The Real Story


John has played guitar since he was in his early teens, having picked up the basics from his Dad. He started with folk, moved to soft rock, heavier rock and, after several decades of experimentation, back to his folk roots. Sheila, on the other hand, was raised primarily on classical and traditional music, and though she appreciated the soft rock and folkie tunes of her generation, she had never so much as plucked a string on any guitar. In fact, with the exception of a few piano and trumpet lessons, she had very little musical training and was generally content to hum along to her favourite records.

Not so for their kids. They have had plenty of musical training. The early years of three oldest boys were spent practicing various brass instruments (Sheila’s idea, of course), and they resented nearly every note they blew. One of them showed particular promise as a trumpeter, and Sheila delighted in visions of raising another Wynton Marsalis. Alas, that was not to be. He traded his trumpet for a set of drums, probably just to spite her. His two older brothers played guitar – with as much noise and distortion as humanly (or electronically) possible. Fortunately, they have a fourth son and so far, he’s still enthusiastic about the piano and the trumpet. Probably to spite his brothers. At any rate, he has revived Sheila’s cherished fantasy of attending classical concerts as the mother of the virtuoso. It’s a fantasy, remember…


Anyway, with a rock band thumping in the cellar (splitting the foundation of the house, incidentally) a husband howling in his music room (where they also keep the furnace and the water heater) and a kindergartener banging on the piano, theirs was a house with some musical tension, to say the least. Sheila always had a headache! In order to defuse this situation (or add to the chaos – depending on which way you look at it), John bought Sheila a bass guitar for Christmas. This was akin to Fred Flinstone buying Wilma a bowling ball for her birthday. To John’s credit, he bought a new bass, shiny and blue, with a decent amp to complement it. This was a major concession on his part since he’s almost always bought second-hand. But a beaten up bass wasn't likely to tempt Sheila...


That was a number of years ago. To John's amazement Sheila decided she really liked the bass. Now the only tension in the house is over which songs to play, how fast to play them and who’s responsible for that sour note…

John & Sheila Ludgate



​Tel:  1-905-634-0692



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