Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, October 7, 2003 10:59 pm

Three chords and the truth, or, Look, Ma! No dexterity!

My nascent rock ‘n’ roll career pretty much died in April 1974, when the first three fingers of my left hand were crushed in the door to my eighth-grade homeroom. Accidentally, but still. Oh, sure, I could still play guitar after a fashion once the stitches came out and the bandages came off and the nails grew back in, but my skill at playing lead lines, which wasn’t all that well developed to begin with, pretty much disappeared thereafter. (Hell, my skill at typing, only acquired the previous semester, pretty much disappeared thereafter, and I only got that back after about a decade of effort.)

Anyway, I started looking then for great rock songs in which the guitar part isn’t terribly complicated — chords only, or chords plus, at most, a manageable, rhythmic lead line with no complicated solos. There are both fewer and more of these than you’d think.

Once I had a great long list. But I’ve lost it. Here are the few I can remember, in no particular order:

  • “Night Moves,” Bob Seger
  • “Girl of My Dreams,” Bram Tchaikovsky
  • “All the Small Things,” Blink 182
  • “Baba O’Riley,” The Who
  • “Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars),” REM

Additional suggestions welcome. I’d like to amass a total of at least 45 minutes’ worth, that being the typical length of the typical opening act’s set, so that any of you who lust after rockstardom without being, like, talented can at least go get a gig opening for someone with talent to see whether the business is for you. Cuz I’m all about helping out like that. (I’m also flat unable to get to sleep tonight, which is why I’m posting this at all, let alone doing it right this second.)

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