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Working With Chet Atkins — An Interview With Mark Knopfler

One of the most well-known rock guitarists of all time, Mark Knopfler rose to fame as the driving force behind British rock band Dire Straits. What many rock fans may not know is Mark’s admiration for Chet Atkins and the projects they were later to work on together as well as the strong friendship they developed. We spoke to Mark in March of 2014.

Tom: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me today Mark.

Mark: My pleasure Tom, I would do anything for Chet.

Tom: Before we talk about Chet, can you tell me about some of your early memories of music? What you heard when you were young?

Mark: I suppose the first was the «listen with mother» kind of stuff when I was a toddler. We listened to a radio show called Children’s Favourites every day on BBC. Children’s Favourites was probably my first introduction to music. I would have heard Scottish music too pretty early on.

Tom: Were your parents musical or play an instrument?

Mark: Pretty musical. I mean everybody sang in tune, that’s the main thing, right?

Tom: Do you recall the first time you heard or were aware of Chet’s music?

Mark: I was at a friend’s house and his dad had some records and he had some Chet Atkins stuff but you know we wanted to be rockers and besides, I remember thinking that his guitar playing was from another planet, that I would never be able to play like that. I still think that actually. It just seemed impossible. I didn’t know how it all happened. I really don’t know how he was able to do all that. I listened to things like Caravan and stuff like that but I wouldn’t have had any idea how you’d get to be that good on a guitar.

Tom: I’d like to hear how you would describe your guitar playing and also how you would describe Chet’s playing.

Mark: Well my guitar playing is probably a guitar teacher’s nightmare and Chet’s guitar playing is sublime. So that I would think would be the essential difference.

Chet also used a thumb pick. I had used a thumb pick in the past when playing on my National steel guitar and I’d experimented playing with a thumb pick, but in the end I gave it up. I don’t know whether it was because they kept flying off or whatever it would be but I gave it up and that is another kind of disadvantage in some ways because the definition and the level you achieve with that thumb pick is really something else. I knew from playing with a pick for years that a pick is the biggest amplifier that there is.

Tom: The pick puts a lot of volume to the strings. Most rock guitarists are playing those leads with a flat pick as you mentioned but you’re playing with your thumb as much as your other two fingers. I had read that you started playing that way because you had an encounter with a guitar with a warped neck, is that accurate?

Mark: Oh I had plenty of encounters with them. I had an electric guitar but I couldn’t afford an amplifier so I used to borrow friends’ acoustic guitars and then I ended up playing in folk places long before I got to play in rock places. When a folk singer showed me how to do a clawhammer style, four beats to the bar, that is what essentially got me going with fingerstyle. It was a big step forward. You make your thumb and fingers go where they don’t really want to go. I think that’s what sort of put me on a kind of footing with Chet eventually. Certainly never an equal footing but on a good footing. To me Chet was always the complete player and he had so much that he could do. I did start to get a little bit better and I started taking liberties with the rules of picking. My fingers would start to come up onto the bass strings and my thumb would start to wander down onto the higher strings instead of just staying where it was supposed to. And that’s really how my style started slowly coming about. It’s really from just doing things wrong I guess.

Tom: But doing it your way right?

Mark: Right.

Tom: I’ve heard Chet say that he thought when he had his thumb and his fingers working that he could create his own little orchestra. That’s what he felt about that bass line being there while he’s playing melody with his other fingers.

Mark: Well that’s right. That’s exactly what it does, it opens up the guitar for you in quite a big way and once you get past the basic folk positions and you start to develop the picking it all advances. I was fortunate to be able to get into a lot of country blues and even ragtime music and so it would be more taxing, but what you’re actually doing is a kind of piano music, it’s like piano music on the guitar sometimes. It wouldn’t necessarily be strict one two three four on the thumb, sometimes you’d be jumping that thumb and imitating the Stride piano style. And you slowly move forward, half the time without realizing that you’re just getting better. I think there’s no substitute basically for just putting a bit of time in. When I told Chet that I used to fall asleep playing the guitar, he said that he did exactly the same thing.

Tom: Just playing until you ran out of gas?

