Sunday, January 21, 2007

Random Guitar Lesson. Also, Go Bears.

A few weeks ago I was plinking around on my guitar, trying to figure out "A Little Less Conversation" by Elvis. It's unusually funky for an Elvis tune and is propelled by a groovy little rhythm guitar hook. It was made famous when a remixed version appeared in Ocean's Eleven.

I'd been checking out various tab sites because I just couldn't figure it out. As many times as I've listened to the song, I'd just assumed that like many other funk tunes it was in the key of E. Sure enough, all the tab sites had it in E, but when I played it as published, it sounded... wrong.

It sounded wrong because everyone on the Internet is wrong. As I plinked around a little more and picked out specific tones, I realized it's in A. The opening chord is an A7 and the riff finishes on a sliding (half-step hammer on) D7. I play it in the open position but on the recording it might be at the fifth position - I can't tell, and it sounds just fine in the open position anyway.

I have vague memories of my grandfather watching the Bears on T.V. at my grandparents' place in Crystal Lake. I'm not sure the man ever made it to a game; I'm not sure he was even a football fan at all. And towards the end of his life I think he gravitated to televised golf more than anything else. Still, when I think of the Bears, I think of my grandpa.

Way back in the heady pre-realignment days I was an NFC Central guy all the way. I was born in Detroit and chose to be a Lions fan sometime in late childhood... but I had a Vikings hat and coat as a kid (I even saw a game once in the old outdoor stadium in Minneapolis - brrrr); the Packers were hapless schedule fodder and peripheral at best; and then there were the Bears. Some of my favorite toys of all time, which I can find absolutely nowhere online, were my posable NFL players with removable jersey number stickers. I had a Lions player and a Bears player - the Bears player was black and I naturally put #34 on him.

Now, being a Lions fan is a hard life, so I've been rooting for the Bears for several seasons. When they face the [insert AFC champion here] in the Super Bowl, I'll be wearing my Walter Payton jersey.

Finally, I'm sick. Again. This one started as a sore throat on Thursday and quickly moved into my chest. It comes in waves - at times I feel okay and at other times I'm totally miserable. Luckily, Kathryn is being amazingly patient and understanding. Tonight I'm hopped up on Theraflu and am going to try to get some work done. My employees may have an easy day tomorrow.


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