[Harp-L] What first attracted you to harmonica? Why did you learn to play it?

Michael Rubin michaelrubinharmonica@xxxxx
Sun Mar 5 12:24:32 EST 2017

I was  probably around five when I saw a plastic banana harmonica.

I was around 10 when John Sebastian Jr.  played Welcome Back Kotter on the
John Davidson show.  He played harp and then threw it away over his back.
Then he pulled out another harp and threw that one away.  Fascinating.

I was 15 and a camp counselor.  My boss brought a harp to work and let me
see it.  Instead of playing it for a few seconds, I took it to a corner and
played for a half an hour.  A kid walked by and said ,"Wow!  Are you a

A half a year later I bought Jon Gindick's Country and Blues Harmonica for
the Musically Hopeless.  From the first moment I played it that day,  I
knew it was my thing.

The same boss lent me a John Lee Hooker record.  Zero harp.  I loved it and
said, "I don't care if harmonica has never been played in blues, I'M going
to play harmonica in blues!"

I went to the record store.  It became evident immediately that harmonica
and blues were connected.  The blues section might as well have said
"Michael Rubin's section"  because every allowance dime went there.
Michael Rubin

On Sun, Mar 5, 2017 at 9:42 AM, Slim Heilpern <slim at xxxxx> wrote:

> Great stories, everyone!
> Hear’s mine (in short form):
> I had been playing at a very beginner level ever since my dad gave me his
> one of his well-used super chromonica 270’s when I was 5 years old. I
> played it a lot for a while but had set it aside once I started playing
> guitar at age 8. But then in my late teens I was listening to a Django
> Reinhardt compilation and two songs came on featuring Larry Adler, who I
> was familiar with via some pop and classical 78s/EPs that my father had in
> his collection. But here he was swingin’ hard along with Django and I was
> stunned enough by the performance to get out my old chromatic and start
> practicing. Not long after I started listening to Stevie Wonder and then
> Toots. Those 3 gentlemen were and remain, all these years later, a huge
> inspiration to me. Between them, it’s all there.
> - Slim.
> > On Mar 2, 2017, at 7:38 PM, Dan Hazen <bluesmandan76 at xxxxx> wrote:
> >
> > I wonder what your stories are...

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