Reply To: What inspired you to play the harmonica?

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#4926
Ronald JamesRonald James
Member

There is a small bookstore in San Francisco, City Lights. In the 60’s, each Saturday night one could witness reading at the back of the shop. Occasional I would make my way across The Bay Bridge and participate in whatever was going on at the Light. One of those nights Allen Ginsberg and his friend Robert Creeley were there to share their recent creations. Near the end of the evening Ginsberg shouted out, “I have a record I want you to hear.” It was Bob Dylan’s second album which had just been released, The Freewheeling Bob Dylan. No one there other than Ginsberg and Creeley had ever herd Dylan.

I left that gathering feeling that my life would never be the same. There was Ginsberg and Howl, Creeleys, Satan’s Song, and this folk singer, all poking, prodding and proselytizing with their magical words and sounds. Selecting Bob Dylan and Freewheeling may not be appropriate for this venue, since he only uses the harmonica to accentuate specific highs and lows, but it was then that I awoke to what a powerful instrument the harmonica could be.

  • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Ronald JamesRonald James.
  • This reply was modified 3 years, 10 months ago by Ronald JamesRonald James.