Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Kent and a Kalamazoo

My parents and my grandparents got together for Christmas of 1966 and bought me a Kent two-pickup electric guitar and a Kalamazoo amp. It had become pretty obvious that I was serious about playing guitar, and the grown-ups wouldn't have known a Kent from a Gretsch White Falcon. So this is what I got.

I must say that my anticipation that Christmas got the better of me. In my father's night table, I located the key to his closet where I found the guitar. Despite my best efforts at subterfuge, my parents caught on that I'd sneaked the guitar out for a few hot licks. My mother, in particular, was incensed that I'd lied about sneaking in the closet; she was probably the angriest class mother at my fifth grade Christmas party. I carry this guilt with me today, for some reason.

My across-the-street neighbor, Charles Vance, got the identical guitar in red, and he got a Kay amp (I think). We were playing music together, much of the same repertoire that Dana and the Blue Jays had. Charles' brother Burton played a pancake snare drum with us, and his big sister Lucy deigned to humor the little guys by singing with us sometimes. We were probably not very good, but it was a lot of fun. We were called the PeChes, pronounced "peaches" as a clever combination of our first names (Burton was too young to care, and Lucy was not a real band member).

I grew restless with the Kent. It was sort of difficult to play, since this was before the onset of Ernie Ball Super Slinky Strings. There didn't appear to be much in the way of tone, although who could tell through the tiny Kalamazoo. I did learn about 'turning it up ten' as that was the best I could get out of the amp.

Eventually, I traded up for a 1965 Gibson Melody Maker, then to a Les Paul Special and then the guitars started coming and going. A 335 with a Bigsby. A Dan Armstrong plexiglass. A sweet SG Les Paul Standard with the pull-up vibrato, which I, stupidly, had removed along with the pickup covers.

I've owned a bunch of guitars over the years. I've loved a lot of them, despised a few and destroyed a couple in fits of teenage empowerment. But this is the smokin' little combo that was waiting under the tree for me in 1966 which started the ball rolling.


Gary Oxford said...

Hey Peter, I just came over from PopDose where I was glad to see your Desert Island 5. Thanks for all the great music you've made. It's nice to see how it all got started.

steve scariano said...

PeChes? Did your fans constantly mis-pronounce the name of your band just as fans of The Wonders did while that band was going with their original spelling The Oneders, in that fabulous movie, That Thing You Do? :)

Jeff Hart said...

Was thinking this may be the guitar you had on the cover of "The Sound of Music", but now I see it isn't. Cosmetically, close though ...

hangzhou7906 said...

j好秘书 中国呼吸网 肿瘤网 中国皮肤网 癌症康复网 演讲稿 竞聘演讲 就职演讲 比赛演讲 征文演讲 节日演讲 演讲技巧 方案制度 工作意见 活动策划 工作方案 整改方案 实施方案 企划文案 销售方案 培训方案 应急预案 规章制度 法律法规 材料大全 事迹材料 先进事迹 个人事迹 申报材料 学习材料 考察材料 经验材料 交流材料 个人鉴定 自我鉴定 模板范例 技巧经验 工作计划 工作规划 年度工作计划 学校工作计划 个人工作计划 财务工作计划 团委工作计划 工会工作计划 单位工作计划 德育工作计划 教学工作计划 班主任工作计划 党支部工作计划 先教活动 整改措施 剖析材料 反腐倡廉 三农问题 和谐社会 三个代表 八荣八耻 先进性教育 党团工会 党团知识 党员相关 党会发言 党性分析 民主生活会 入党志愿书 入党申请书 入团申请书 转正申请书 公文写作 板报设计 办公表格 谈判技巧 外贸信函 公文 秘书 广告启事 通知 求职指导 求职信 自荐信 简历封面 简历模板 简历范文 简历制作 英文简历 面试技巧 学术论文 企业文化 毕业论文 经济工作 财经金融 城建环保 教育教学 工矿企业 党政司法 合同 合同知识 买卖合同 承包合同 投资合同 招标合同 建设工程 劳动合同 运输合同 房屋合同 借款合同 销售合同 租赁合同 保险合同 其它合同