Ted’s Thoughts on Performing

“I’m out there playing and enjoying it when I can get a party, wedding or something… though I’m still not real keen on concertizing.  It’s embarrassing. I’ve had trouble handling that much love coming at me. It’s a bit overwhelming. Everybody showering me with praise when I only occasionally think I deserved it. Crazy. People are crazy. ‘Course, I know that includes me. A wise person might say,“ take it you chucklebunny, even if you don’t think you played well–it makes up for the times when you played so beautifully and nobody cared. Lord knows you’ve had some gigs like that.” This is a not-without-some-sense attitude and I normally embrace it outwardly, but I know inside when I’ve played up to my potential and my mind wants to know why when I haven’t –so I can do my part towards making it right next time. This is more important to me than basking in the praise of others when I haven’t earned it by my standards. I do console myself in such a situation with the glow that at least I made other people feel good.”



Reflections on Performing

“I have to fight with myself too much most of the time about accepting the limelight. I can do it sporadically–give a seminar here, perform there. My particular make-up in this area is not maybe the greatest to be the recipient of so much praise & such.”


On his Solo Performance at Rocco’s (from My Life With The Chord Chemist)

“…..Ted dreaded playing the sold-out show and to my dismay did not want me to go with him or even attend the show.  He gently said that he just wanted to get it over with and get out of there. Although he was never comfortable being the sole focus in the collective intensity of a dense crowd, his anxiety was heightened, worse than ever I’d witnessed. He swore he’d never do a performance like this again. Practicing last night I thought he sounded great and I stayed awake late to listen.  As for his show, reluctantly I conceded to his wishes and here defer to his datebook notes as an account of the evening, “July 17   To Barb: bring Banana tuned one whole step low & the Gibson LAB 5.  John Pisano’s 1 Year Anniversary of Guitar Night at ROCCO’S.  John, Mundell Lowe & Herb Ellis.  HUNDREDS of guitar players there, staggering,… close to overwhelming, and stunning reaction to my not-so-great playing, just roaring approval.  They were primed to love music this night and certainly wanted to love me & the music I tried to offer which was: A Dream is a Wish, April Showers, Lover Man, When Sunny Gets Blue.  Back to Barb.”

Photo: Bob Barry/Jazzography

  1. Eric Bard
    May 4, 2010 at 6:43 pm | #1

    Great post! Was the show at Rocco’s ever recorded?

    • May 4, 2010 at 8:05 pm | #2

      Hi Eric! I don’t think so. John Pisano would have told us afterwards. I will double check, and perhaps we will both be pleasantly surprised. Barbara

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