A Musical Life Through My Eyes, a Little History Part “the Final, Final!”…

I formed my first band (The Prattsville Witch Hunt, though I don’t remember where that memorable name came from) with friends at about age 16. Since then, there have been many bands. After high school (Franklin Pierce) the US Navy came (in the early 70’s). I did a lot of playing overseas and on ship (USS Ranger Carrier) with my buddy. Upon my return home, I began to study classical and jazz guitar (about 12 hours a day for about a year) as well as theory. I took my first music courses at Pierce College, Fort Steilacoom in 1975 (back when it was mostly portables). Many courses and many colleges have come and gone until I graduated with a bachelors from Pacific Lutheran University. Lot’s of time went by and I finally completed a masters from Boston University. Now in my clear and undeniable insanity, I’m actually considering heading back to school for a doctorate.

Well, that brings me to my current position as a professor of music at that same Pierce College (about two millennia later). And as promised, I’ve come to the conclusion to this long winded introduction to myself. Heretofore, I’ll be writing about whatever strikes me as the days roll on. I’ll try to keep it relevant and not too boring (but no promises there).

Will that, I shall say adieu and I look forward to our next gathering.

And remember:

Live today like there’s no tomorrow!

Stan

A Musical Life Through My Eyes, a Little History Part “the Final!”…

Ok, here it is. The final (?) part of this little history of my musical upbringing.

I saw the Beatles on August 25th, 1966. Wow! What an event that was. Not so much for the music, because you could actually hear very little of that (it was the days before massive sound systems that buried everything with sheer volume) but more for the extraordinary experience of the fan’s reaction to the band. Mayhem is probably a bit too subtle a word to describe the energy. The screaming was intense, the excitement was palpable, and the love for the group felt very genuine.

There was a great contrast to this when I had the pleasure of a Jimi Hendrix concert on February 12th, 1968 at, what was then known as, the Seattle Center Arena. The energy was certainly real there too, but much more subdued. I suspect this was due, in part, to the popularity of what was called, “controlled substances.” However you slice it, it was a turning point concert for me. I had been listening to early Beatles, Elvis and the Beach Boys mostly at that point. Hendrix turned me on the way that music could go in a totally different direction and still be exciting and successful.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege of experiencing some of the greats in concert, including: Led Zeppelin, the Who, Rush, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Alice Cooper, Yes, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, only to mention a very few. All of these musical experiences shaped who I am as a musician today. This, combined with my love of classical, jazz, country and all manner of rock and pop masters, continues to guide my way as a musician. There’s good in all styles. You just have to be open to it.

Well, I guess I fibbed a little. I find that when I reach this point in the story, that there may be, indeed, a little bit more to add. So…tomorrow, I’ll move it closer by another step in, “A Musical Life Through My Eyes, a Little History Part-the Final-B” ; )

See you then!

Don’t forget now…

Live today like there’s no tomorrow!

Stan

A Musical Life Through My Eyes, a Little History Part 2…

In the unlikely event that you saw my the maiden voyage into blogging yesterday, you may notice that I have changed the title. The original title was: The Truth About Music. I decided to changed because, I suspect each person will have their own truth about what music means to them and to their life. Instead I have opted for: A Musical Life Through My Eyes. After all, this is being written from my point of view.

This post is one of the more difficult that I will write, if not for the only reason that it is the day after I composed the first one; the one where I stated publicly that I would commit to doing this. So often, I have promised myself that I’d do something, only not to follow through. Self disappointment and regret always ensue. My daughter insists that writing this may, not only be cathartic for me, but maybe some of my experiences may resonate with you. Thus I continue…

The reason for this continued history (which will not persist, I promise) is to help you see a little bit where the person writing this is coming from: physically, emotionally, and spiritually (not necessarily in that order).

Although in my early years (say 5 to 12-ish) was raised around country music from the deep south. Artists like: Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash (who originally lived about 10 miles from me in Arkansas), Ferlin Husky, Jimmy Rodgers, and Hank Williams (the original, not the son).

My dad, being an army guy was sent to his final duty station for Fort Lewis, Washington (in the days before it was combined with McChord Air Force Base). that was very late 1963. The radio was soon buzzing with a new “mop headed” group from England (of all places! After all, we were Americans). The Beatles were probably the first major musical influence in my life (as they were and continue to be for so many musicians around the world). I sat smack dab in the middle of the British invasion. There are many resources from which to learn about that, so I’ll just do a bit of a leap. But I’ll do that tomorrow. I’m told by my faithful guide (yes, you guessed it, my daughter, Cherilyn “Rian Quinn” Williams) that I shouldn’t get too windy at one sitting. I’ll try to tie this history thing up in the next post. Hopefully, as it all unfolds, you’ll see the relevance of this background.

Have an awesome day and I’ll see ya tomorrow!

Don’t forget:

Live today as if there were no tomorrow!

Stan

 

A Musical Life Through My Eyes, a Little History Part 1…

On the advice of my most trusted confidant (who just happens to be my daughter) I’ve decided to start a blog. I’ve never done this before, so it will be an interesting journey. A few questions that I have asked myself before this undertaking are: What to do I have to offer that is worth writing about? Am I willing to make a commitment to the project and stick with it long term? Am I willing to share personal stories about my experiences dealing in successes and failures with perfect strangers? The answer to one and all is…yes. So, hear we go on a new, and I hope to be fulfilling adventure in the world of blogging.

My name is Stanley Williams. I usually go by Stan (or dad, if my daughter speaks to me or occasionally Gizmo if my wife is harassin…er, lovingly addressing me), but in the end I’m not really too picky about my title. Maybe I’ll share my age with you somewhere down the road, but for now I think I’ll let it sit and simmer as a minor mystery. I can tell you a little about my background though. I was born in Memphis, Tennessee in the year 19…oops! You thought you had me there, didn’t you? Ha! Not that easy to trap (at least not usually). I was an army brat, my dad having spent 20 plus years there. As a result, we travelled far and wide. Being a musician from a very young age, I began to rack up experiences along the way and, hopefully, a little sage wisdom that I can share on this blog site.

I had two uncles, down in the glorious old south that played country & western guitar. I was naturally drawn to that (though I’ve expanded my horizons considerably since then). My mom and dad ordered me a cheap-o guitar from Sears & Roebuck (as it was called back in the day) that quickly became my best friend. My uncle Ted showed me how to tune it and pluck a couple of chords. My uncle Cecil showed me how to strum using a quarter as a guitar pick (do we have any Queen fans out there?). The rest, as they say, is history. Been plucking the thing for a good long time now (sometimes I still even use a quarter).

Ok then. There is the brief history or me. I’ll be back tomorrow to continue the saga and get started saying something that you might even find of value.

See ya tomorrow!

Don’t forget:

Live today as if there were no tomorrow!

Stan

Welcome to Academy of Guitar!

Stanley Photo

Hello! My name is Stanley Williams. I’d like to welcome you to Academy of Guitar and thank you for coming to visit. Please take a moment to look over the website. Hopefully it will provide the answers that you may have concerning music instruction, as well as other services. I hope you enjoy your visit and thank you once again.

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