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In an interview with People magazine, she once said of herself: "I may look like a nice Jewish girl from New Jersey, but inside I’m a 50-year-old, heavyset black man with a big thumb, like Wes Montgomery." ~People Mag. 1982~

Recorded for the famous Concord label, Remler's albums showcase the diverse influences of a fast-developing artist who quickly attained a distinctive jazz style on the guitar through her interpretations of jazz standards and her own compositions. Her first album as a band leader, Firefly, won immediate acclaim and her bop guitar on the follow-up, Take Two, was equally well received. Transitions and Catwalk traced the emergence of a more individual voice, with many striking original tunes, while her love of Wes Montgomery shone through on the stylish East to Wes.

When the rhythm section is floating, I'll float too, and I'll get a wonderful feeling in my stomach. If the rhythm section is really swinging, it's such a great feeling, you just want to laugh —Emily Remler

In addition to her recording career as a band leader and composer, Remler played with artists as diverse as Larry Coryell, with whom she recorded an album entitled Together, and the singer Rosemary Clooney. She played on Broadway for the Los Angeles version of the show Sophisticated Ladies from 1981 to 1982 and produced two popular guitar instruction videos. She also toured for several years in the early eighties as guitarist for Astrud Gilberto. In 1985, she won the 'Guitarist of the Year' award in Down Beat magazine's international poll. In 1988, she was 'Artist in Residence' at Duquesne University and, in 1989, received Berklee's Distinguished Alumni award. Bob Moses, the drummer on Transitions and Catwalk, said, "Emily had that loose, relaxed feel. She swung harder and simpler. She didn't have to let you know that she was a virtuoso in the first five seconds."

She married Jamaican jazz pianist Monty Alexander in 1981, the marriage ending in 1984.

Her first guitar was her elder brother's Gibson ES-330, and she played a Borys B120 hollow body electric towards the end of the 1980s. Her acoustic guitars included a 1984 Collectors Series Ovation and a nylon string Korocusci classical guitar that she used for playing bossa nova.

When asked how she wanted to be remembered she remarked:

"Good compositions, memorable guitar playing and my contributions as a woman in music…. but the music is everything, and it has nothing to do with politics or the women’s liberation movement."

Remler was addicted to opiates including heroin and dilaudid. She died of heart failure at the age of 32 at the Connells Point home of musician Ed Gaston, while on tour in Australia.


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By the way she OD'd in that bathroom, I had an internet friend who was a friend of that guy whose house she died in, and he told me exactly how and where she died and what she died of. I was guessing on a forum that she OD'd & he pvt messaged me and told me that she did die of an overdose.


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Sad but beautiful story, from the top of the mountain the great ones fall.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
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Drugs, Alcohol, Old Age, Health issues, etc., have taken many a great guitar player to the spirit world...it's sad to see them go with all the talent they take with them. We are so fortunate to have many of their performances on YouTube clips, records, tapes, DVD's, in movies, etc., preserving what they had accomplished while they were here with us. I prefer buying live DVD performances these days to remember them by, over other recorded media. cool


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Emily was a real good player, I was playing one day pretty loudly in my fathers office in Ship Bottom NJ, and during a pause in the clamor, I heard this petite little knock on the door. I opened it and there stood this beautiful young woman. She said "I was just passing by, and heard you playing and I wanted to ask you if you would like lessons for 10 bucks an hour, I am here for a week or two and I am running out of money". So I handed her my Ibanez Artist and she started playing it. Then she asked me to turn the amp down (It was a Pro Reverb or Twin Reverb turned all the way up) so I did and she started playing. After about 10 seconds I said I will take one lesson right now and one every day that you are here. She was staying at a little apartment building named Moore's Motel with 4 large style motel rooms in it, and many days I got my lesson in her room.

The main thing she taught me was to think of music in terms of "flavors", and phrasing. She introduced to a thing called the modes (which I never heard of before that day) and my first homework assignment was to create a chord progression in the Dorian Mode. So I created that in one evening, and I passed that test with flying colors.

