A career change for CaveGuy

Well it was a sad day when Eddie Van Halen passed on; his virtuoso guitar playing made him a Rock God to those who believed in Rock and Roll.

His name along with Hendrix, Joe Walsh, and Eric Clapton inspired thousands of teenagers to save their money and buy their first guitar. I was one of those kids with long hair, acne, and a dream.

Here is something not many people know. When I first went to the University of Utah, I went on a music scholarship, but I noticed all the musicians were strumming on the street corner or in the pizza place.

The engineers seemed to have a car and nice pocket protectors, so I sold out my dream, chose my career based on a pocket-protector, and with gentle career counseling from my too-kind-and-loving wife and a firm whack across my forehead.

So, I’ve always had a dream of being a Rock and Roll star, and with EVH out of the way I decided to take my shot.

Just in case you think this is a pipe dream, this isn’t my first gig. When I was in high school I had a band and we practiced in my garage. That alone should qualify my mother for heaven.

We couldn’t get the Salt Palace booked, but we managed to convince the principal that he should let us play for a school assembly. It was our first gig – well, to be truthful, it was our last gig too.

I know I should be grateful for my 30 years in a cubicle farm writing inspiring memos and policies. But whenever I daydreamed, I just wanted to turn up my amplifier, hop like Chuck Berry across the stage, and get a tattoo (I am afraid of needles).

My too-kind-and-loving wife convinced me that I would be so much happier being a law-abiding, voting, contributing member of society with a 30-year mortgage, a dog, a cat, a turtle, and several kids.

So I signed up for my 401K and never looked back. But I never sold my guitar.

I’ve been biding my time waiting for the stars to align so I could make a break for it. Now, 30 years later EVH dies and there is a void in the Rock and Roll world.

Okay, I admit I am a little rusty, but I figure it’s like riding a bike – you never really forget.

So I called my friend Lisle Crowley and scheduled my first guitar lesson in 35 years.

Now this is where the story gets weird. A young Mr. Crowley was in the audience of that school assembly, and our band lit a fire to his dream and inspired him to become a guitar player and professional musician.

He followed his dream; he plays guitar with his band and also for the musicals held at Tuachan.

Even weirder, I gave him lessons when he was young and taught him how to play Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” Now the student becomes the master, and the circle of life is complete.

I have to admit I have some challenges. Yeah, yeah, I know I have the good looks of Antonio Banderos and I have the gyrating hips of Bruno Marks, but there is only one small problem... I can’t keep the beat to music.

I can play the right note but never at the right time. You would think, statistically speaking, that in a four-minute song at least one note at the right time would occur.

It is a weird math anomaly, like my youngest granddaughter who puts on her shoes every morning and has never ever put them on the right feet.

I am so bad at keeping the beat to music that they won’t let me be in the church choir. Is that even possible?

I asked the choir director, “What would Jesus do?”

He told me in no uncertain terms, “Well it is a big assumption on your part that Jesus is going to let you into heaven.

“But if by some miracle you slip in on a technicality, I’m sure there are other jobs in heaven, maybe in the maintenance department, that do not require musical talent.”

His decision to oust me from the church choir is still under appeal. 

So I pulled out my old guitar and started playing some of the classic rock I grew up with. I attracted two ragged-looking tomcats that were caterwauling (that cross between a meow, yowl, howl, and whine) along with my tune I was singing.

They were struggling to keep time with me, I dunno. I worked my way up to the crescendo of Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust,” and I pulled a muscle when I tried to do the splits...

That’s where I am now and I can’t seem to get up, so I am waiting for my too-kind-and-loving wife to come home for lunch so she can help me get up off the floor.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday