Marky is allowing me to add or remove a note from a chord and still count it as one chord. Last night he asked me how the challenge was going, and he told me that I should be able to write a one-chord song in 15 minutes. Now, I could blame it on the fact that I had to remove the guitar strings, re-screw the input, and restring my guitar (yes, I fixed the Bubinga ALL BY MYSELF! I can so play with the boys!), but perhaps I am trying too hard. So, I turned off the television and pulled out the lil’ pink guy (but only after spending a few hours checking out how my Chili Dog octave pedal sounds with my fixed Bubinga) and placed my fingers over the notes in the formation of a C-chord
After another hour of picking around, I started randomly strumming, adding a finger here, taking away a finger there, until I found something aurally pleasing. Marky says that is the easy part. I then placed the guitar beside me on the bed, and I opened my journal. I spent the next few minutes staring at a blank page. Then, I checked Twitter and Facebook on my iPhone. I responded to some text messages. I listened to Etta James, and I watched some White Stripes videos. When I was finally finished messing around, I finally picked up the pen and scribbled a few random words such as: hurt, head, bed, and arm. Then, I started humming, and meanwhile I thought about a trip to London that I took over three years ago.
I spent three days with a friend in Surrey then got a hotel room in London on Old Street, but instead of staying there I went out with to the Good Mixer pub in hopes to run into another friend whom I had met on my last visit. He introduced me to his lovely friend (are you still following?) whom I stayed with on Chalk Farm Road that night. I made it back to my hotel with just enough time to check out and check into another hotel in Belsize Park. I was restless, but I remembered a suggestion to check out the Boogaloo bar.
The Boogaloo bar is located in Highgate, a village in north London. I suppose there was an easier way to get there, but being foreign, I got directions from my bellhop and took the train to the Archway tube station. It took me a while of wandering around in the dark by myself to find this infamous bar. After about a 15 minute walk straight down Archway Road, I came across a charming little juke-joint with a small sign that unassumingly proclaimed: the Boogaloo!
I walked inside, and my eyes took a moment to adjust. The room was amber lit with modest neon signs and some candle light. A handful of people occupied the cozy space, some in the corner, a few at the bar and one or two making use of the red couches in the center of the room. I could not help but notice the tall, angular gentlemen sitting on one end of the bar. There was something about him. It was not that he was wearing tweed or that his bright orange hair seemed to catch fire, illuminated as it was by the amber light. It was, rather, the soft curves in his face, and the way he slouched over the bar with a pint of Guinness in front of him that suggested an air of defeat. I thought he must be waiting to melt into the floor, and I let my eyes linger on him momentarily as I carefully chose a seat all the way at the other end of the bar. Continue reading