Ringo and the All Starr Band

I just returned to my St. Augustine Beach motel room after spending the last 2 hours with Ringo Starr and his all Starr band. These musicians are consumate professionals. I got a thrill watching Ringo play drums. That was the top highlight for me. as for the songs, I love the set list. On top of the Ringo hits, Back Off Boogaloo was my favorite, you have solid hits frim the band. Rock and Roll Hoochie Coo. Frankenstein. That’s What I Like About You. In this category, two performances stood out: Dream Weaver by Gary Wright and the Mister Mister song Broken Wings. All I can say after seeing those performances is, wow! I want to write some songs like that!

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Behind the Music

My wife just walked in and noticed I was watching Behind the Music: Metallica. She asked me if I’d seen it before. I said, “Yes.” Actually, I’ve seen this episode multiple times. Why? Number One: I love music. Number Two: Kirk Hammett is a great guitar player. And, Number Three: after seeing the eternal ping-pong match that is American political discourse play out on MSNBC and Fox News there really is nothing better to watch on television than repeats of Behind the Music: Metallica. It’s the classic story of band works hard, overcomes obstacles and makes it big; band implodes under weight of excess; band pulls out of tailspin and makes a great record. By the way, I really like St. Anger. What’s wrong with that?

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Karma and Untying the Knots

Here’s a George Harrison quote from a 1982 interview I just read that spoke to me: “Life is like a piece of string with a lot of knots tied in it. The knots are the karma you’re born with from all your past lives, and the object of human life is to try and undo all those knots.”

I’m thinking there might be fodder for a new song in there somewhere.

I’m sitting on a growing hard drive full of unfinished music. Boy, I’d love to have a week to really summon my spiritual muse and tap into my simmering creativity.

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Woman Tone

The local Guitar Center had a midnight madness sale so, being a 45-year-old father of three, I had nothing better to do than to spend my Saturday night test driving guitars I can’t afford.

I spied a used sunburst road worn Fender Strat, lifted it gently off the wall hook and plugged into the nearest amp.

I played my standard test tunes on it — Lennon’s I Found Out, Well Well Well, and Cold Turkey — with the bridge pickup selected. It played well with the trademark Standard Strat single coil sound. Sunshine of Your Love came on the sound system and I started playing along with it.

I switched the tone to the neck pickup and the most amazing Clapton “woman tone” oozed from the amp. I was delighted and fully tempted to break out the plastic and bring a new baby home. That was until I remembered the “woman tone” I would hear from my wife when I walked through the door with another guitar.

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Struggling with the Tune Widget

Here I am clicking around on this WordPress blog trying to add a widget to the site. I seem to have completely disconnected my information page from the main site. Oh well, this is how learning happens, right?

Here’s the Tune Widget from ReverbNation I’m trying to add to my site. Let’s see if it works. …


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Putting Myself Out There, Again

I’ve been working on creating a new music page to feature some of my tunes over on the REVERBNATION website at http://www.reverbnation.com/#/ryanbanfill.

The Internet is a great forum for amateur musicians to share their work. I’ve got hundreds of tunes I’ve put down on tape and on the computer since I started writing and playing back in the late 70s. (Candidly, I didn’t really do anything truly listenable until the late 80s.) These songs have been key mile markers as I’ve grown older.

Much like someone who paints or cooks for relaxation, I really enjoy creating these noises. It allows me to use a different part of my brain than I use during the day. So, I’m putting this site together to put up some of the tunes I’ve put together over the past couple of years. I’m hoping it will inspire me to create some more.

I welcome you to check out the site and give my homemade tunes a listen.

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Can you take me back where I came from?

Band on the Run was the first 45 I ever bought. I was 10. It was 1975 and I bought it at a TG&Y store in Wichita, Kansas. After bringing that record home, putting it on my mother’s old stereo and laying that tonearm down on the grooves and hearing those guitars, that bass and the  crescendo that is that song — that’s when I fell head-over-heels in love with music. My next purchase, the Let it Be album. I was so impressed by the red apple on the label for some reason. I would play that LP for hours — memorizing every line, phrase and note. I knew Lennon’s play on Get Back  “Rosetta, sweet Loretta fart she thought she was a cleaner, but she was a frying pan.” better than I knew my 5th grade times tables. From that day on, I was hooked. My allowance and money I got from cutting yards ended up going toward albums by The Beatles and the ex-Beatles. Rock and Roll Music, Wings at the Speed of Sound, 33 and 1/3, Shaved Fish, Wings Over America, London Town, George Harrison, Rotogravure, Love Songs etc. There was a feeling I got whenever a new record was released. Often, on days when I was home sick, I’d get on my bike and peddle a few miles to the nearest Sound Warehouse to look at record covers and buy some back catalog titles if I had some cash in hand. With the new Beatles remasters coming out, I’m getting that itch again. This article from the Lefsetz Letter blog really inspired me.  I can’t wait to get the White Album (again) and put on Dear Prudence to hear how the guitar, bass and drums play together. I want to again imagine being in the middle of the studio when the vocals for Happiness is a Warm Gun were being tracked. To hear the horns on Savoy Truffle, the acoustic guitar on While My Guitar Gently Weeps. And that’s just one album. I can’t wait to hear them all.

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