Many days we jammed as part of our lessons. I could play the blues and rock fairly well, and when we jammed, she was floored by my ability to play "outside" (Whatever that means) which was a great ego boost for me at the time. She was stunningly beautiful to me at the time, but she was only 18 and I was in my mid 30's, so I kept my focus on music instead of my breeding urges idk which turns out to be a wise decision, because I did not know at that time she was into smack.


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DBM, Funny how a great teacher can demonstrate the guitar playing techniques that will inspire you. I've only had one teacher for about 3 or 4 months, back in '79, that I had to leave when I moved from the Bay Area. He taught me one word that sent me on a life long journey with scales, modes, etc. and that one word was "improvisation"... cool


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Originally Posted by Larryz
DBM, Funny how a great teacher can demonstrate the guitar playing techniques that will inspire you. I've only had one teacher for about 3 or 4 months, back in '79, that I had to leave when I moved from the Bay Area. He taught me one word that sent me on a life long journey with scales, modes, etc. and that one word was "improvisation"... cool

I never wanted to play music that I could read from a paper, or "just like the record" (which explains why I never earned any money at music). I never wanted to go out and do 4 sets of cover tunes.

I wanted a shot at the big time with original tunes that I could improvise along with. To me then (as now) I never wanted to play someone else's licks, nor did I want to memorize lines from cover tunes. This is back in the 1960's when improv was cool, and guys like Clapton, Hendrix, Alvin Lee, and some other "never play lead licks, the same way 2x". They were my early guitar heroes.

Improvisation was my only way to create tunes and then relearn my own licks after I created them ;~). I started out playing only minor pentatonic scales which at the time I knew as blues scales. The word pentatonic never entered my brain until. I took my first lessons from a blind guy from Red Bank NJ named Al Del-Russo (I think that was his name) I took about 3 or 4 lessons from him which consisted in learning the true name of "the blues scale" then he taught me the 5 positions per octave of the major scale (which I still use to this day)(even though Bobby Aslanian had more advanced different ways to play them) Still in the end I stayed with my preference of jamming and improv. I used to jam with guys early on who could not remember the feel of a 12 bar blues, and when to make the changes :-) So When Emily came along and we jammed I knew how to play "outside" as a matter of course because I knew how from jamming with other beginners how to get to the right notes for the misplayed chords.

Emily made one remark to me that Is still stuck in my head today; "Freedom is in the minors". With Majors, some notes do not fit the passing chords nicely, but in the minors all the notes fit against most all the chords. Thus freeing one from memorizing which notes to play against which chords. Nowadays from long use I know how to fit in the notes in the majors, but only after long years of trial and error (lots of error laugh)


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DBM, you and I are on the same path. I do not copy any leads and prefer to write my own. Eric Clapton said he never plays the same thing live that he played in the studio recording even on Sunshine of Your Love, with his signature hook. I do try to get the guitar hooks on tunes where it needs to be there like: Pretty Woman, Lodi, Secret Agent Man, Memphis, Out of Limits, Honky Tonk, Brown Eyed Girl, Honky Tonk Woman, etc. you get the idea. But even those are my quick and easy versions. I don't take the time to tab them out and get them "just like the record". I can do it, especially with all the lessons and demos and tabs on YouTube. Back in our early days we had to [pick] out our songs from listening to records and learning by ear to copy what we heard. I have a buddy that has been my lead player from back in '65. He can and has picked out the hooks and entire instrumentals by ear as close as we could get in those days that are very close to note for note. We still play together and I still have him pick out the leads and hooks. I provide the rhythm guitar and vocals. If we go into improvised leads he lets me take it , as that's not his cuppa tea...

