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Accordion Addiction!

Eddy Yates

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And I’m not talking about the well-known compunction by both accordionists and guitarists to buy way more instruments than they need or can afford.

I’m talking about waking up in the morning and playing the accordion instead of doing all the work that’s waiting. 
I’m talking about playing the accordion after you’ve been called for supper. 
I’m talking about playing the accordion when it’s obvious that nobody wants to listen. 
I’m talking about playing the accordion two hours after you should be asleep.
I’m talking about playing the accordion in your dreams.

Is it about holding a machine that breathes with you?
Is it about feeling the vibrations of music in your chest?
Is it about the satisfaction of learning something new?
Is it about the satisfaction of playing something old?
Is it about the comfort of a well-known friend?
Is it love?

Okay, that’s enough, but feel free to add your own lines to this “list poem”.
But after a recent piano concert I gave, I was messing around with my Tiger Combo near the end of the reception and drew a small group. One of them had just retired and said he was bored, he had no challenges and he was depressed. I recommended that he learn the accordion. No joke, but also no teacher for a hundred miles.
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hi Eddy,

"Is it love?" Sure ..... Why not?

My affair with my herd of accordions seems rather less intense than your own, but no less sincere. I often think about accordions in my quiet times, and even dream about becoming a good player.

Our relationship is based on mutual respect and understanding. My accordions aren't very good, but neither am I. We get along just fine on that basis.

Luckily for me, my better half loves accordions, (and actually thinks that I am a good player.) I would hate to disappoint her by telling her the truth.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

Tom

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It makes you feel good and life worth living.
 

losthobos

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Guilty in the first degree officer... Slap the bracelets on.... ?
 

jozz

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tears of a clown

this modest smile on my face gives the audience the impression I'm enjoying myself

in truth this mask hides a depression one can only sooth by playing the accordion
 

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losthobos

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jozz said:
tears of a clown

this modest smile on my face gives the audience the impression I'm enjoying myself

in truth this mask hides a depression one can only sooth by playing the accordion

I hear music already... Thank you
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Confession Time........

I love other things besides the accordion.

I was heavily involved in Rugby Union for a long time. 35 years as a player (until I was 52.) Several years thereafter as a coach and a club Chairman. I still go to matches, and watch every televised game I can find. My better half is the granddaughter of a former New Zealand (All Black) International, and she is almost as passionate about rugby as I am. Many of my friends are also former International players, and we all meet up regularly to re-live our glory days. Sometimes I play my accordion for them ......... old tunes, of course.

Variety is the spice of life, or so they say.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

Eddy Yates

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Stephen Hawkins said:
Confession Time........

I love other things besides the accordion.  

I was heavily involved in Rugby Union for a long time.  35 years as a player (until I was 52.)  Several years thereafter as a coach and a club Chairman.  I still go to matches, and watch every televised game I can find.  My better half is the granddaughter of a former New Zealand (All Black) International, and she is almost as passionate about rugby as I am.  Many of my friends are also former International players, and we all meet up regularly to re-live our glory days. Sometimes I play my accordion for them ......... old tunes, of course.

Variety is the spice of life, or so they say.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

Serious athlete, Stephen! Very cool. One can’t play many team sports into old age, but as you say, you can still be involved. Just finished watching my Golden State Warriors lose the NBA Championship. I played basketball and baseball all through school and sprained my knee playing basketball last summer. Have to learn that although my mind remembers what to do, my body will not respond, and I can get into big trouble. Bright moments, though, bright moments. 
Accordion is much safer. I’m sure you’ve told in the forum how you got into playing the accordion, but if you haven’t, we’d like to hear about the accordion playing rugby man, and whether you think that “football is a gentlemen’s game played by ruffians, and rugby is a ruffian’s game played by gentlemen.”
 

StargazerTony

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Hi Eddy.

you say the accordion is much safer?. You're probably young enough that you haven't hurt your back picking one up or your arm or your shoulder...I completely ignored advice my father gave me a long time ago, "don't get old"..
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hi Eddy,

The answer to your question is quite long and involved, but I will try to keep it short.

I was a folk musician in the early part of the sixties, but gave it up when I joined the British Army. Skip forward almost fifty years, when I was fully retired, I volunteered to help Soldiers who were returning from Afghanistan & Iraq to settle back into civilian life.

Some of these guys were suicidal, though most were just permanently wasted on drugs and alcohol. One or two had minor brushes with the Police and ended up in Magistrates Court. As I was a long serving Police Officer myself, and taught law as a DTO (divisional training officer) I was well placed to advise and even represent former Soldiers. I was also able to refer Soldiers suffering from PTSD to a specialist facility for treatment.

