Learn To Play, And Have Fun, At Crossroads


As the youngest of seven children, Corky Laing did what he could to get attention, including energetically drumming on pots and pans. His raucous behavior did the trick, and it also instilled in him what would become a lifelong passion: music.

“I would basically sit on the floor and just bang on things until I got noticed,” Mr. Laing said during a telephone interview last week. “Banging on things is how I found my love for the drums. I haven’t stopped playing them since.”

The longtime member of the pioneering American hard rock band Mountain is now also a teacher. He and other local professionals, including Mick Hargreaves, Peter “Bosco” Michne and Andy Aledort, will be sharing their skills during a continuing series of drum, bass and guitar workshops at Crossroads Music in Amagansett.

The instruction will be serious, but also lot of fun, according to Mr. Laing, whose instruction will be held on Sunday, October 20.

“It’s not a workshop, it’s a more like a drum play-shop,” he said. “This won’t be about work because I refuse to be a part of that kind of society … When I’m with my drums and you’re in the area, were going to have a good time.”

Mr. Hargreaves, who plays the bass guitar, will give his workshop on Sunday, October 27. And he’s just as enthusiastic about sharing his passion with those who want to learn more about playing, he said.

His love for music began when he was in the fifth grade, playing cello, he said during a recent telephone interview. He continued with the cello until he attended college, where he picked up the bass guitar.

“I realized if I switched over to bass it was the same amount of strings, but the bass would let me get into actual rock and roll a little more.”

The die-hard Beatles fan said he had spent many nights as a young man “lying on the floor, listening to their records.” The music they were playing was the kind of music he wanted to play.

The professional musician survived a brutal attack, by a man wielding a crowbar, which left him with life-threatening head injuries, in 2010. It was that experience that led him to give back, he said. Since then, he has been offering private lessons from home and teaching every week at Crossroads Music.

“Teaching is awesome because I can give people a head start on something,” he said. “I believe because of all the experience I have gained touring and recording, I definitely have a lot to offer others during this bass workshop.”

Mr. Aledort—a popular session musician who has played with veteran bluesman Buddy Guy; members of the original Band Of Gypsys; Andy Summers of the Police; Slash of Guns N’ Roses; Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash; and Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones—will lead a guitar workshop on November 3 with Mr. Michne. Like Mr. Hargreaves, his love for music began when he listened to the Beatles as a child.

“I remember seeing pictures of them and listening to their music and thinking, ‘that looks like a job for me,’” he said during a telephone interview last week.

Family also played a part in his love of music and teaching, he reported, adding that his mother is a singer and teacher.

“So maybe it’s in my genes to be a musician and now teach others,” he said.

Teaching is second nature for the professional musician, who has also held positions as senior editor for various guitar-oriented music magazines, such as Guitar World, Guitar For The Practicing Musician, Guitar Extra and Guitar Legends. Additionally, he’s written more than 200 books of guitar transcriptions, plus worked on downloadable content for videos and applications.

“For the past 30 years I basically would listen to a song and then I would write an instructional article and text explaining to others how to play that song,” he said.

Teaching one-on-one with his friend is something he’s really looking forward to, he added.

“I’m very excited for the guitar workshop. The fact that I’m teaching with fellow friend and musician, Bosco, will be great for others,” he said.

Guitar workshop attendees will benefit from having a pair of instructors, he reported.

“We both have very different styles and if someone doesn’t get a feel for Bosco’s approach, they probably could with mine,” he said.

As someone with a wide range of musical genre interests, Mr. Aledort said that he hopes that his students will learn that it’s okay to have a diverse palate when it comes to musical tastes. He promised that the workshop will be worth every penny.

Michael Clark, the owner of Crossroads Music, practically guaranteed that students of all levels will get their money’s worth during each session.

“What is amazing is that big-time performers like Andy, Bosco, Mick and Corky didn’t hesitate for a moment when asked to share what they know,” he said. “It’s a real statement to how the musical community is one of sharing and caring.”

The weekly musical Sunday workshop series continues at Crossroads Music in Amagansett with drummer Corky Laing on October 20. The next session will be with bassist Mick Hargreaves on Sunday, October 27. Andy Aledort and Peter “Bosco” Michne will lead a guitar workshop on November 3. All workshops, which cost $60 each, will begin at 5 p.m. Seating is limited and reservations are strongly suggested. Call 907-4838 or email mclark24@optonline.net to guarantee a spot. For additional information, visit crossroadsmusicstore.com.

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