Dear Former College Roommates, I know this is coming about a decade too late, but it has only recently occurred to me how awful it must have been to live in a tiny freshman dorm room with some jackass who was learning to play guitar. It must’ve been especially bad when that jackass refused to take lessons from somebody who actually knew what they were doing and instead decided he could figure it out by himself. He couldn’t. He is, after all, a jackass. The following year, it must have also been annoying as fuck to live in a slightly larger Sophomore dorm with that same jackass, who had finally taken guitar lessons over the summer but still sucked at it. Unfortunately, those lessons gave the jackass enough confidence to play louder and more often despite the fact that he only knew how to play “Wish You Were Here”, “Redemption Song”, and some song off Eric Clapton’s acoustic album that wasn’t “Layla”. He could also play the very beginning to “Come as You Are” quite well, but that is not the point. It sure must’ve been a huge kick in the nuts to live with that very same jackass Junior year when he finally became competent at guitar playing but refused to learn any music you actually liked.
No Oasis, no Sublime, not even any Pearl Jam. No this jackass roommate didn’t feel like playing songs that brought joy to millions of college students nationwide. He had to learn old blues songs, atonal Phish compositions, and some jangly jug band tune the Grateful Dead covered one time. This is when he wasn’t busy making up his own unsatisfying music comprised of the 7 ½ chords he had mastered. Was it even possible for this jackass to out-jackass himself Senior year? He had already inflicted as much pain with an acoustic guitar as scientifically possible. Which is why he started taking piano lessons! Armed with a Casio keyboard birthday gift, the jackass now had a never-ending arsenal of synthesized instrument sounds to poorly play while you were trying to talk to your girlfriends on the phone – organs, grand pianos, flutes, trumpets, stand-up bases. Even a guitar setting to remind you of the good old days when he was picking “Mary Had a Little Lamb” in your ear all day freshman year. Yes, former college roommates, that jackass was me and I apologize. I wish I could tell you I ended up being some successful musician, which would’ve made the entire experience a hilarious story you could tell at parties. This is not the case.
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