I’d rather be strummin’

The Red Baron's greatest foe's instrumentAll I wanted for my birthday this year were guitar lessons.

I didn’t get them.

My wife intended to plot for some via my bluegrass lovin’ buddy japs, but never devised a good game plan to surprise me. At least now she knows it’s on my unwritten list of things I would like to do. Too bad her list of things I have to do takes precedence. Picking strings comes somewhere after painting the house and renovating the bathroom. So let’s just schedule classes starting around Christmas … 2007.

Japs is amused by my interest. To prove it’s not a fleeting fancy, I put together a list of 10 songs I’d like to learn to play on guitar. Call it my six-stringed syllabus (the theme song to King of the Hill is assumed, of course).

No. 10. Songs this good shouldn’t be this brief.

No. 9. One of my favorite all-time singers and all-time favorite songs.

No. 8. Yes, I would dance while playing. I may even wear a leather jacket.

No. 7. Great video, especially considering one of the singers died before it was shot. If I remember correctly, when he sings the train goes in a tunnel and it gets dark. Eerie effect.

No. 6. Not a major part of the song, but the few licks heard add something oh so right and funky.

No. 5. Great song to inspire a bout of depression.

No. 4. Just to make japs groan.

No. 3. Whenever I meet someone who can play guitar, I always ask if they can play this.

No. 2. One of the greatest songs ever.

No. 1. I once saw him play this on Saturday Night Live. I bought the CD just for this one song. If I had a top 5 song list, this is on it. And no, I couldn’t name another song by him. None.

Once I had my fingers calloused by those songs, I’d experiment. For instance, I’m pretty sure you could play this base line on guitar. And then there’s this.

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