A Great Memory of the Jackson Five & 1984

Today in 1970, “ABC” by the Jackson Five was released.  Is there anyone out there that doesn’t love a good Jackson Five song?  When I was in second grade, I had to see Michael Jackson.  He was a part of the Victory Tour that year. It must have been 1984. My parents were totally into it. They flew us to Buffalo, New York. It was my first concert.  We had nosebleed seats, but I remember the experience. How amazing…to watch Michael Jackson dance. He had on his glove. I LOVED him!  He would get all caught up in the microphone cord and would do this crazy twirl to get out of it. I could see only because of a huge screen above our seats.  I also remember that we stayed in the same hotel as Michael and his brothers. The lady at the the hotel diner told me that I had “just missed him” or that “Michael Jackson had just left out the back door.”  Looking back at that now, I know there was no way the Jackson Five was staying at that same hotel… but I did believe it then, and that may have been the coolest experience my parents could have ever given me at that time in my life.  I wonder who that will be for my kids.  Justin Bieber?  Taylor Swift?  Will I be as cool as my parents were and take my kids?  What is your favorite Jackson Five memory?   First concert memory?


Looking for a Chinese Instrument to Celebrate Chinese New Year?

While looking online for a Chinese instrument played with a pick (all inspired by today, as it is the first day of the Chinese New Year, and of course, we are Pick Punch) I found the most awesome videos of a girl, Michelle Kwan, playing the guzheng.  The guzheng is a Chinese plucked zither.  A zither is a stringed instrument, which can be played by plucking or with a bow.

Check out this video of Michelle Kwan playing “Sweet Child of Mine”

And, here she is covering Metallica’s “One”

Happy Chinese New Year!


Anthrax’s Scott Ian excerpt from Guitar Interactive Magazine

I found this article online and thought it was interesting to hear Scott Ian’s answer to what advice he would give to up and coming guitarists…regarding especially what he thought about social media skills playing an important role in becoming successful.
Here is  some of the article from ultimate guitar.com originally found in Guitar Interactive magazine.
I wouldn’t know. I don’t know what to tell somebody these days, because so much of the stuff… The Internet didn’t exist when I was coming up and when Anthrax started, and for years and years and years, so… We were a band for… Let’s say, if you wanna say, around ’97 or ’98, when the Internet kind of started becoming a tool that a band could use in a myriad number of ways, we were a band for 17 years before that became even something anyone knew of. So I have no idea. I don’t know anything about any of that stuff.“The only thing I can say to anyone is just play what you love. Play what makes you happy. That’s all I ever did, and that’s all I know most of the people I know in bands ever did. Granted, we’re from a different time. So, these days, I don’t know. I don’t know…”He continued: “Do you need to know how to use social media to be a guitar player? I don’t even understand what that means?

My attitude is, play what makes you happy and practice songwriting. Write songs.

I look at guitar probably in a completely different way than most people, and probably most of the people that read your magazines.

I would rather listen to Malcolm Young play an A chord than anything else on guitar – than anything, other than maybe Eddie Van Halen.

I’m a caveman when it comes to guitar.

Guitar, for me, has only ever been a tool to write songs. Guitar is a tool used to create music and to play with other people. That’s what guitar is for me. That’s what makes me happy as a guitar player.

If you’re a kid who wants to learn how to shred like… I don’t even know who… whatever is the new-school… I don’t know who’s the best lead guitar player out right now under 30 years old. There’s these super-technical bands with eight strings. Like, I know a band… And I’m not being negative about them, but I know there’s a band called Periphery, and I’ve heard of them, and I’ve heard some of the stuff, and I get it. From a technical standpoint, it’s amazing! But it’s not something I personally am gonna go home and put on. I totally respect it and I appreciate it, and I understand why kids are getting into that.

Ian added: “So, basically, what I’m saying is… it’s just what makes you happy. If that makes you happy, then do that. If Malcolm Young makes you happy, then do that. You know what I mean?! That’s all I cared about when I was a kid. I played guitar for fun; that’s all it was. And, truthfully, I didn’t become a lead guitar player, and I didn’t focus on that, because the work wasn’t fun for me. I just wanted to get up there and rip big chords and just do what makes you happy. That’s the best advice I can give.


Best Gift for Valentine’s Day

A Pick Punch is the perfect gift for both men and women. The Pick Punch can be used for exactly what it was intended…creating custom picks to play musical instruments. OR the Pick Punch can be used in a crafty recycling project way.  So, if your guy or gal is a musician, the Pick Punch is the way to go.  If your guy or girl is crafty, then craft away with this amazing tool…make earrings, make necklaces, art, a chandelier….the possibilites are endless.  And the price is right.  Need inspiration?  Check out Pinterest. Type in “guitar pick” You won’t be disappointed and either will your Valentine.