Friday, July 11, 2008

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

There was a time when I played both my guitar and bass quite a bit. Both my jobs in Toledo and Goshen demanded it. Goshen First, especially, taxed my ability as a musician. When I first arrived, I really couldn't play and sing at the same time. But necessity is the mother of invention, so in short order my chops improved just enough to be a below-average song leader (I never led anyone is "worship"... I just played the songs and hoped other people followed).

However, upon arrival here in Lima, my guitar has been used very little, and the opportunities I've had to get out the bass have been few and far between. Hence, the dust gathering upon them both, as my Alvarez 12-string gets increasingly out of tune. I'd like to tell you I miss playing, but the reality is that I really don't. I was never that good. A self-taught guitarist who basically relied on basic chords and a capo get by, the act of playing was really more nerve-wracking than anything else.

Particularly when I played bass with the praise band of "The Peak" worship service, I always felt like I was screwing up... most likely because I was. That was hard given the fact that there were so many good musicians in that band: Jeff and Travis on percussion. Steve and Wade (and later, Mike) on guitar. Becky on the keys. Instrumentally, that band was incredibly talented. I wonder what they would have sounded like with a real bass player, as I was the anchor that never got hoisted on the ship that was ready to sail.

But I do miss playing with a band. There's nothing quite like the moment when everyone on a stage, or in a room, is playing, in sync, and creating some beautiful noise together. It's not an "almost-spiritual" feeling. It's totally spiritual. God is a creating God who keeps creating. To be a part of that in this unique way is really something.

Which is why, as I approach my 40th birthday, I'm beginning to think that the way I'd like to celebrate it is by throwing a concert. You see the band at Shawnee is no slouch, and the talent that Shane sometimes imports to help them out consists of some of the best musicians in the area. So, what I'm thinking, is going back to my first love (which is actually vocals), sing lead or back-up on a few songs prepared by this wonderfully talented group, and raise a few dollars for a good cause. I might even pull out the old guitar to pull an Elvis and pretend I'm playing. It could be a nice bash for anyone who wanted to come mock me as I celebrate four decades of (not quite realized) potential, and I could dust off the instruments and vocal chords for an evening to get the monkey off my back.

For my guitar isn't weeping, but I'd like to make a joyful noise to the God who creates, and keeps creating. Maybe we could even get Prince to come and jam with us.

Whaddya think? Anyone else interested in a Bucher's 40 Jamboree?


Elle Bee said...

That's one concert I'd love to see...

Wow. The Peak. It seems like a lifetime ago. :)

Travis Miner said...

Dude... I'M THERE!!!

The world has been deprived of Bryan Bucher on stage (in a non-teaching role) for FAR too long.

Maybe I'll bring Jeff, too???

Matt Parish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

if prince is there...i'll be there no question...unless it's during fair week....hhahaha!

amy mother of 4 kids and owner of three freaking cows....

Anonymous said...


I would not miss such a concert for the world-prince or no prince. If the Stones have taught us anything, it is that no matter how old you get, every once in a while you gotta push away the formaldahyde and whisky, mainline some glucosamine, cowboy up and rock and roll. I solemnly promise not to play the part of the East German judge and offer erstwhile "5.1's" at the conclusion of each song. Join me and enter the 5th decade of life with a bang ad not a whimper.

P.S. What's up with Amy and the freakin cow's? Didn't see that one comin'.

The Clouse

Matt Parish said...

Your guitar playing was instrumental to me. Nothing beats having someone pass songs they love along to you when it's done with their own fingers and voice. That's why I'd always rather hear clumsy bands in dives play Pixies songs than go see a reunion show and prefer to keep all memories of R.E.M. to a strictly "Buke's 12-string" context.

Was great to see you last week.