Mark: Yeah. You’d just fall asleep literally. You’d be nodding off over the instrument but your hands would be moving. Your hands could be flying around but you were falling asleep. I think that’s what probably leads to that intimacy that you can have with it.

When Chet called me it kind of floored me in a way. As the years went by I realized that the thing that I believe that he liked was that I was a finger picker. That’s what we had in common, one of the many things that we actually had in common and it just went from there.

Tom: Now the first time that many Chet fans saw you of course was on that TV special in the 80’s called «Chet Atkins and Friends», which featured you and The Everly Brothers and Michael McDonald and some others. Can you describe a little bit about that project from your perspective and how it came about?

Mark: It was just great to be asked to be on it. I didn’t have any of my own guitars, I do remember that and they were all difficult guitars for me to play. Whenever I have to borrow an instrument like that it always seems hard. But still it was such a thrill. The Everly Brothers had already figured very big in my life. I had a little friend in Newcastle when I was growing up and as kids we would pretend we were the Everly Brothers.

Of course I’m sure that was true of probably thousands of kids during that time. A lot of my first chords were singing Everly Brothers songs so it was a real thrill to be on that show because the Everly’s had recorded one of my songs and I had the chance to play it with them on the stage and that was that was fantastic.

Tom: That was a beautiful rendition of your song «Why Worry». Did Chet just pick up the phone and call you for that? Was it that simple just like, «Hey I’d like you to come play in this?»

Mark: Yeah, and it was the same with the album «Neck and Neck». I just picked up the phone one day and he said «Hi Mark, this is Chet Atkins!» and after I’d recovered from that he just said he was making an album and wanted me on it. I was over awed because he was recording with Earl Klugh and George Benson and some seriously beautiful guitar players. I just thought that it would be miles out of my league but anyway I went over there. Paul Yandell was there with Chet meeting me at the airport and I just hit it off with Chet immediately. It was one of those great things that turned into a friendship. We used to go off to breakfast a lot together and hang out a lot. I also had a very good relationship with my publisher in Nashville, it was a chap named David Conrad who was also a friend of Chet’s and so it was just good to have some guys there who were helping to break the ice in a sense. It became quite a regular call for me to be over there in Nashville.

Mark: The record that I produced for Chet, «Neck and Neck» was a home record. We never got a budget to do it in a proper studio so we’d just do it at home.

Tom: The credits on the CD shows the Nashville credits as «CA Workshop». He had that studio downstairs in his home. Is that where you did that?

Mark: We did a lot of it down there, yeah. We did a lot of it in a little place I had in England, in a little carriage house. Neither would be ideal and the sound wasn’t good in either one. At Chet’s place I’d hear his wife Leona’s fridge cut on while we were recording. The thermostat got on the record in a few places.

Mark: But it was just a joy to do it. There really was some great repartee between us, we were just ad-libbing funny stuff. I think we were doing «There’ll be Some Changes Made» and Chet said something about having learned one lick in bible college and I said, «I’d never trust a saint, Chet,» and he shot back immediately in half a second, «I’m only a part time saint!» (laughs) It was just a joy being around him.

Tom: Now of course you are famous for your guitar playing Mark, but you’re also an accomplished songwriter. The material you perform are songs you have written yourself. What kind of songwriter are you in your mind? How do you go about writing songs?

Mark: Well songwriting’s really not like being a musician; it’s a different side. It’s something that I just do and I love to do it but it’s not the same as being a musician. I’m sure the band would let me get away with murder because I’m the guy who wrote the song, you know. I don’t suppose I’ve had to concentrate so hard on my guitar playing because the guitar to me is really something different. I love the guitar, and it is something that I use to write songs but it’s not something that I really try to focus on in songwriting in and of itself.

Video: Mark Knopfler: Romeo and Juliet

Sometimes I will sit down and try and improve a little bit as a guitar player but the songwriting would probably get in the way and the songwriting tends to win with me. It’s what I do and of course that tends to be straight ahead kind of stuff. I love it and it keeps me honest.

I’ve been very, very fortunate. I think that with Dire Straits for instance we were in just a fantastic time for recorded music. It was a fantastic time for live performance as well. That seems to have just gone on for me and I can kind of play pretty much the way I want.

