Here’s my dad jamming in Germany with a mandolin he found during his time there in World War II. Dad and mom always supported my music and paid for piano, guitar and mandolin lessons over the years.
My dad played mandolin all his life, including a trio with Frank LoPinto on guitar and Jack Mace on bass in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and the NY Mandolin Orchestra. He also studied at the famed Mandolin School in Rhode Island and rubbed shoulders with mandolin great David Grissom.
While it’s great to write original songs over the years with input from friends and fellow musicians, playing “Blueberry Hill” and “Walk on By” on the piano can’t be beat either.
Unlike my tunes, these songs have been recorded by real record labels and picked up by dozens if not hundreds of musicians, musicals and movies. Some of Java’s sentimental favorites include “Be my Baby” by Ronnie Spector, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by Carol King, “Umbrella” by Rihanna, ” and “Lovin Cup”, a more obscure song by the Rolling Stones off of their “Exile on Main Street” album.
Jen and I made a special birthday trip this past spring to Nashville, where we sampled the local BBQ, checked out the amazing Honky Tonk bar bands and toured the storied Ryman Audiorium, original home of the Grand ‘Ole Opry as well as Johnny Cash’s TV show in the 1960s and early 70s
Well, as part of the tour of the Ryman, you can get your picture taken on stage for $10 and you can record a song for $15. Well, I had written two songs so we splurged and spent $30 for two. They had a little broadcast booth in the auditorium, where most people did karaoke versions of “I Shall Survive” or “America the Beautiful.”
Some tunes from a Saturday March 10, 2012 session at Ryman Make a Record at the Grand Old Opry. Thanks Jen!!
Well, the success of the Altercation reunion has made the rounds on Facebook and I’ll try to link to it here. The bottom line is, we all had fun. Not much blah blah on what we’ve been doing for the past 30 years since we played at Dobbs Ferry High School in an impromptu session outside the school cafeteria in a move inspired by the Beatles rooftop jam featured in the movie Let it Be.
We scheduled our reunion rehearsal at the same movie theater where we saw Let it Be. It’s now a recording studio and rehearsal space called Stolen Moments.