A large part of my voluntary job was centred around talking to guys who were suffering from the dreadful things they had witnessed and been involved in. They didn't trust "civvies", and would not open up to them. As a combat veteran myself, these boys knew that I fully understood their disquiet.

A number of these very confused young men clung to my wife and I , and seemed to thrive in our company. One young man of 13 Demi Br of the French Foreign Legion became almost like a son to us. He was badly wounded in Afghanistan, and two or three of his best mates were killed. Another of his friends, an American, took his own life shortly after he was discharged from the Legion.

Our young friend played the guitar, so I decided to take him to a folk club. I knew how friendly folk clubs are, and thought that involvement would help his recovery. Anyway, just to get involved myself, I bought a little 12 Bass Galotta and learned a few tunes.

I had about a dozen lessons, after which I bought a 72 Bass. Constant practice made me confident enough to get myself a 120 Bass.

I am happy to report that my young friend has recovered well from his condition, though others have been less fortunate.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

cat

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I can relate here.  For better and (typically much) worse, I've been "addicted" to playing musical instruments since I started on guitar at age 10.  I've always had an exceptionally strong compulsion and obsession to learn every musical instrument to which I had access.

Until I had children, i "justified" it by earning money playing in clubs/pubs.  Since parenthood and the restrictions from playing out late into the night, I've had little opportunity to justify spending all of my time twiddling and fiddling..

One thing I do is play at our local homeless shelter weekly - where many are similarly affected veterans.  The accordion is the perfect tool for this.
 

Tom

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You've done a great thing Stephen. You too Cat and Eddy. I too feed my accordion addiction with volunteering. It doesn't fully justify the cost of the beasts but it helps. Thanks for your sevice to humanity.
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hi Tom,

If we all try to do some good in our respective communities, the World will be a much better place.

Brenda & I play in a number of old folk's homes, and have also played for dementia groups in our local area. We have been offered money, but have always flatly refused it.

There are some really nice people on this forum ..... Just think of all the good we could do.

You keep it up, Tom, as I'm sure Cat & Eddy will do.

Best Wishes & Kind Regards,

Stephen.


Hi Cat,

I appreciate the work you have done with veterans, as I know from my own experiences how easy it is to climb into a bottle in a futile attempt to forget. I always had a strong character, so was able to get a grip on my life. Others, unfortunately, were unable to shake off their demons.

After leaving the army, I used to visit my best mate who lived in Northumberland. He had taken a 9mm through his left lung during his service, and was often at the hospital when I called. His Wife answered the door one Friday afternoon, explaining that he was at the hospital. I asked if his lung was playing up, to which she replied: "No, he's at the mental hospital."

This wasn't a weak man, in fact, he was quite the opposite. Still, it got to him in the end, and he needed treatment to set him straight again. He is fine now.

Kind Regards & Keep It up.

Stephen.


Hi Eddy,

From the first whistle to the last, rugby players endure pain. Some of the tackles would bend steel, and injuries are inevitable.

In my penultimate season, I broke three toes, two fingers and four ribs. I'm not quite sure how many ligament injuries I had, or how many yards of stitches were used to sew me up. My final season, at the age of 52, was a little bit better on the injury front, though my ribs were bust again in the last couple of weeks of the season.

Football has never interested me in the least. I do not want to upset anyone who likes football, so I had better shut up now.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

Eddy Yates

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Rugby, definitely a real man’s game!
I thought I was a pretty good American football player at age 15, but scrimmaged against one of our coaches who was a third string minor college quarterback.  He ran over me as if I wasn’t there, and I said to myself, “Oh, crap. I’m sticking with the piano.”


Stephen and all, yes, keep it up. Positivity.
 

Stephen Hawkins

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Hi Eddy,

The Rugby World Cup is almost upon us, and I expect that the USA will field a strong team again. Your representative team has had mixed fortunes, though their trajectory is definitely upward.

It is likely that one of six top tier teams will take the honours, though there are some very exciting second tier sides knocking at the door. I am thinking particularly of Georgia, Japan and Argentina, any of which is capable of causing an upset.

Brenda & I will, as always, watch every game in the competition. We lock ourselves in with a full freezer of food for the duration.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.
 

Tom

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Thanks Stephen!
 

Eddy Yates

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I have a very long story about watching England in the World Cup while I was in a small village near the River Test last year. I’m afraid now I’ll have to watch the Rugby Series!
 
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