I've been asked to perform guitar duties at the Memorial Show to the Memory of Paul Armin. Paul as many of you know was a talented guitar player out of Chicago, and had become a favorite with the entire scene. Wicked Soul, Paul's original rock band, will be performing a select few songs and have asked if I woud fill in for Paul. This is not a wasted honor on me.
Many people don't know that I've known Paul for over 20 years and that he had been a guitar tech for an early band I founded called CRYSTAL AXE. Paul's love for all things guitar was a really pure force and it was impossible to not talk guitar when we ran into each other over the years later. It was clear that he would end up being a real player from day one.
Over the years, we had a bout of unexpected interactions but we always had time for a good old conversation about guitar. Paul always treated me with high regard and hopefully I the same. He wound up being something of a manager/partner over at Walles Music- the music store/school where I studied with Len Samczyk for years. The store will always have a special place in my heart... and he turned out being influential in keeping it going, long after I was a regular there. And further back, another time, many moons ago, probably circa 1986... Paul bought some used gear from me as I foolishly sold my coveted MXR OMNI multi-effect (made before multi-effect was a word). Even as I saw him at his 2011 benefit, he even commented that he still had it. Amazing.
I will always remember Paul as an honest guitar loving kid who couldn't play enough to satisfy himself. I could always relate to that. And as we have all heard, Paul's condition finally took him from us and we all agree -way too soon.
I am honored to be asked to do this. I realize that many people were probably closer to Paul than I for the last decades. But I see it as a great responsibility to be asked. Of all the people coming to Paul's memorial, I have the honor of absorbing Paul's guitar stylings and I get to be the one to convey his original writing to the emotional crowd. Nothing but an honor. I wil do everything in my power to do it justice.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!