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Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Real Natural

Do you have a claim to fame?

It's one of my standard fallback questions that I developed from my days of hitchhiking in the quest of becoming an entertaining conversationalist. If the person can say yes to this question, it never fails to yield an interesting tale about who they are and what has been important to them.

A former teacher of mine is someone who claims he's the inspiration for the character made famous by R. Crumb in the hippie comics era. In fact, he even changed his name legally to become Mr. Natural. This confounds those who have him fill out forms because his first name is Mr.  That's right - not Mister, but Mr. with a period.

But Mr. Natural as a real person has further claims to fame beyond his name and how he became famous for having assumed it. For instance, under his previous name, he personally fought and he won a case as that shaped landlord/tenant rights in San Francisco.

Natural has written a book about his own way of teaching music. It's a sort of reverse engineered jazz theory for beginners based on "do-re-mi..."  He and his business partner Angel have published a pretty easy-to-understand disambiguation of a college level music theory course called "Music Theory Decoded - Strictly by the Numbers". He's uploaded many group courses on music from classes he recorded and put on youtube for many instruments. He even invented a short-cut for composers to sketch their musical ideas before the song makes it into notation that's an improvement on what's known as "Nashville Notation."

 So - do you have a claim to fame?
If you don't yet, what would it be when your ship comes in?

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