Classical Guitar In The California Breeze

"My first memories are listening to music and feeling my body tingle," says Philip Rosheger, a classical guitarist who performs outdoors in Berkeley, Calif. i i

"My first memories are listening to music and feeling my body tingle," says Philip Rosheger, a classical guitarist who performs outdoors in Berkeley, Calif. Thom Brekke hide caption

itoggle caption Thom Brekke
"My first memories are listening to music and feeling my body tingle," says Philip Rosheger, a classical guitarist who performs outdoors in Berkeley, Calif.

"My first memories are listening to music and feeling my body tingle," says Philip Rosheger, a classical guitarist who performs outdoors in Berkeley, Calif.

Thom Brekke

Weekend Edition's series on the sounds of street music winds down with a classical guitarist: Philip Rosheger, who performs on the corner of Vine and Walnut in Berkeley, Calif. Rosheger says he was keen on music from an extremely young age — which didn't sit well with his father, a bandleader in the U.S. Air Force.

"I started asking my father for piano lessons, and he said no," Rosheger says. "And I went on for two years, asking and begging for piano lessons, and he kept saying, 'No, you don't want to become a musician. It's a difficult life. You can't make money. It's not socially respectable.' And I kind of figured, 'Well, he's probably right' — but I still wanted to do it."

Rosheger says his father eventually relented. He studied piano through his early adolescence, until, in 1962, he heard a guitar record that made a big impression.

"It was mostly flamenco, but the guy, Fernando Sirvent, played two classical pieces," Rosheger says. "I just thought, before the record was over, 'Man, I want to spend the rest of my life doing this.' We took a vacation to Japan in August of that year and I got my first guitar there. And then I couldn't stop."

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