Five Firsts: Charlie Button of Doctor Magnum

Doctor Magnum

Doctor Magnum

NAME: Charlie Button
BAND AFFILIATION: Doctor Magnum
INSTRUMENT: Guitar

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WASNevermind by Nirvana. When I first started to fall in love with music at the age of 7, I was very much a product of MTV. It was around that time that Kurt Cobain’s untimely death occurred and was receiving a ton of coverage. As I’ve grown older, I’ve continually appreciated more and more about this album, particularly the songwriting and production. Even as my tastes have broadened and diverted over the years, this is still an album that remains in fairly regular rotation for me.

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2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Ray Charles at the Starlite Theater. I think I was around three years old or so when my parents brought me along to see him. Much to my misfortune, I don’t remember any of the music from that night, but just being in the theater and seeing Charles is one of my earliest memories in life.

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … 1970 Dan Armstrong Ampeg. My father bought this guitar in NYC when it was first manufactured in hopes of learning to play, after having seen Keith Richards using one on “The Ed Sullivan Show” for “Gimme Shelter.” He did not end up sticking with it, and the guitar collected dust for many years. It was a good guitar to learn on because, for the first few years of my learning to play, its clear lucite body helped to distract people from my incompetence on the instrument.

4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … “Isis” by Bob Dylan. My friend (and fellow Doctor Magnum bandmate) J. Steele and I played this at an open-mic night at the Van Dyck in Schenectady while in high school. Our guitars were terribly out of tune and our playing was sloppy, but J. effortlessly sang all 13 verses from memory. He no longer sings.

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Jokers and Thieves. This was also with J. Steele. The two of us, along with our friends Matt, Frank and Brendan, played together for about three or four months during senior year of high school. At Shenendehowa High School, they had a yearly event called “Respect Day,” where students are exposed to the various artistic talents of their peers. We ended up playing “Whole Lotta Love,” as well as a few other covers, for a packed gymnasium. To this day, it’s still the largest crowd I’ve ever played for. Fortunately, I had the clear, lucite guitar to distract them from my playing.

Charlie Button straps on his guitar to join his bandmates in Doctor Magnum, an instrumental Local 518 band that embraces funk, rock, hip-hop, R&B and jazz-fusion. The band will take the stage at Red Square in Albany at 8:30pm on Thursday (November 15), and they’ll be recording the performance for potential upcoming release. Linear North’s Bob Forget and Nobody for President are also scheduled to play. Admission is $5.

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