17
Jan

The Greatest Guitar Secret of All Time by Dan Grigor

Everyone knows about the hookers and blow but there are other perks to being “The Guitar Player.” Allow me to remind you of a few perks and then I’ll reveal The Greatest Guitar Secret of All Time.

When I was younger, I used it to get out of homework: “I still have two hours of practice.” When taking lessons, I called it homework to get out of chores. When locked up, I used “being in the band” to get out of church. When I got older, I was invited to the best parties as “The Entertainment,” and I’ve used it to get lots of free beer and food.

Click through for the SECRET

At about 22, I was part of a cool acoustic duo, Wisdom, playing great harmony covers and my early originals. We landed a regular Thursday night double-set that was perfect, playing for dinner and tips at this little hippie health food place called “The Vitamin Village.” The food was great, the audience was mellow and we made a few bucks in the hat. We closed them, then headed over to “Mom’s,” a local blue-collar bar on Main Street. There was always a great crowd made up of illegal immigrants and mechanics, construction workers, welders, waitresses and clerks, and often a few kids sleeping under the pool table. We played the rest of the night for beers and tips.

Troubadour style, we wandered around the place, singing requests for people who would buy us beers or drop a buck in my hat. Some nights we would be in the middle of a crowd of 40 people in the tiny bar, elbow-to-elbow fans all around us singing and jumping up and down, stepping on each other’s feet, banging into me and my guitar, dancing and buying us shots or beers. The bartenders would keep us stocked in free imported beer and shots until closing, then give us the cash for all the drinks we didn’t drink and we’d tip them back a healthy chunk.

 

Wisdom from 30 years ago – Hugh Bodurtha and Dan Grigor

 

Often there was a great after-party somewhere and we wouldn’t get home until early in the morning.
So, when all was said and done, every Thursday night for months we had a gourmet, healthy dinner and a thick homemade fruit smoothie, followed by free drinks with really fun people who loved us, and we each made enough money that the wives didn’t mind us being out till 4 am. Not bad.

Both places are long since gone, but I will always remember that time of life as one full of great music and great friends. I was young, working hard all day at the music store, giving guitar lessons in the afternoon to every kid in town. Thursdays were great; on Friday and Saturday nights we did four-hour sets at the local pizza place for cash, pizza and pitchers of cheap beer. We were living the dream: making money playing music.

Sure, there are plenty of little perks to being The Guitar Player and I’m sure you have some of your own. You should share. Free drinks and great parties aside, let me tell you the best perk of all. I really shouldn’t say this out loud. I’m giving away a treasured secret. A secret handed down to me and one I now hand down to you. It is a secret. You need to understand the power of what I’m going to tell you next. You need to promise not to just blurt this out in public or abuse the privilege. Promise? Okay, here it is, the greatest guitar secret perk: all you have to do is convince her that doing dishes ruins your guitar player calluses and you never have to wash a dish again.