Rural Missouri - March 2013 - (Page 40)

N E I G H B O R S Guitar therapy Losing his eyesight made Dave Reeves a better musician drummer to sit in with us,” Dave says. “Drummers are iffy and we couldn’t keep one. His mother said, ‘Billy’s not here, he’s on the road playing with some band tep through the doorway at called America.’ And he still is.” Dave Reeve’s house in Maryville, Dave recalls his musical education, and you immediately know you which was anything but formal. “It was are in the home of a musician. all the school of hard knocks. I remember That’s because a cleverly positioned guitrying to figure out how to do a vibrato tar plays the opening chord from The on a guitar. I knew this guy doing ‘SunBeatles’ “Hard Day’s Night” when the shine of Your Love,’ by Cream, you know, door opens. Eric Clapton. They were on the ‘SmothIf the famous chord doesn’t tip you er’s Brothers Show,’ and I’m watching off, the upstairs room where Dave gives Clapton do his thing. That’s how he does guitar lessons certainly will. Guitars it! I went to my bedroom, grabbed that hang from the walls and are tucked into old Silvertone and about bloodied myself corners, leaving just enough room for trying to figure it out. You learned a lot of two chairs. stuff just watching TV in those days.” Some are common flattops, the kind Dave also learned by playing with you used to order from a Sears catalog. Charlie Ingram, a World War II veteran Others are rare museum pieces, vintage who lives in nearby Shenandoah, Iowa. Les Paul Gibsons and Fender Telecasters. Dave was fascinated by Charlie’s Gib“This is my first influence,” Dave son Les Paul guitar. “Here’s this skinny says, picking up an old Silvertone. 100-pound kid with long hair, bell bot“That’s my dad’s old guitar. Dad bought tom pants and probably a tie-dyed shirt. that guitar new in 1950. I was born in He let me in, let me hold that guitar. Oh, 1951, so as far back as I can remember, I just fell in love with it.” that guitar has been around.” The two still make music together, and The old guitar inspired Dave to a life Dave’s collection now includes a “Charlie devoted to music. Likewise, he’s been an guitar,” this one a custom historic re-issue inspiration to hundreds of people who handmade by Gibson. Dave’s collection have turned to him for guitar lessons in numbers around 60, prompting many of the northwest Missouri town. his students to ask, “Why so many?” “I had expected on my first lesson I “Let’s say I pick this one up,” Dave would be learning to read music,” says says. “I might be playing rockabilly or Melissa Hull, one of Dave’s students. pedal steel licks or country. My mind “Not with Dave. We actually learned a goes to that. When I pick up a Les Paul, song, and it was a song I liked. Dave’s Musician and teacher Dave Reeves didn’t let adversity interfere with his masI’m thinking more blues or rock stuff. personality is what really makes him tery of the guitar. Though legally blind, he’s well-known in northwest MisWhen I pick up this one, I might be great to be around, and from a student’s souri for his ability to play just about any style of music on his many guitars. thinking jazz. They have different tones point of view, so easy to learn from. that lend themselves to different styles of I have been taking lessons with Dave music, and in my mind, it’s like putting on a dif“This has just been a hobby that has paid off,” for over a year now, and I truly look forward to ferent hat.” he says. “Thankfully, I had this hobby that turned lessons every Monday.” Dave plays with a band called the Rhythm into a source of income after I lost my eyesight.” Students know Dave’s had to overcome a lot of Kings, mixing things up with a blend of counDave grew up listening to his father strum old adversity in his life — he is legally blind. try and rock ’n’ roll. While he favors rockabilly standards from Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Twenty years ago, Dave came down with pneumusic, he can play just about anything, which Family. “The first song I ever learned to play was monia, which weakened his immune system. This explains the demand for his lessons. ‘Wildwood Flower,’” Dave says. “Mom told me, ‘I led to an attack on his eyes by a fungus. Doctors His students have included his own son and don’t care what you learn to play as long as you tried to end the destruction using laser surgery, daughter. Recently, he bought his grandson a toy learn “Wildwood Flower.” In my eyes, you will but the damage was already done. guitar with the hopes he too will learn to play. then be a guitar player.’ So there was my lofty “I’m not 100 percent totally in the dark,” he At 61, Dave is philosophical about the path goal, right there!” says. “It’s my center vision that’s affected.” • his life has taken. He says music has helped When The Beatles hit the U.S. As his vision worsened, Dave feared he would Maryville him through some hard times. in 1964, Dave was impressed with no longer be able to play the guitar, which he how their guitar licks made the girls calls “the love of my life.” Panic set in as he “It’s probably been the best psychiatrist slowly lost the ability to see what his hands were scream. He bought a Silvertone like his I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot of things dad’s and taught himself to play by doing with the strings. to deal with over the years,” he says. “I’ve had marital problems, a brother watching TV music shows such as “Hul“I would come up here and shut the lights off pass away at a young age, a father and play in the dark,” he says. “That was kind of labaloo” and “American Bandstand.” pass away. There’s been a lot of things challenging at first. But it made a better guitar He played with several garage bands player out of me.” and crossed paths with the group Kansas. that would drive most folks to drinking or dope or something. I avoided that. This has At least one of the musicians he jammed with — Before he lost his vision, Dave did facalways been my therapy, come up and do this. My Billy Leacox — went on to fame. tory work, cut meat and drove concrete trucks. guitar is my thing.” “Every once in a while, we would get this Through many careers, he held on to his music. S 40 by Jim McCarty jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - March 2013

Rural Missouri - March 2013
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
Musings in mud
The lure of tying flies
Outdoors
Out of the Way Eats
Living history
Queens of the court
Homegrown music
Hearth and Home
All about mulch
Around Missouri
Marketplace
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - March 2013

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