Bonnie's Pride and Joy

Fansite with ALL the news about Bonnie !

Raitt, Waits, Buffalo jam with S.F. schoolkids

on October 23, 2003 No comments
Joel Selvin, Chronicle Senior Pop Music Critic
Bonnie: “Little Kids Rock does a great job getting kids excited about music, picking up the slack from budget cuts to put music programs in our schools.
Bonnie: “Little Kids Rock does a great job getting kids excited about music, picking up the slack from budget cuts to put music programs in our schools.

Bonnie Raitt told the kids at Spring Valley Elementary about learning guitar when she was 8 years old. Her hands weren’t large enough to span the fretboard and make an F chord, so she learned to do it with her thumb.

“Tell Bonnie what we call the F chord,” said their guitar teacher, Laura Chinn-Smoot.

“The ouch chord,” a couple of dozen young public school guitar students said in unison.

Raitt inveigled her old pal Tom Waits to join her on piano and sing a duet of “Sweet and Shiny Eyes,” a song they knew from touring together a few years back when Jerry Ford was still president. Former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, currently playing with Ozzy Osbourne, picked up his bass, and Norton Buffalo added a little harmonica.

They were all sitting in a circle in the Russian Hill school cafeteria Tuesday afternoon, swapping songs with the music students, beneficiaries of a program called Little Kids Rock that brings music instruction to elementary schools in four states. While TV news, radio reporters and photographers recorded the session, Little Kids Rock Executive Director David Wish, a former Redwood City second-grade teacher, led the second-, third-, fourth- and fifth- graders in writing a song, while the professional rock musicians backed them up.

LittleKidsRock-logo

With the hit film “School of Rock” giving the idea of grade schoolers playing music a little precious currency, Wish pulled together some of his celebrity supporters to capitalize on his opportunity. Wish, frustrated with the lack of musical education in the school’s official curriculum, started giving free after-school guitar lessons to Redwood City students in 1996, and the Little Kids Rock idea grew from there. For the past two years, he has devoted full time to his burgeoning nonprofit. He puts out a CD every year of songs written and performed by the Little Kids Rock youngsters.

The musicians listened and applauded as the students performed a few songs, the young guitarists strumming strongly, the voices melding in that way only grade school choral groups can. When Raitt and Buffalo started jamming a shuffle, Wish grabbed a guitar and walked around showing the kids what chords to play.

The musicians all talked about how they started playing music and offered the students advice. Buffalo said his father played harmonica and his mother was a singer. Newsted, who got his first guitar for Christmas at age 9, switched to playing bass after he saw Kiss. He also described the kind of heavy metal he plays as “lots of real loud ouch chords.”

Newsted is no stranger to the Little Kids Rock program. Last April, he hosted a large group of students at a recording session at the Plant Studio in Sausalito, where he produced rock band Voivod performing one of the songs from the Little Kids Rock CDs.

Little Kids Rock - Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Norton Buffalo, Jason Newsted and Austin Willarcy (right to left) take part in jam session at the Spring Valley Elementary School in downtown San Francisco on October 21, 2003. They were there to support the program which was started by David Wish in November 1996 and is a non-profit organization that provides free instruments and lessons to disadvantaged kids in public schools. Some of the artists that serve as board members are Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, BB King and Les Paul as well as friend Carlos Santana, Bob Weir and the band, Phish among others.
Little Kids Rock – Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Norton Buffalo, Jason Newsted and Austin Willarcy (right to left) take part in jam session at the Spring Valley Elementary School in downtown San Francisco on October 21, 2003. They were there to support the program which was started by David Wish in November 1996 and is a non-profit organization that provides free instruments and lessons to disadvantaged kids in public schools. Some of the artists that serve as board members are Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, BB King and Les Paul as well as friend Carlos Santana, Bob Weir and the band, Phish among others.

Austin Willacy of hip-hop a cappella group the House Jacks encouraged the students to play instruments. “I have learned that if you sing and don’t play in a band, you don’t get heard,” he said.

Tom Waits allowed that trumpet was his first instrument and that playing bugle for the Cub Scouts was his first gig. He also recalled his first piano, a trashed upright that had been left out in the rain and was given to him even though many of the keys no longer worked.

