05 - 11:37 PM

Frank Warner and Dave Van Ronk, more than any others. If a person couldn't figure out how to sound like himself from listening to either of them, then bel canto or plumbing might be in their future, but probably not singing folksongs convincingly. A few dozen other people mentioned above as well, surely, and Hank Bradley and JEFF Warner, and Lou Killen years later, but Frank Warner and Dave van Ronk have to top my list.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: C-flat
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 05:16 AM

I could list dozens of musicians and performers who have influenced me but my greatest mentor would have to be my eldest brother who spent all his pocket money on vinyl records and showed me how to play my first chord.
He isn't a great musician or performer but even now, well into his middle years, is still finding and introducing me to interesting music and bringing me songs he thinks I would like.
As a child he carried me into a world previously unknown to me and we would sit together for hours listening to records, studying those wonderful L.P. covers and working out how to imitate what we heard on a cheap, unplayable guitar.
I'm sure that music would have still been a great source of pleasure to me but his influence turned it into something to enjoy from the inside rather than just a pleasure to buy into occassionally.
Every time I visit him one of my first questions is "What have you been listening to recently?" and, quite often to the despair of our significant others, he'll pull me into his music room for something I "must hear".
As the eldest he broke a lot of ground for the other four of us that followed, especially in the cultural revolution that was the sixties, but the biggest gift of all was his willingness to share that which excited and inspired him most and for that I will be eternally thankful.
To my brother Dave. Cheers!!

C-flat.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: John Robinson (aka Cittern)
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 09:49 AM

I am fortunate to live with Julie Ellison. I can hardly look at the guitar without her offering some advice (or is it criticism?) of how I play. It's great - I get nagged about things like thumb position, I'm never allowed to take short cuts and she always has another challenge ready and waiting when I've struggled through the last one!

So my advice is to pursuade your hero to let you move in with them ...

OK, OK - I didn't say I was offering practical advice did I?


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Peace
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 12:47 PM

After watching George Bush and his hand positions on the guitar, he's my new musical hero. In future, please reach me at

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Moving in as we speak. Notice the bellhop
carrying my suitcase. Ah, life is good.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Joybell
Date: 23 Oct 05 - 06:44 PM

Was lucky enough to marry mine. Makes for free music lessons too. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 06:15 AM

The Harri Watts band taught me everything I know, particularly that tricky Bulerias compas.


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 06:39 AM

Without doubt - Graeme Miles - he inspired dozens of top quality songwriters - especially in the North of England and Britain in general.
Thanks Graeme.

Cheers

Betsy


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 24 Oct 05 - 11:16 AM

Very long list, including;

Utah Phillips
Dave Van Ronk,
Thom Ghent,
Bruce Murdoch(otherwise known here on the 'Cat as PEACE),
Jm Ringer,
Kenny Hall,
Brownie McGhee,
Rosalie Sorrels
Kenny Kosek,
Art Thieme,
Woody Guthrie,
Glen Ohrlin...........
The list could go on & on & on................


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Who Is Your Musical Mentor?
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 25 Oct 05 - 04:23 AM

Lots of very great people, but the first two in calendar order were hank Williams and Ramblin' Jack Elliott.


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