About Steven Smith aka 'Scratch"
My name is Steven Smith and I am a Guitar Player from Baton Rouge. I have been playing guitar since circa 1967. The way I came about playing the guitar is that one summer I was walking through my neighborhood in Glen Oaks and overheard someone playing "The House of the Rising Sun" on guitar. The sound was coming from the backyard of a house about 5 down from mine. There in the backyard I saw someone who I had never met, yet we had lived so close to each other for a number of years. His name was Randy Borne who later went on to play in several very successful bands in the Baton Rouge area. Some of the bands are 'Charlie Pappy' 'Opus' 'The Clique" and really too many others to mention at this time.
Anyway from this chance meeting I was influenced to start playing guitar. I actually had an old plastic 'Gene Autry" style guitar when I was 5 but it wasn't in the stars yet for me to seriously start playing at this time. At that time I was learning to play the Harmonica after hearing my Grandfather play a few tunes for me at my aunt's house in Cottonport, La.
So after I walked into the backyard of my soon to be new friend I asked Randy where he learned to play that song and if he could teach me also to play the guitar. Well he was all too eager to help me saying that he was taking lessons from someone at Baton Rouge Music Studio. From that day on Randy and I started playing almost everyday. He would attend class and then he would come home and show me the lesson that he was learning. Soon we were playing all kinds of music together and we also sometimes practiced with a drummer from time to time eventually starting our First Band together. Our little band, which I honestly don't know the name of, went on to win Second Place in the Glen Oaks High School Talent Contest back in I think it was 1968. We also played at the End of the Year dance at Glen Oaks Junior High that same year. We were playing music by a lot of popular groups at the time, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Monkees, etal.
In the last 20 years or so I have played in a number of bands either sitting in or as a fulltime member. Some of the bands are The Levee Band, The Jam Brothers Band, Duffield and Company, Three Blind Mice , Rusty Yates , The Randy Davis Group, The Lynn Freeman Band, R.L. Spencer Group featuring Mike Owings (aka R.L. Spencer of the Delta Rockets and Allen Collins Band (Mark II), Bleeker Street and many others.
I have many stories to tell of my experiences of the gigs I have played and the people I have met in the process. There are so many talented musicians in the Baton Rouge area, it is almost unbelievable how many great musicians have come out of this area. I have been fortunate enough to meet a good many of them.
Please bear with me as I continue my quest to start a place where guitarists and other musicians in the Baton Rouge area can get together and tell thier own stories of how they came about playing music here in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Laissez les temp bon rouler (let the good times roll).
Steven Smith (Scratch)
My passion is music and what inspired me to play music.
When I was 5 years old I went to my aunts house and my grandfather who was 70 years old at the time, was staying out back in her washhouse, because my grandmother had kicked him out for drinking, he was also musician. As I walked out the back door of her house, he said to me in his heavy french accent "Hey boy come here" so I walked over there and he told me to wait right there. He went inside the wash house and came back out. with a "Budweiser long-neck box" which he was using as his suitcase, he reached inside of it and pulled out a harmonica and proceeded to play "Oh Suzanna". At this time I was only 5 years old. (Keep in mind we didn't have a television yet, this was 1956). The only music I had heard up to this point was on the radio or on my moms portable record player. So, I didn't realize people played music I just thought it came out of these "boxes". This left me awe-struck, that people could play music and maybe I could too. A few days later when I went back home I told my mom that paw-paw had played me a song on the harmonica. She then proceeded to go to the bedroom and came back with a harmonica and also played several songs for me. I asked her if I could have one as well. She gave it to me and told me to go out in the back yard and practice. From that point on I was completely hooked on playing and enjoying and entertaining others with music.
Unbeknownst to me, many years later my mother told me that my grandfather was a fiddler in a cajun house band here in Louisiana, so it seems inevitable that music would be in my destiny.
Steven Smith (Scratch)
Note: some of the excerpts were taken from my blog
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