Friday, June 25, 2010

Dream (Dream) Dream (Dream)

I usually don't provide much in the way of commentary for my performance videos, but I figured I would today. Some performances are easy to record and can be managed in only two or three takes. This was not the case here today. I did close to ten takes in a row before eliminating minor, but still significant errors that would have detracted from the entire performance itself. My patience usually wears thin around the seventh or eighth take. Furthermore, any song that is particularly barre-intensive like this one can only be played a certain number of times before I have to stop. There is a reason for that, of course, and hopefully you'll find the story behind it interesting.

Roughly a decade ago, I was out driving one rainy November morning, and ended up hydroplaning into the back of the car in front of me. People drive very indecisively and at time irrationally when it's raining, so I was forced to apply the brakes rather abruptly when the whole chain of cars in front of me decided to come to a complete stop at a red light. My car had an unfortunate tendency to lack roadway traction in crucial situations. As I plowed into the bumper of what turned out to be a Jaguar, the airbag inflated.

My left thumb happened to be grasping the steering wheel rather aggressively before impact, and somehow the airbag was in its direct path. It was bent sideways and badly dislocated. Suffice it to say that it's never quite been the same since. Barring forces one to push hard against the underside of the neck with the fretting hand; the thumb is the crucial digit to accomplish this successfully. My left thumb doesn't have the range of motion it once did and bends very awkwardly and stiffly at the joint. When I write my own stuff, I have to be careful to mix up barre chords with open chords, since a song with 100% barring I'll only be able to manage about three or four times through. I've often wondered if I could have surgery on it.


Gail said...


I loved it!!

peace and hope.....

Volly said...

There's an official term for irrational rainy-weather behavior. It's called the Chicken Little Effect, and the roots are in evolutionary biology. Overcast skies lead primitive creatures (such as our ancestors and too many of their descendants) to believe that the sky is falling. They become so distracted, they behave contrary to common sense, either going way too fast for the road conditions, or braking with no warning. Sorry about your thumb, but the music sounded fine.