I organize touring exactly the way I want and I don’t really feel as though I have to compromise anything. I feel very, very fortunate. I have a fabulous studio and a fabulous band and I’ve really enjoy my writing, in fact I’m probably writing more than ever before. I just get a massive charge out of being able to come into the studio and do some recording and to be at home and to be looking at the songs.

I don’t write songs in the studio, I write songs at home but it doesn’t take me a few minutes to get to the studio and I can start to lay them out here. I love the whole thing, I love writing, I love it when I’m laying it out. Guy Fletcher helps with the engineering, and then I love it when the band session happens and everybody’s piling in. I like the whole deal. I like touring too. I’m pretty lucky, I love music so, and I seem to be able to keep it separate from the music business which is another thing.

Tom: I noticed that you really seemed to be having fun when you were playing with Chet, recently I saw sort of an informal video of you and Chet sitting around playing guitar. When you were not working were you able to jam and have fun with music with your guitars?

Mark: Oh yeah. If we were spending a day in Chet’s office or something, just hanging out, we would play a lot. Chet was so in love with the whole thing, not just really highly technical and complex music but very simple things. That was something we also had in common. Chet could play and sing the song «Kentucky» which has got just two chords. He could enjoy playing it all day. In fact we did that that one day, just singing and playing it out on his porch.

On the record that we made we did a song called «Just One Time» and I remember Chet saying, «It’s amazing what you can do with two chords.» It was a Don Gibson song. Don Gibson was a friend of his, they’d done a lot of work together which Chet produced such as «Oh Lonesome Me» and other songs.

Just hearing Chet talk about those days you would be learning from him. For instance I remember Chet showing me a certain RCA microphone and describing how they got that bass drum thing to happen on the recording. I think that was the first time that a bass drum got amplified I believe, it had a mic in it like that.

I think what a lot of people forget is that for a long, long time Chet was making all kinds of records. He managed to get through a hell of a lot of music, it was unbelievable really. And when you think about all the people he produced it’s unreal.

You’d just learn things, just by hanging out with him. Every now and again he’d say something and you’d just pick up a lot.

Tom: A light bulb would go off when he said it.

Mark: Yeah, without realizing it, he’d just make a little point about something and it turned into something much bigger.

Video: Mark and Chet perform at the 1987 Secret Policeman’s Ball»

Tom: What was the most rewarding thing of everything that you think you learned from Chet or being around Chet, what was the most rewarding personally for you?

Mark: I think one of the things that gave me so much pleasure working with him was that he was so down home. He was so genuine, he didn’t try to be anybody else. He could do so much and he always did it himself. I admire him tremendously for picking his way out of poverty. He picked himself out of real poverty. Going to school without a coat in the cold. I felt proud that he shared all that with me, that he felt like talking about it with me, and I also admire him for his tenacity.

Behind that down home and humble personality I think he was proud of what he’d achieved and he knew what he could do. As he used to say, «With enough practice and application you can get there,» and he certainly did that. He hung in there. I do know he was such a decent guy that he found it a strain when he was being an executive at RCA and I admire the fact that he handled all that stress. Remember, he was diagnosed with cancer in ’73. He was handling all that and still going back and playing the guitar and doing a lot of those great, great records. Many of those great recordings that he made at home really.

Tom: I hear a lot of nice stories about Chet that have to do with things other than guitar, sometimes funny stories. What was he like as a person?

Mark: He was great. One funny thing I remember was that one day I was having breakfast with him at a place called the Pancake Pantry. Well this guy got up from breakfast from across the big table where we were sitting and as the guy was walking out Chet sort of casually said to me, «You know, that guy is a real big gospel singer… a real famous gospel singer.» And then he leaned in closer and sort of cupped his hand round the side of his mouth as if he was going to tell me something confidential and then he just said, «Chases every skirt in town.»

Tom: Mark, thank you for spending so much time together today.

Mark: It’s a great pleasure Tom, all the best.

