A man in his late 50s with silver, slicked-back hair sits crosslegged on a drum stool cradling a cream-colored electric guitar. At a glance, he could pass for any other suburban dad paying for a guitar lesson on a Saturday afternoon, trying to recapture the memory of his youth. But when Ron Thomas plays the guitar, he's trying to recapture the memory of his son.
John Gilhooley Ron Thomas: The Righteous Rocker
Last spring, he started taking lessons at Sam Ash in Westminster with the goal of perfecting one of his favorite rock & roll classics of the spandex era: Van Halen's 1978 radio hit "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love." Though he has heard the song hundreds of times, being able to play it perfectly is a different story.
He mutters to himself impatiently when he messes up. A couple of times, Thomas' fumbling fingers cause words of frustration to crack through his manicured, snow-white mustache.
"Aw, c'mon! Damn it, you got this," he says to himself. "One more time . . ."