Leominster Man Hopes New Chapter of Guitar League Strikes Popular Chord
By Peter Jasinski
LEOMINSTER -- Paul Murphy retired from a career as a manufacturing executive and small business owner about five years ago, leaving with a bucket list firmly in-hand.
“I wanted to sky dive, which I did. I wanted to ride 100 miles on my bike, which I did. And I wanted to learn how to play the guitar,” he explained. “I love the hell out of it. I enjoy the challenge and it’s one of the more difficult things I’ve had to learn how to do.”
It was an experience he not only wanted to keep going, but extend to others. He initially thought Guitar League, a national club for guitarists based in Syracuse, would have a local chapter he could join but soon learned it didn’t exist.
He’s since made it his mission to build a community of guitar lovers from the ground up. So he’s starting a chapter in Central Mass.
“Our target market is people like me. People who like to play but have no ability or desire to do the bar scene, the club scene, the open mics,” said Murphy. “And if you’re a novice player and don’t even know how to hold a pick, that’s fine too.”
The Central Massachusetts chapter of Guitar League will meet once a month at the Bull Run Restaurant in Shirley. Meetings will feature more experienced, professional players who will perform for the club and facilitate group lessons for varying skill levels of musicians.
“They do a bit of a performance, but it’s a little more like the old MTV Unplugged thing. We don’t just want them to play, we want them to talk to us,” said Murphy.
Thus far, seven professionals have signed on to attend the monthly meetings and about 70 area residents have expressed interest in attending. The chapter’s first meeting will be held on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. and will be free. After that, membership costs $75 per person, per year.
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