The Harmonica Incident:

My love for music started at a young age. The first song I can remember hearing on the radio in my parent’s Arrow was Juice Newton’s “Queen of Hearts”. Father let me carry around his RCA tape recorder, and I played his cassettes of Don Williams and Mel Tillis over and over. I remember standing outside, pondering the arcane lyrics to “Ring of Fire”. I don’t recall exactly where I first heard a harmonica played, but by my first memory of the instrument, I was pretty sure I had a solid idea of how to play one. My parents were watching the television, so Father handed me his harmonica and said that I could play it, so long as I went back to their bedroom and closed the door. Once on my own, I blew into the instrument in my best approximation of a heartfelt live performance. I knew I wasn’t very good at it, but having control over the sounds the harmonica made was intoxicating. After having my fill of that fun, I took the musical instrument back to Father, and handed it to him. He took a quick glance at it and said “Well you could have at least wiped your spit out of it.” but when he looked again, he saw something else. Emulating the performers I had seen on the television shows my parents watched, such as Hee-Haw, I had used the harmonica without using my hands. Without a proper harness, I used what I had available, namely my teeth. “You’ve chewed the metal up.” Father said. “Well, it’s ruined now.”