I know you know what I'm talking about when I describe using the major scale and the minor scale and relating them to the minor and major pentatonic scales using 5 positions. The root tone octave pattern never changes no matter which key you choose, no matter which mode you choose. I agree with Emily "in freedom is in the minors" mainly because that mode really hits my ear in blues, jazz, rock and roll, etc. But I also play in majors especially when playing country. If find Latin and the genres already mentioned also uses the trick of playing in the relative minor/major in the same tune. Minor for the verse shifting to major in the chorus and vice versa. Jazz players like to throw in notes from "outside" the box by throwing in accidentals outside of the scale and sometimes giving the new scale a new name and feel like "Super Locrian" . Locrian is of the two modes (i.e. Locrian and Phrygian) that I do not use. They are available to me if I want to use them, but my ear just resists them. I'm not a real jazz player but I like playing and singing some of the old standards. The rest of the modes appeal to me and I can use them at will, but I basically stick to the major/minor scales. Anyway, we could talk for hours on scales and our method(s) of attack. I'm a pattern player as opposed to a note and interval player when it comes to theory. The pattern I use, allows me to play well beyond my level of knowledge. It is the major scale pattern as a system of dots much like chord patterns. I let the guitar do the transposing for me. thu


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@ Larryz, I typed in a detailed response yesterday to your post above, I took about 10 solid minutes replying and just before I was ready to post it. I hit some key (All thumbs here) and the whole thing disappeared. When I tried to go back a page it asked me for my password, and when I got back the whole thing was gone. frown Anyways I basically agreed with your post above in many ways.


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Pattern player describes me as well. It is the huge advantage of stringed instruments.

At the risk of a tangent to my actual intention for this post...

Keyboard players must learn fingering for 11 major and 11 minor scales and all the variations. Makes my tiny brain hurt just thinking about it!!!!
This is to say nothing of woodwinds, where everything is different everywhere, or trombone - where you are just relying on muscle memory to keep pitch and each position could be one of a quite a few notes.

Scales are not the only patterns on guitar, chords are patterns as well and I use both scales and chords to make my own patterns.

Of course blues blends major chords with minor pentatonic scales but you can also use a major pentatonic scale for the 4 - so E blues can be -E major chord/E minor pentatonic scale - go to the A major chord and use an A major scale just in that part of the song and the 5 - B goes back to the E minor pentatonic.

The reason I scalloped my fretboard is that blues never sounds right to me when you stick too close to the tempered scale, it needs those "blue notes" and I play them. Scalloping made that pretty effortless.

Total improviser here, I do play a pretty consistent version of Sleepwalk, it's a tribute to a good friend who left us too soon. He came by one day and I was setting his strat up, just a minor tweak at a time. Then he'd play Sleepwalk to check the guitar, hand it back and I'd tweak again. As soon as he left I sat down and figured it out from watching him play it. I hope he hears it, where ever he is!!!

Just about every other song I do is subject to instant re-mis-interpretation. So many records were made that way, the player just playing what they felt. When the record came out, they were sort of "stuck" with the version they'd recorded. I resist that, completely. Maybe I want it to sound different? Maybe after years and years I feel like I can play it better now? Whatever, I just go and let all verbal thought vanish while I try to get inside the music.


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Originally Posted by desertbluesman
@ Larryz, I typed in a detailed response yesterday to your post above, I took about 10 solid minutes replying and just before I was ready to post it. I hit some key (All thumbs here) and the whole thing disappeared. When I tried to go back a page it asked me for my password, and when I got back the whole thing was gone. frown Anyways I basically agreed with your post above in many ways.

I feel so sad for you DBM LOL! Just kidding as I have done the same exact thing so many times that I've lost track. Very frustrating. I don't know exactly how it happens but I hit a key accidently like backspace, delete, escape, control, etc. and my whole damn post disappears! So if I do a long winded post I try to get very careful with my keystrokes. I also learned that I could write a book on improvisation in order to explain my method of attack. So I have shortened up my posts somewhat. I know without a doubt that you made some very good and educational comments Amigo... cheers


