To set the record straight

January.10. 2015

This is something I had never expected, people crawling out of the woodwork claiming they were my teachers.

I’m not sure how to take this.

Should I take it as a compliment?

A sign of success? After all, if I was a dismal failure, I doubt there would be anyone trying to take credit.

The first time I encountered the problem was when someone in Kuala Lumpur told me that there’s this teacher in town who was going around telling people he was my teacher.

The funny thing is, I had never met the guy, not then, not now.

I had heard he studied in London with the famous pedagogue, Wyndham Waffle. Other than that I have no clue who this imposter is.

And now there’s this old schoolmate who is going around saying I was his “first student.”

My recollections of this person are rather hazy but I remember he had always been a friendly (or unfriendly) rival back in the day, and he was always trying to catch up with me, even back then.

Great strategy—to make yourself feel better, tell people you ‘taught’ the other guy.

Now, why should these things bother me?

Because I can’t have every Tom, Dick, and Harry try to rewrite history at my expense.

After all, they say if you tell a lie often enough, people will actually start to believe it.

And to dissuade any would-be loser from staking any more claims on me.

So to set the record straight.

I have had only three guitar teachers in my life.

David Wong Hie Bing who gave me my first lessons in Sibu, Colin Henderson of Burnside High School, Christchurch, NZ, who nurtured my playing, and Karl Herreshoff aka David Hagemeister, of Nights in the Garden of Spain fame who inspired me to become an artist.

The rest are imposters, to put it kindly.

Or losers, to put it less kindly.

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