Damage Done

I’ve been spending the last 2 days trying to master some guitar that I have been neglecting for a while now. There is a good site available that gives good advice and video to get you started…. http://www.justinguitar.com/ …well…for me anyway. The song is “The Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young and it has been taking up a considerable amount of time…but by God I think I’ve got it. I’m not exactly Eric Clapton or even old Shakey himself but at least I have the basic foundation of the song. Truly a great songwriter and musician he is and I will be there to play along some day!!

Today was the breakthrough day as regards the song and in the middle of all this I got a call from my brother in Dublin…..”Hi Paudie…any news”…..I had plenty of news …..”Not really… what about you… Lenny!!”    “Actually, as it happens….Hang on a second …I want to play you a tune I just learned ” he said….and to my suprise off he went on the tin whistle playing “The Boys of the Old Brigade” as spritely as any Artane Boys Band member on All Ireland day. There must be some kind of genetic creative spur that clicks in for our family around December or something…..not one tune for his favourite brother  but on encouragement from me …he went on to play me another haunting tune on his whistle for good measure, just to reassure me of his hidden talent….well, I was dumbfounded for a few seconds. I had visions of myself and Leonard on a World tour next year with old Lenny playing lead whistle and myself backing him up on my little acoustic…the rock star brothers indeed!! I myself did go through a phase of self tin whistle tutalage for a period but it can be annoying for others around you when you subject them to your half hour sessions every day!! Not good for the ears long term….

My younger brother must have been puffing away on his whistle for a long period in some far off closet with good acoustics and superior soundproofing for the neighbours!! Today was his day to come out of the closet …even though it was over the phone…I could still feel those hairs stand to attention on the back of my neck….could this be the rebirth of Willie Clancy …will my brother start muttering West Clare sayings next time he comes to Cork….Who knows??? I’m just glad that he chose me to make his debut…

I’ll have to step up my own instrumental tutalage for future competitions that may arise during some family gathering…Lenny having the advantage of being able to slip a whistle into his top pocket waiting to be whipped out at the slightest encouragement…a guitar has some disadvantages in those areas…portability is King!!! However there will come a day when they will have to send out for extra supplies of hankies and tissues for the tears of joy that will erupt from my families eyes on hearing my solo performances of some magnificent song that I have just belted out!! Now for some practice…..


One thought on “Damage Done

  1. Well! There must be some synchronicity in the air for I too picked up my old Yamaki (it’s been a while) and was trying to learn ‘Lord Franklin’….Unfortunately I think I’ll leave that one up to Pentangle…John Renbourne does it much better justice than I…whilst looking for it on the net I came across a very funny old version of ‘The Irish Rover’ with The Dubliners and The Pogues…Good on ya for trying to master a difficult and powerful song…

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