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@ Kuru, +1 on pattern playing and using both scales and chords to learn the benefits of this method of learning. Chords and scales automatically transpose for you due to the genius that laid out the fretboard in standard tuning. If you only learn the major scale as a pattern of dots, you can shift it to find all of the modes like a slide rule using the 12 starting points. Same with chords. You don't have to know the notes and intervals. Learn an F barre chord as a pattern of dots, for example, and move it up to the 3rd frets and it's a G chord, up to the 5th fret and it's and A chord, and so on. The 1 3 5 intervals and note note names will automatically transpose as you move up or down the neck, even though you don't have to know what they are. 9th's 7th's, Minors, Majors, etc., are all moveable by their patterns. You only need to know your root tones on the 1st and 6th strings to get started with the root notes that name the chord. Then learn the root tones on the 5th string for those chords. Once you have memorized patterns by dots, you can go back and study the note names, intervals and theory if you wish. Pattern play allows you to go well beyond your technical knowledge. The scales are just a roadmap that gets me in the ball park for where and how I want to improvise...I add some melody and a little chromatic runs and bass licks to them...

Didn't mean to prattle on, but I know what you mean by the "blue note" b5 in the minor Pentatonic. I never leave home without it...I find the b3 serves the same purpose in the major Pentatonic.

+1,000 "Sleep Walk" is one of my favorite tunes to play and to write my own version of and to learn from. I must have played it a million times and still learn new ideas from it. I give homage to Santo and Johnny, but I throw a little Larryz on it...They had their #1 hit in 1957 that change my guitar playing in 1965 the 1st time I tried to play it. I find their idea of using the major and minor chord in the chorus irresistible! I also find it in many of the old standards where I think they may have got the idea. Since I Fell For You 1945 and Ain't Misbehavin 1929 for example... thu


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Originally Posted by Larryz
Didn't mean to prattle on, but I know what you mean by the "blue note" b5 in the minor Pentatonic. I never leave home without it...I find the b3 serves the same purpose in the major Pentatonic.

I find their idea of using the major and minor chord in the chorus irresistible! I also find it in many of the old standards where I think they may have got the idea. Since I Fell For You 1945 and Ain't Misbehavin 1929 for example... thu

The b5 is an essential component of blues and jazz. It appears in country sometimes but the styling is different. I hear more than that, I don't listen to much blues (or really, anything) but it stands out to me.

In blues, the b3rd and the b7 are both outside of the tempered scale, not the same notes that a properly tuned piano (or a correctly intonated guitar) will play without stretching the string.
The blues minor third is a higher pitch than the fretted note 3 frets up. So you play 3 frets up and stretch the string. With a scalloped board I've learned to do it on chords too.
The b7 ranges from below to above the note. As with the minor 3rd there are inflections, different microtones. All of them tell their part of the story.

I need to relearn Georgia, that's a great lesson in placing augmented and diminished chords. Which is to say nothing of demented chords, which combine the two...


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@ Kuru, I used to be a note bender but as I got older my note bending keeps getting less and less until I only bend in half steps these days and/or I just play the note instead of bending up to it. I've never played on a scalloped board and from what I've read in your posts, I probably wouldn't have the finesse necessary to do it justice. I used to do a lot of bending using 9's. Now I use 10's. In country, the major Ionian is boss and in blues, jazz the minor Aeolian is boss IMHO. In R&R both are boss. I combine the Pentatonic with the corresponding major and minor scales. I find that I use the b5 in the minor and the b3 in the major for my blue note. In the minor I may bend the 4 to get my b5 or I may use the b5 without bending as a chromatic 4 b5 5. The same is true in the major. I may bend the 2 (or 9th) to get my b3 blue note or I may play the b3 chromatically 2 b3 3. I found myself always doing this in the Pentatonic scales then leaving the b3 out of the major and the b5 out of the minor scales.

Sliding between the major and the relative minor scales most players describe as the 3 fret drop. I describe the drop as 4 frets as I include the root when counting going up or down. I also divide my 5 positions (modes and Pentatonic) playing across the neck into 4 fret spacing. I'm not familiar with the term "tempered scale" but I think I get where you are coming from. From my keyboard/guitar days I did appreciate the bending of strings more on the guitar as opposed to the non-bending classic piano. Synths solved this problem a little by a pitch bending toggle wheel switch and/or ribbon bending switches. The transpose button saved me on keys as I only had to play in C and then used the transpose button (cheater) to do what the guitar does automatically. Very similar to using a capo LOL!

