In the beginning..

IMG_1751Jesse age 5

When Jesse was 6 he wanted to play the guitar there was an offer from a school to give kids 2 years of free music classes but there was a limited amount of seats, So we did the fifty cent tour signed up and crossed our fingers!

A few weeks later we got a letter from the school it said: He did not get the guitar class he wanted instead he got the viola class. Well at least it had strings and Jesse said that he would try it anyway hell it was a free class.

We showed up the following Friday only 2 kids showed for the class I guess the other kids didn’t care if it was free.

The method they were going to learn was called the Suzuki method. The  first month they rarely got to hold a viola they practice taking bows with an invisible viola for 45 minutes  another 2 classes learning the name of parts of the viola, another was how to stand holding it. at this point were on the fence about investing in this kind of fiddle Jesse hated it. It was boring and Jesse kept asking when could he try to play one. So we went to the music store to take a look at one to buy…20 mins later I walked out the store with an instrument and it was not a viola it was a guitar!

As soon as we got to the store he wanted try the guitar and there was no turning back he was happy!

Needless to say we drop out of the viola class and was able to switch it to chorus we he thought might be fun hell we seen glee on TV!

After a couple of twangs on the on the guitar at home I knew Jesse was gonna need some help I have about 5000 people on my personal Facebook page most are music fans or musicians or in the industry, so i put a quick post on FB and within 15 minute I got about 30 replies from people offering to teach Jesse or recommending someone. They send links to their YouTube videos and resumes, it felt like they were auditioning for Jesse! at that point i said why not treat it like an audition? and let Jesse pick who he thinks he would get along with. so I called him over Hey Jesse come on over here you have to pick your teacher.

we watched video after video boring , mm maybe.. then he said yes! that guy let’s try him out the guy had a lip ring white spiky long hair tons of eye liner

red nail polish and spikes I looked at Jesse OK you sure? he said yes I said  good choice! so I called him up and set a date and a time to come over and try him out.

Then Jesse’s mom came home and I told her that Jesse picked a teacher and she said who? I showed her the picture she said oh my god! he is going to teach Jesse?

I said yup ..she said great!

 11_04_29_eric_jayk 88104Eric Jayk

So Jesse met Eric and became pals very quickly..Eric would come over once  week to teach Jesse guitar.. and Jesse would teach Eric patience.
Eric would show Jesse scales and Jesse would show Pokemon cards to Eric, but by the end of the lesson Jesse would learn something and Eric would leave with less chewing gum in his pocket. eventually Jesse started to pick up quickly and was able to play about 17 rock songs after about 6 months.

Mean while back the music school which is called Third Street Music School  which is located on 11 st.. no I am not making this up.
Jesse was taking chorus or rather enduring it.. It was not what he had expected not like glee singing queen, Journey, or any pop songs they were singing songs that were written in the turn of the century and some more modern song by Irving Berlin the teacher who probably had been to one of Irving shows when he was just starting out she was very strict. She had rules like no hands in pockets while singing and hair behind ears. She even told to comb Jesse hair..I told her I did every Sunday!

I told Jesse to finish the classes if he did he would I would not sign him up after that. Recital was coming up the teacher told me to get him black dress pants button down shirt with a tie and  black shoes and comb his hair..I said Okie.
I went home and told my wife the recital was next week she ask what is supposed to wear I said sneakers jeans and a tee-shirt.
The Recital day came up There was Jesse all dressed up for it the teach looked at him rolled her eyes up and keep trying to push his hair behind his ears..he pulled it forward as he got up on stage the teacher cringed to was too late! he looked at me as I sat in the audience. They sang 2 songs after the last song he raise his hand and did the devil horn sign! and smiled at me. That was the end of chorus for him.

the next week he asked me when can he meet a rock star I say daddy is a rock star.. he looked at me and said I know but I want to meet a real rock star! I just look at him.. ( Even tho my band is in the rock and roll hall of fame)

His favorite song at the time was were not gonna take it by twisted sister a few weeks later we told him we were going somewhere to meet mama.
He got to meet and play were not gonna take it for Dee Snider from Twisted Sister.

  IMG_2246Jesse playing for Dee


Jesse Gunn and Dee Snider Rock star!

 7721_1262339159146_5038965_n(1)Dad wrong kind of rock star 🙁

Summer time came school was over Jesse got a break Eric was on tour after the summer was over we talked with the admission office and begged them to put Jesse in a guitar class with some string pulling Jesse got in!

The first day of class the teacher talked about what they were going to learn and they were going to have stickers with pictures of bugs and flowers and cups on the frets because the song book would teach kids by matching the pictures in the book to the notes on the guitar. so all the songs would be made up of pictures.

While the teacher Liam was talking about the first song which was I am a little teapot Jesse was messing around and started playing smoke on the water..I look at him I kicked his chair and told him to stop and be quite.

The teacher said what else can you play?  Jesse playing a couple of rock riffs and ended with I am a little tea-pot  Liam asked where did you learn that? from my other teacher Jesse replied and the teapot song just now when I saw you play it one time. At the end of the class the Liam approached me and said I am not sure if Jesse belongs here.

I thought oh oh Jesse was joking around too much  but The teacher said said would I consider trying him in an advance class? to read real music notes it But it would be with much older kids like 9-10 and Jesse is 7 do you think he could handle it? I was not sure I thought if he stayed he could be the big fish in the little pond and life would easy for him on But the other side of the coin if he went to the advance class he would be the small fish and it would be much harder  but would get more out of it if he struck with it. So we decided to do it and the teacher skipped Jesse a year in the next level.

We got to the class and the kids were much older the class was about reading music and Jesse was youngest by years. But he eventually caught up to them and was on the same level as them! Eric would help Jesse with his music reading and teach him rock songs and Jesse would empty Eric’s gum pack.IMG_1871IMG_1812

By the end of the year Jesse was able to teach his mom how to read music and play the guitar.

Jesse continues to practice about ten minutes a night  and still goes to the third street music school on 11 st The other kids dropped out and Jesse advanced and now also enrolled at the  school of rock and Eric is still teaching Jesse and Eric has now learn to bring a extra pack of gum.

Tommy Gunn