"Growing Up With Music"
Background of Larry Seiler

 

I was a teenager in the later 60's, listening to the protest songs of the Vietnam War era as well as the pop culture of that time.  I began playing guitar around 1970 on a cheap black Harmony guitar, learning simple chords and the popular songs of the times like "Georgie Girl" and "House of the Rising Sun."

There was a calming affect in playing the guitar, though my parents would shut my bedroom door.  Must have sounded pretty bad at that time!  In my early college years, I would bring my guitar and sit around with my painting professor and his friends and learned more about playing bluegrass music than I did about painting.  This was a time when I began writing more of my own music, and gained enough confidence to play a few coffeehouse style gigs.

I eventually ended up in Uncle Sam's navy during the early to mid 70's, and bought a nice Fender Strat and amp while stationed in California.  One day I received noticed I was shipping out...and was given a whopping 15 minutes to get my gear together.  I would be heading out to the Mediterranean Sea to meet a ship where no space for a guitar and amp would be found.  No time to crate things up and send home, I sold that guitar and amp for a quick $50 to a lucky sailor!

Limited space aboard the AS16-Howard W. Gilmore ( a nuclear submarine ship tender ) gave opportunity only to carry and learn to play the blues harmonica.  For some reason, bending notes and playing cross harp came easy to me.  I've been told how difficult the harp is to play, and how well I play it.  Perhaps playing the harmonica then is the only thing ever to have come easy for me in my life!

Here you see me with one of my favorite guitars yet today.  A handmade Alvarez Yairi acoustic cutaway that came with its own birth certificate papers.  A guitar I would have to spend a great deal of money to buy today.  Very sweet warm tone, and extremely playable.

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© 2001 Larry Seiler