+1 Georgia is a tune I always wanted to play and about a year or two ago I sat down and forced myself to learn the chords and lyrics. It's a great song recorded by many great artists! thu


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The tempered scale was calculated in Europe during JS Bach's time and he was involved in development. In a nutshell, it requires adjusting the natural fifth - the one you hear when you play a harmonic at the 7th fret - so that it is equally spaced between the octave of the tonic. With a keyboard tuned to the tempered scale, one can play in any key (and be slightly and equally "out of tune" with the notes brought forth by natural phenomenon).

Here are a couple of links for an overview:
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Music/et.html
https://pages.mtu.edu/~suits/scales.html

While the tempered scale has predominated the classical music of Europe since the time of Bach, it was never universally accepted. The second article discusses the "Just Scale" which was widely adopted by string players (violin, viola, cello and bass viol) as sounding more natural.

There are MANY musics of other peoples that simply cannot be played correctly using the tempered scale - Middle Eastern, Indian, Asian, African, Native American etc.

To be blunt, the "Blue Notes" are the notes that are an essential element of the Blues and cannot be played on an instrument that is tuned to the tempered scale. Piano "blues" is an oxymoron (even though I LIKE it!!!!). Since we've been brought up in a European/Piano-centric society that teaches music using the tempered scale, AND we've been exposed to a huge variety of Pop music with international influences, we've learned to accept both sounds, although some will observe that there are aspects of American music (as opposed to the European "Tradition") that sound "wrong" to them.

One easily noted artist is Billie Holiday. I've heard a few musicians complain that she sings "flat" sometimes. Except, if you listen to enough Billie you will hear that she is very consistent and "flattens" (or "sharpens") the same intervals in the scale the same way every time (she often used a slide down in pitch on the last word in the last line of a song). She is not singing flat, the piano has been incorrectly adjusted for the scale she is using. The same is true with Muddy Waters, both vocals and slide guitar. You'll hear it in jazz often once you know what to listen for.

For that matter, slide guitar likely came about for 2 reasons - 1) you can play the notes that are "wrong" since there are no frets. 2) you don't have to deal with high action, stiff strings or fret ends poking out.

I was finding that my left had would start to cramp sometimes during the 3rd set at gigs. I take a potassium supplement, do stretches, etc. Since I switched to scalloped frets, I am forced to use a much lighter touch, a more relaxed left hand. I don't cramp up to speak of now. I've also found that it takes far less effort to stretch a string, a more subtle approach is needed. None of this happened overnight!!!

Yes, it has taken some time to get used to it!!!! Now I play one of my non-scalloped guitars and wonder why I didn't switch sooner. Cheers, Kuru


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@ Kuru, the Just Scale link didn't come up but I was able to view the Tempered Scale link. I found an article on Tempered Scale vs Just Scale. Looks like they involve tuning issues beyond my ear as far as the meter readings are concerned. (i.e .12 semi tones equally spaced 100 cents apart on the tempered and all sorts of harmonic spacing in the Just Scale by ear). I basically just use a 440 tuner and can hear when a guitar string is off by a few cents. Then I rely on the tuner to bring that string into zero (i.e not flat or sharp but right on the money especially after bending on a few tunes). I usually do not have to tune between songs and get get through a set of 10 songs before checking again. On my keyboard I can use the tuner to set all the 88 keys at one time to 440. There were other tunings mentioned in the articles but I have neglected the info all these years and I doubt the knowledge will help my playing LOL! Thanks for the info! cool

On the cramping hands/fingers my 1st issue was a snap finger on my bird finger of my left hand. I had a growth on the same finger that was surgically removed about 10 years or more ago. I too started eating bananas and took potassium supplements. The best thing that worked for me was not playing 3 or 4 hours straight. I started forcing myself to take a 15 minute break for every 45 minutes of play. My problem disappeared, but I still like a banana at breakfast. Lately my left thumb started locking/cramping and it mostly happens when I ignore my 15 minute break rule...I'm also getting some tremors in my left fretting hand and a little pain in my right thumb picking hand. It's hell getting old. I just think of Les Paul and Django as my inspiration and play through without complaining LOL! Hope your hands get better! thu