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Cloth drying stand fitting ][ How to working stand

Cloth drying stand fitting ][ How to working stand


How to fiting cloth drying stand #Clothdryingstand #Carpenterpappu Cloth drying stand in rain weather.
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Leading With Love — What Training My Dogs Taught Me About Working With Children

I’d just finished a particularly grueling two-hour session with a family and an 8-year-old boy who was defiant, angry and acting out with abandon. Everyone was frustrated-the parents, the children, the teachers. And by the end of the session, so was I. I left the school and went outside to sit by the ball field and clear my head. I’m missing something, I thought, when I noticed a young man with a large dog in the corner of the field. The dog would sit, wait, then with a single hand motion from the young man, jump and sit down again. That dog’s eyes never left the young man as he waited for his next cue.

That’s it. That’s the look in that child’s eyes…Tell me what to do. Teach me how to do it. I’m clueless. And no one was teaching him. All we were doing was talking about everything that he was doing wrong and asking him to come up with a solution.

From that point on, I was on a mission. I rescued two large dogs-both willful, strong, and quirky-and set myself to training them. What I’ve learned from them has forever changed my work and helped countless families. What it requires of us to train dogs are the same qualities we need to be effective parents.

P.A.R.C.-Positivism, Authority, Realism, Consistency and Clarity

Positivism : When parents complain about their children or bring their children in for treatment, usually early on in the process of creating a behavior modification plan I ask them to write me a list of the behaviors they’d like to see. One list I got from Marcia (*name and details changed) was pretty typical:

  • Leave without cleaning room — they get docked for one night.
  • Talking back — sent to their room.
  • Starting a fight with her brother — no telephone.

I asked her, What would you like to see them do INSTEAD? She had no ready answers. She had become so accustomed to yelling at them for what they’d failed to do or done wrong, it was hard to unravel the «nots» in her head so that we could rephrase the behaviors positively. Dogs clearly do not understand «nots.» If they hear you say, don’t sit, all they get is: sit. Humans are no different, especially when we’re upset, scared, nervous, or angry. Consider this: Don’t think of a beach. Not the sand between your toes or thesound of the waves rhythmically crashing up against the shore, not the call of seagulls as they fight over scraps of food, nor the heat of the sun on your shoulders as you walk into the water. Don’t think of a beach. Anything but a beach. What did you think of? Keep your goals clear and positive. Know what you want your children to DO, not just what you want them NOT to do. The more you repeat the negative, the more that image will come up in their minds. What we expect tends to be realized. Both in our world and in our children’s.

Authority: When I got my first dog, Angie, I quickly realized I’d have to go to a professional handler for help. Angie is an 85-pound mix (Malamute, Chow, and Flat Coat Retriever) who looks (and sometimes acts) like a black wolf. She was and still is a formidable dog — fiercely protective and highly dog aggressive. When I got her from a colleague, she was exceedingly ill, neglected, untrained, and high-strung. Needless to say, I had not been given any warning. So, when I found out what I had signed up for, it was too late to back out. I had already fallen in love. The pivotal moment came in a park, my second or third day out with her, when another dog (off lead, of course) approached us and she went wild, dragging me half way down a dirt path, yanking a ligament along the way. The other dog tore off into the woods and I limped home.

Nancy and Emma, partners and professional dog handlers at People Training For Dogs in Rockland County, N.Y., heard the story and saw my limp. They also watched Angie’s behavior when another dog was brought near her. Nancy explained the incident in the park: She thought she was the boss. She was protecting you. In the absence of authority, she assumes control. You have to become her Alpha.

Nature abhors a vacuum. So do children. When parents do not provide authority, children assume the dominant position. It is not necessarily a bad thing. It is survival. Someone has to be in control. Authority is calm, sure-footed, firm, confident and compassionate. If you are tentative, hesitant, punitive, or vacillating, you are giving mixed messages and can no longer be trusted to lead. Authority is leadership. Children naturally gravitate to leaders, to adults who seem to know what they’re doing. Children want someone to guide them while at the same time allow them to make mistakes and learn. Authority says: Follow me. I know what I’m doing. Authority says: I understand what you need. Authority says: I will keep you safe.

