Ken’s Birthday Concert

As I mentioned on Monday, my husband, Ken had a guitar concert (or as my 5 year old niece called it, a “recital”) this past Saturday night. He started taking guitar lessons 18 months ago, knowing only basic chords and how to read music from his old piano days (and he had never sung).   And HOLY COW, what a fun night. I am so proud and in awe of Ken. Bravo!  Videos of some of the songs he played are below.


Intro (2 songs: “Wonderwall” by Oasis, “Flake” by Jack Johnson):

I so admire Ken’s gusto, motivation, courage, talent, and drive. Committing to a concert was motivation for him to practice and improve his guitar and singing skills (and let me tell you, it really helped him! He had to practice!), but also an excuse to get good friends together.


Song 6: “Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi (Note: this video was shot by me.  Apologies for the singing, and closeups of Ken’s neck. I am not a professional videographer!)


It was an incredibly fun evening, not only being surrounded by friends and family (my brother flew out from Seattle, and my sister came from NJ), but also watching my beloved get up on stage. And I have a feeling it wasn’t a one time thing…. everyone, Ken included, had a blast!


Finale: “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz


Because WHY NOT, I decided to ask Ken some questions on his concert (since he *IS* my roommate, it was easy to find time to interview him). Here they are! Enjoy!


How did you decide to do a concert?


My guitar teacher Max was trying to motivate me to practice more. He said that nothing motivates you more than committing to play in public.  He was right.


What was the most nerve wracking part of it?


Leading up to the concert, I was actually more worried about the logistics: having a party in our showroom on Saturday and whether there would be issues with the building, the caterers getting in, support staff, etc.   I didn’t think I was nervous on Saturday (but you telling me how nervous you were all day didn’t really help – thank you for your support).  About 1/2 hour before the concert, the nerves started to kick in.  My hands were shaking the entire set.


Did you have fun?


Despite the nerves, it was really great.  We’re lucky to have amazing friends and family. To have a group of people you care about in the same room for any reason is great.  To have people cheering for you (even if it’s part fake) was awesome.


How did you pick your set list?


Max brings a book of songs that he teaches to every lesson.  It was a mix of my favorite of his songs and songs that I requested.  He was really great about transcribing whatever songs I requested.  If anyone needs a guitar teacher in NYC (he lives in Brooklyn), I highly recommend him.


Looking back, what would you do the same and what would you do differently?


I wasn’t comfortable with people applauding, so I looked down after every song and fiddled around instead of taking in the moment.  Max said I should have enjoyed and appreciated the fact that people are happy and cheering.  Also, I was caught on camera sipping white wine in between songs.  Next time, I would pour white wine in a beer bottle and drink out of that. Because that’s much more legit.  I would also eat more fried chicken.


How did you pick out your outfit?


(Is that a serious question?) You usually dress me but you were out with the kids the afternoon of the concert.  So I stopped at the J Crew in Columbus Circle after I ran the Central Park loop and picked out a shirt.  I wear the same jeans and boots almost every weekend.  And I was wearing the Natori Feathers Girl Brief underneath (which apparently helps calm your nerves). Just to be clear, that last part was a joke.


So, friends, now is the time! Start a hobby, pick a goal, and do it. This concert was my husband’s version of a marathon, and I am infinitely proud of him. Hope this inspires you to do try something new and different, commit to a goal, and JUST DO IT.  What’s on your bucket list?  Please share!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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  1. BRAVE indeed. I wish I had the nerve to a) learn how to play the guitar b) memorize the songs c) perform in front of people. WOW!

    • Thanks! I am so proud of him! Knitting — my mom is a star knitter. Maybe you should take lessons from her (do you live in Eugene?)

  2. We had heard Ken practicing on Friday and we could not believe it was him. We had no idea how talented he was, he sounded wonderful!! Very brave indeed, definitely makes you want to step out of your comfort zone. Too Cool!!

  3. I’m so impressed by Ken. By his playing, singing and his answers to your questions. They are my favorites.

  4. very impressive! Great job, Ken! Forwarded to my husband and he says he needs Max’s contact info…any chance you can share?? Thanks so much!

  5. Such a power move, Ken-Bonjovi-Natori! You were great. Pleasure to be in your first (but not last) live audience.

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