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Originally Posted by Larryz
@ Kuru, the Just Scale link didn't come up but I was able to view the Tempered Scale link. I found an article on Tempered Scale vs Just Scale. Looks like they involve tuning issues beyond my ear as far as the meter readings are concerned. (i.e .12 semi tones equally spaced 100 cents apart on the tempered and all sorts of harmonic spacing in the Just Scale by ear). I basically just use a 440 tuner and can hear when a guitar string is off by a few cents. Then I rely on the tuner to bring that string into zero (i.e not flat or sharp but right on the money especially after bending on a few tunes). I usually do not have to tune between songs and get get through a set of 10 songs before checking again. On my keyboard I can use the tuner to set all the 88 keys at one time to 440. There were other tunings mentioned in the articles but I have neglected the info all these years and I doubt the knowledge will help my playing LOL! Thanks for the info! cool

On the cramping hands/fingers my 1st issue was a snap finger on my bird finger of my left hand. I had a growth on the same finger that was surgically removed about 10 years or more ago. I too started eating bananas and took potassium supplements. The best thing that worked for me was not playing 3 or 4 hours straight. I started forcing myself to take a 15 minute break for every 45 minutes of play. My problem disappeared, but I still like a banana at breakfast. Lately my left thumb started locking/cramping and it mostly happens when I ignore my 15 minute break rule...I'm also getting some tremors in my left fretting hand and a little pain in my right thumb picking hand. It's hell getting old. I just think of Les Paul and Django as my inspiration and play through without complaining LOL! Hope your hands get better! thu

Well, all this talking about music instead of allowing expression to flow through us and into our guitars got me wanting to play, going for the Zone. Knocked a bit of rust off but felt all of it. It's gone in the air this time.

I feel better now, ahhh! Not uncommon for me to step away for a bit but I've always come back. Brothers and Sisters gotta let our spirits flow!


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+1 That's the spirit! yeahthat thu


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Originally Posted by Larryz
+1 That's the spirit! yeahthat thu


Since I took this well off topic I might as well continue.
Saturday evening the band got together and played unplugged. No mics, no cords. Except the bassist, he has a battery powered Pignose bass amp - he plugged into that. One plugged? Ha!
Acoustic guitars, cajon and 2 singers with no mics.

Keeping it real, very enjoyable!


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I think we are still on topic Kuru (at least a little bit LOL!) DBM was inspired by Emily who opened up new doors for him with the modes and improvisation. Inspiration by learning from great players like Emily and my only teacher, is what makes us want to play. I'm glad you got together with friends and got to get your fingers back on the strings. About a week and a half ago I got together with a couple of buds. We spaced about 4 to 8 feet apart. We were plugged in with small amps 2 guitars and a bass, playing at bedroom volume with mic's. When I play solo I have to fill the lead parts with chord runs. When I play with just a bass player the same is true, because if I stop the rhythm to play a lead, the bottom drops out. But, when you have two guitars, one of them can let go of the rhythm that is backing the vocals and the other can take a lead. On my songs, I let my bud take the lead and I maintain the rhythm chords. On his songs, I get to take a lead and work on my "improvisation", modes, pentatonic stuff...it's a lot of fun and we played for about 4 hours. My left hand thumb wanted to cramp up but it let me keep playing, as there was plenty of talking between songs LOL! It will be nice when things get back to normal and we can get together at least once a month... thu


Take care, Larryz
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 5,590
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MP Hall of Fame Member
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MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 5,590
Likes: 70
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Since I took this well off topic I might as well continue.

Have at it Kuru.Once we get going around here, we usually get off topic once it has been around for a few days, No big deal,because it happens on almost every thread on this forum, and all the folks here are respectful. We good........


dbm
If it sounds good, it is good !!
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=143231&content=music
Harvey Cedars is my stage name on Soundclick
1 member likes this: Larryz

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