Many parents quickly confuse authority with the harsh and angry dominance of their own childhoods. Authority speaks firmly, in a low-pitched voice, clearly, calmly. Yelling and making idle threats undermines a parent’s authority more quickly than almost anything else. Authority can be quite kind and loving even when it corrects negative behavior. One parent I know used to get into yelling matches and power struggles with her 5-year-old son in session. I didn’t do it. Yes, you did. No, I didn’t. Yes, you did.

She had been engaged on the level of a peer instead of as a parent. I said to her-You’re the mommy. You are the most important authority in your child’s life. Rest easy and be comfortable in that authority, knowing that you will do what your child needs you to do, whether or not your child understands or likes it at the moment. Most parents do not know they have permission to be the boss and loving at the same time and are terribly relieved to hear it. So are most children.

Realism: In the course of working with dogs, I have become a hard and fast realist. Once, I thought all dogs were the same-happy, friendly, Lassie-loyal and adept. I wasn’t even close. Dogs are as disparate and distinct as people and they come with learning styles and personalities just as complex. What we expect is more than often not what we get.

Ty-my second rescue-is a beautiful 80-pound Chow-Hound-Retriever mix (and God knows what else). His face is striking and very appealing to children. However, children do not appeal to him. They frighten him and he responds to their approach by barking and snarling in a most hostile manner. I therefore do not let children near him. Ever. Angie, on the other hand, is tolerant in the extreme. A baby could put his hand in Angie’s mouth and she would roll over, gentle and forgiving.

When we set goals for our children, we need to take their unique natures into account. Who are our children apart from our own expectations, our own disappointments? What are their strengths and weaknesses? A child with a profound auditory processing disability will not respond to complex verbal requests and reminders. A child with a highly sensitive nature will only tolerate so much teasing or joking, even from a parent. If you want a sedate dog, don’t get a Dalmatian or a terrier-they need to be working most of the time and if left alone for hours a day will release their energy on your sofa or the legs of your dining room table. A Rhodesian Ridgeback may be curbed from lunging at every squirrel while on lead, but his hunting instinct will never be eliminated. And it is good and proper that way. Bad training is never the dog’s fault. It is ours for failing to account for the dog’s nature-both the traits we want and the traits we don’t.

When we say things like, «Why can’t you be more like your sister?» or «What’s the matter with you?» we are inadvertently shifting the focus from the behavior-where it should be-to the person. Steve Diller, a renown dog handler and author of the book, Dogs and Their People, wrote, «It is the incorrect behavior that needs fixing, not the dog.» I’d add, «And not the child.» If we make the child feel as if he or she is wrong, bad, insufficient, unworthy, we will have solved nothing, and, in fact, will have probably created a problem far more painful and persistent.

One child was brought to me for impulsivity and aggression in class. He was sullen and unhappy when I met him and called himself «bad» over and over during the interview. His parents were clearly disappointed in him. It turned out, however, that he had been getting picked on by the class bully and had been trying to stand up for himself. That quality in him-of not accepting abuse-was not a defect. It was a strength that needed to be channeled. When the parents reframed it that way and saw that it was indeed a character trait that they valued, they were able to distinguish more carefully between the boy and the behavior. He was not «bad» at all. Nor was his instinct to protect himself. All they had to do, then, was reinforce other, more positive options for him.

Consistency and Clarity: Decide on the behavior you want to see and be consistent. Be clear when you communicate your decisions. And if it’s a two-parent household, make SURE the two of you are in solid agreement. There is nothing that undermines a child more than a division between the parents. Don’t change your mind or allow them to get away with acting out or manipulating because it’s easier or more convenient, or, worse, to get back at your spouse. Your consistency is the cornerstone of behavior modification.

When I worked in an elementary school, I saw children who acted out in the classroom. More often than not, the behavior was a carry-over from home. And, again, more often than not, limits were either not in place, unclear or inconsistently set. Many parents (especially with the demands of work) wanted to see me without their spouse being present. Except in rare cases, I would hold out to see both parents (or in some situations even include the grandparents or other relatives if they were living in the home). Some parents got irritated and considered the demand excessive. However, my experience has shown me that if the parents are not on the same page, it is a wasted effort.

