In a long overdue article, I give credit to an unsung hero.

Ol’ Buddha has been pretty fucking opiated. That really drives away your motivation to do some things. I’m not going to say I’m sorry for my lack of writing. If I were sorry, I wouldn’t have done it.

But, that has to change. I need to come to grips with my suffering, that is the pain, and move on. I need to rid myself of opiates.

So, I cut down and will be tapering off them. I’m stoned as fuck.

What, you don’t expect me to be sober, do you? I’m pretty sure we’ve been over that! ‘Snot like you weren’t warned. At any point in time, my going off on a bender is a distinct possibility.

I’m back from the precipice. I think… I can’t keep up the opiate train. Well, I can. LOL Oh, they’ll stuff me full of legal opiates. That’s not making it easy!

But, fuck that… I am a professional. I have obligations. I have a history of not maintaining while riding the opiate train. I need to maintain.

So, I’m not done writing… I’ve still got shit to say. It’s an obligation! If you recall correctly, I’ve told you this before! Sheesh… I obligate myself to writing. I like you, but I’m doing this for me. Not gonna lie to you. We’ve been over that!

Today, in my effort to fulfill my obligation (and to keep myself occupied for some time), I am going to write. Today, I’m going to tell you about an unsung hero of the guitar world.

When you think of music, you don’t actually recreate the lead guitar in your head. If you do, you’re a guitarist – and you think differently. Even then, you might not do that.

What your brain automatically recalls, and this is clearly demonstrated by use of MRI, you recall the riff.

Much of the time, and quite traditionally, that is played by the person who plays the rhythmic portion of the song in the most pronounced manner. In some case, the riff is played by a piano, a trumpet, the drum even, or even a pipe organ!

In the kind of music you probably listen to, if you’re reading this site, it’s the guitar. That’s the guitar riff and I’m not going to get into too much detail with that today – as I have a mission to complete with regards to that subject. It’s on my to-do list!

No, it’s the rhythm guitar. Strikingly, it’s sometimes done by a lead guitar player. Picture Iommi, picture Blackmore. More subtly, picture Jerry Garcia.

It’s the rhythm guitarist that makes you get up and dance. He tells you when to start singing along with the songs you know and love. He drives the music. He, and with him the drummer, set the pace.

I don’t listen to them. Fuck no… They’re just the rhythm guitarist! They listen to me! (That is a lie.)

You listen to them, however. They tell you when to dance. I tell you how hard and with what emotion.

You really do. When you think of a song in your head, you’re remembering the rhythm guitarist – quite frequently. Like I said, sometimes there’s a blend. Some guitarists definitely blur the line, Slash is good for that. He plays a driving rhythm and bitchin’ solos, and he’s considered a solo guitarist. (Sometimes he’s lazy.)

Izzy, is the unsung hero.

Don’t believe me? Watch, I’ll prove it.

Told you.

Want to argue?

That’s Izzy’s part (badly edited, but sufficient enough to show you).

You try playing that flawlessly and being expected to keep up with a lead guitarist,or worse, lead singer, that can’t stay on script. You try playing that with a drummer that can barely walk to his drum kit, never mind count to four.

I play lead not necessarily because I’m good, but because I’ve earned my way to that position by putting my work in. I treat them well and I do actually often rely on them to make sure I don’t get lost. My fake book doesn’t tell me everything. Lots of times, they make sure I keep my timing precise – as does the drummer.

I’m fortunate. I really am. The people who occupy those positions are professionals who take their shit seriously. Without any one of us, or any band member really – except maybe the damned bass player (I kid), we couldn’t do the things we do.

They write the sentences, and we provide the punctuation Without them, we don’t say nearly as much. There is nothing wrong with aspiring to be a good rhythm guitar player. In fact, it’s a significant challenge. It’s also a lot like work.

They get plenty of chicks too. Don’t worry ’bout them any. The lead guitarist doesn’t get ’em all. The ladies notice when you’ve got good rhythm. 😉

I have been with bands where the rhythm guitarist, which was me, was not given nearly enough respect. We often are the people who hold the band together. When the lead guitarist and lead singer get into a fight on stage, we’re the ones that remind them we’re playing music. When they get too fucked up to remember the words, we make sure the audience still knows what song it is we’re at least trying to play.

It’s fucking horrible. If you’re in a band, don’t do that.

And, again, that’s why you want professionalism. That’s what really holds you together. That’s what keeps you getting fed. That’s what keeps paying your rent.

Which leads me back around to opiates. They’re an occupational hazard! We’ve been over that! Eventually, for pretty much everyone, they sap your professionalism. You can only chip for so long. Eventually, you stop maintaining.

I am seeing the warning signs and justifying it by my injury. “Oh, I don’t have to be motivated. I can just sit here and get high as balls and ignore my to-do list. I have an excuse. I’m injured!”

I can’t do that. I have obligations.

Which means I’m pretty sure I’m going to go back to writing. It’s not a big burden, and it’s good for me to have that obligation taking my time. That’s time I’d otherwise be finding excuses to lay down, use a tablet, and just be high as fuck. The leg still hurts. The only difference is I’m high as balls. It’s going to hurt for a long time, maybe even life. I can’t just go through life high as balls. Oh, I’d like to. Don’t get me wrong. I just can’t do that.

So, I’m going to obligate myself to writing this today – and I’m going to obligate myself to submitting this today. I am going to post this at the usual sites and that means I’m obligating myself to respond for some period of time. I’ve gotta get back to keeping myself busy. Doing nothing is just a bad idea for me, doubly so if I’ve got a shitton of opiates – and a legal right to have them. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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