When I was 13 years old our family friend Margi gave me a Hohner Acoustic guitar for my birthday. I didn’t ask for it and I never imagined myself playing the guitar but it was my 13th birthday. In my culture 12 or 13 is a coming of age ritual. Well my family didn’t have enough money for me to have a Bat Mitzvah and I never went to Hebrew School to learn the Hebrew parts of the Torah so I guess she wanted me to have something special to mark the occasion.
At this time, Rick was married to Demi Moore and we were all friends. Demi and my sister Sara attended Fairfax High School together. They were close friends. Demi and my sister are 6 years older than me. They didn’t really want me tagging along with them but I used to beg to go and bug my sister “can I come?” I was used to being around older teens because I have older sisters. I didn’t relate to kids my own age. My dear sister, Demi and Rick used to sneak me into the clubs to see Rick’s band “The Kats” play. I loved it! I was so young and all these crazy people were at the shows, drinking and smoking. All I wanted to do was to dance and listen to the music. I was and still am a HUGE fan of Rick’s music, probably his biggest fan.
When Rick wasn’t playing music or busy promoting his upcoming gigs, I would take my guitar over to Demi and Rick’s apartment. Rick would teach me how to play guitar. I was just a kid and a fan and he was very patient. The first song he taught me was “Can’t Buy me Love” by the Beatles. It was pretty simple…E Minor, A Minor, and I started picking up his techniques and style of playing. I was practicing every day after school, I would arrive at their place and Demi was always busy on the phone trying to advance her career. Rick was more relaxed, drinking coffee and planning his next gig or creating new posters to plaster all over the city. I couldn’t help it; I loved to be there and to do anything to hang out with them. When Rick finished his projects, he would continue to teach me to play the guitar, so patient with a little kid. We are 17 years apart.
Margi, our family friend, who gave me the guitar, would host talent shows at her house. Everyone we knew was into the arts. As I remember it seemed like all of Margi’s friends were performers, musicians, singers, poets etc. One year we participated in the talent show. Rick and I played “Norwegian Wood” by the Beatles. It was a difficult song but I did it and felt really proud. He did it for me, his pupil.