The Wrecking Balls

Chris Bettin

Chris Bettin

Chris Bettin was given an electric guitar for Christmas at age eleven.  Shortly thereafter his guitar teacher pulled his mother aside and said, “Mrs. Bettin, I can’t take your money anymore.  He’s never gonna learn to play guitar.”  Chris overheard this lamentation from  behind the thin doors of the instruction studio and was relieved to be spared the torment of practicing scales and learning songs from the Mel Bay Guitar book he loathed.  He kept the guitar anyway, and one could argue he still attempted to play it, despite the obvious regret from his parents that the guitar was amplified and easily heard throughout the neighborhood.  It may be a stretch for Chris to claim he’s been playing guitar since age eleven, but he can still be heard to say it on occasion.

In college he purchased an acoustic guitar.  The school he attended was replete with “dead-heads” and “hippies” and the lone troubadour archetype seemed like a potential route to getting girls.  He sold his electric guitar to his lifelong best-friend and college roommate, who in no short order displayed virtuoso talents, and who ultimately taught him how to play and sing “Comfortably Numb” passably enough to attract coeds lacking in critical skills relevant to evaluating his performances.  

And so was born his desire to be a songwriter.  The guitar suffered the dubious fate of being mistaken for a urinal in the midst of a drunken sleep-walking episode despite the repeated kicks to Chris’ behind from one of the unfortunate young women the guitar had initially wooed.  

Mom and Dad rewarded Chris’ college degree with another guitar, this time a Guild D-25.  It was used and had the unfortunate fate of being owned by a professional player who developed severe carpal-tunnel syndrome.  In their early relationship Chris made clear that this misfortune was indeed a dire change of potentiality.  

Decades later, and with much dedication to this same instrument, not much has changed in terms of musicianship, but song craft took some roots and grew up nicely.   Chris pursued formal degrees in literature and philosophy and those influences are apparent in the lyrical diversity and craft of his songs.  As the writer and performer of literally hundreds of original songs, Chris Bettin has become a songwriter of some talent, though it reminds him of the joke, “What’s the difference between a musician and a large pizza?  One of them can feed a family of five.”  

Best friend and mentor Billy Huffycat, has this to say about Chris:  “He ain’t gonna give no Eddie Van Halen no scare or nothin, but the boy can turn a phrase into the shape of a hook you could hang a dang bushel of worms on.”  

For what it’s worth.