“I was fine with that, though,” he said. “I just played the ones that were working. I used to make up little songs when I was angry or sad. I’m still doing that.”

Waits, who has children of his own, told the kids he didn’t remember how many movies he made. “I write songs for movies, too,” he said. “They’re supposed to make the movies better, but sometimes you just can’t save them.”

Raitt also encouraged the students to take lessons and do the practice. “I’m real glad I took five years of piano lessons,” she said. “Look what happened — I don’t have to work a regular job.”

David Wish and Bonnie Raitt

Source: © Copyright SFGate
0 0 vote
Article Rating

Related Posts

Take a look at these posts
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Bonnie's Pride and Joy - Facebook Group

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Video image

Wonderland - Dutch documentary on Los Angeles Music Scene 1977 ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook In 1977 the Dutch ...

Video image

Bonnie Raitt in Studio-Concert - The Wonderland Tape - Aug 5, 1977 ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Comment on Facebook Finally...here it ...

Video image

John Prine's widow on losing her husband to the coronavirus and tribute concert honoring him ... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

Comment on Facebook Revered ...

On this Memorial Day, I'd like to share the lyrics to my song "A SOLDIER AT WAR", dedicated to all the soldiers from all the wars who DIDN'T die, all those who have been living with the internal scars of their war experience. My heart goes out to you all, and I certainly do appreciate your service to our country. Is this an "anti-war song"...YES! And I dedicate these lyrics to the great Ron Kovic, author of "Born On The Fourth Of July".

A SOLDIER AT WAR

VERSE 1:
I’m a soldier at war.
I know you’ve seen my face before.
I am Red, White, and Blue.
I am black and brown and yellow too.
I have killed and I have died,
All alone and damaged deep inside.
And the child I used to be,
Was sacrificed for some insanity.

VERSE 2:
Left a boy, now half a man,
My innocence was lost in a foreign land.
I fought so hard and I fought so long,
I fought for my country, right or wrong.
In the eye of the slaughter,
No Star Spangled Banner did I see.
There is blood on the water,
It’s flowing like the blood inside of me.

VERSE 3:
In smoke-fill rooms, the Men Of Might
Will send your son somewhere to fight.
And I am one of many more,
Just pawns in a Holy War.

BRIDGE:
In a field where the food used to grow,
There’s a murder of crows.

VERSE 4
Now the war is dead and gone,
But the battle goes on and on.
And the dream that used to be
Is buried so deep inside of me.
I believed what I was told,
But all that glitters is not gold.
I still see my brother’s hand…..
Why he died, I’ll never understand.

VERSE 5….REPRISE:
I’m a soldier at war.
I know you’ve seen my face before.
Just a name and a loaded gun,
One more lost, forsaken son.
I’m a soldier at war.
I’m a soldier at war….
Just a soldier at war.
... See MoreSee Less

1 month ago

From BRHQ -- Today is release day for a brand-new 2-CD set featuring Four Classic John Raitt Albums plus Bonus Tracks on Stage Door Records! More information below and to order, please visit:
bit.ly/3aGxsVt (Domestic shipping within the U.S.)
amzn.to/2UUJZ0O (Imported from the UK)
#johnraitt #bonnieraitt #stagedoorrecords #broadway
... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

Load more

Recommended Reading

Singer Bonnie Raitt: “I’m afraid of hits”

May 21, 1977

Bonnie Raitt’s Early Years: The Big Interview

April 1, 1976

Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt Helm B.B. King Grammy Tribute

February 16, 2016

Jerry Garcia Band with Bonnie Raitt, Berkeley Greek 8.30.1987

September 1, 1987

CMT Crossroads Bonnie Raitt and Lyle Lovett – The Factory – Franklin – TN

December 15, 2005

Bonnie Raitt’s Blues

November 9, 2015

Stephen Bruton one of Austin’s best guitar players passes away

May 9, 2009

Bonnie Raitt attends the 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert at MSG – NY

October 30, 2009

Norton Buffalo Dies

November 1, 2009