Besides, it often gave me a much better understanding of the child’s behavior. I remember one 10-year-old boy vividly. He was getting detention (which was held right outside my office) about twice a week for using foul language in the hall and being aggressive with other children. I called in his parents. It was easy to see where the behavior was coming from. When their presentation and relationship was transformed, so was their child’s behavior.

Consistency is often the most difficult obstacle for parents. I explain from the very beginning that initiating a behavior contract can actually make things worse for a little while. There’s a spike in negative behavior as if the children were pushing the limit to test us, to see if we really mean what we say. Then, with time and consistency, there’s a plummeting drop-off and the negative behavior is eliminated. This learning curve differs in duration and intensity from child to child and family to family, but it is almost universal.

One mother with a brilliant but angry young boy had her entire extended family in on the contract. They all participated, staying on track despite the little boy’s initial resistance, and they saw a marked increase in good behavior with a concomitant decrease in his tantrums and aggression. Two months later I receive a call, «He’s getting into fights.» «Have you been using the contract?» «Well, no, I thought we could stop after a while.» So, it was back to basics for them and eventually the acting out resolved. Behavior management with children is a way of life, not a one-time application. It is a way of communicating and relating over time.

Half the time, we don’t actually tell children what we want from them. In fact, we think we’re saying it over and over, but-as the old adage goes-if they ain’t getting’ it, we ain’t deliverin’! Or we may be saying one thing with our words and a vastly different thing with our tone and body language.

Steve Diller has said that a vast proportion of behavioral problems in dogs are generated by the mixed messages humans give. He gives people three rules:

  • Don’t use the word ‘no’ for everything. The dog won’t know whether you’re talking about the way he barks or the way he’s begging at the dinner table.
  • Don’t use the dog’s name as a reprimand. He won’t come to you when you call.
  • And don’t use the same body language or signal for a multitude of commands. You’ll drive him crazy because he’ll never know what you want him to do.

It’s not only WHAT we do and say, it’s HOW we do and say it. There are a dozen different messages possible in just the word, «fine.» It all depends on our pitch and tone, our eye contact, and our posture. Our intention leaks. What we mean to say we eventually say, even if we don’t use words to say it. Check your own emotional state before you go to deal with your son or daughter. If you’re too angry to talk with them, wait. Keep your voice low-pitched, calm, firm. Let it reveal your confidence. Keep your gaze even, kind, open, and stay willing to see your child’s point of view.

And Above All These Things — Love. When you get what you want, let them know you’re happy. Get excited. The first day I had Angie, she ran away-all the way up to a major thoroughfare, scaring me to death. She would not «come» no matter what I did because she had never been trained to «come.» Her prior owners had left her to wander the streets and highways for days at a time. So we worked on it starting from scratch, using 30-foot leads, hours of repetition and hundreds of treats as reinforcements. I remember the moment it all clicked: She was on the long lead, sniffing around the yard, absorbed in something thrillingly foul. Angie, come! She looked up, turned her head and lollopped over to me, mouth in an open smile, tail wagging. I squealed in joy and hugged her, which reinforced it even further.

The relationship is the glue. Dogs, like children, love us almost automatically. Their love, unless thwarted, is forgiving and unconditional. They want our approval and will often go to great lengths to get it.

Give tons of praise when your child does the right thing. And give tons of love all the time. Your love is a constant. Let them know that in no uncertain terms. Love your partner/spouse. Do so in front of your children and keep your fights private. You can have disagreements in front of your children so they learn about negotiating and resolution, but if you’re in constant conflict, your children will be, too.

There is no substitute for love, no psychological trick, no contract, no therapy that can ever take the place of a parent’s approving smile or loving touch.

c. Judith Acosta, 2009. All rights reserved.

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browser fingerprinting not working in Android ?

I noticed that browser fingerprinting does not seem to be blocked in the Android version of the Vivaldi Browser , while it works fine on the desktop version . ( testing with [http://brax.me/geo](http://brax.me/geo) )

Does anyone know if this can be configured to change ?

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Working on something new

Working on something new



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Chicken.exe has stopped working

Chicken.exe has stopped working




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