Mr. Mehrpooya, My Music Teacher

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Mr. Mehrpooya, My Music Teacher
by Faramarz
27-Jan-2012
 

A Short Story about my Music Lessons at Mr. Mehrpooya’s Guitar Class

I was around twelve years old when my father came home and told me that he was going to send me to a guitar class by Mr. Mehrpooya!

My father always wanted me to play music and be sophisticated, but I was into other things! I had no interest in musical instruments and my attention was squarely on the soccer ball and on my friends on our street. So as usual my parents solicited the help of my other relatives and got my cousin who lived down the street from us to be a part of the deal. They got both of us signed up for the guitar class and hoped that we could become good musicians and perform in front of the family in our gatherings. My cousin had an advantage over me. His uncle on the father side was a good violinist, so unlike me he had music in his genes!

My father played violin as a child but he was never good at it. He used to tell me how he would practice for hours and hours but all he could get out of his cheap violin was “kher.. kher!” So I became my father’s next best hope! He didn’t like me being on the street playing all the time. He wanted me to hang with the sophisticated crowd, play tennis, go horse-back riding and learn about culture and music, but I was destined to be a rebel without a cause!

My father took us to Mr. Mehrpooya’s office on the 3rd floor of a building on Chahar-rahe-Shah, just across the street from General Mode and a block away from Koocheh Berlin. Mr. Mehrpooya had just come back from India where he had learned how to play sitar from Ravi Shankar and was in the news all the time. He had such a deep tenor voice that his nickname was Abbas-Gov-Seda! I was full of anticipation to meet him and then report back to my friends on our street about his voice!

His beautiful secretary greeted us at his office. The place looked incredible. There were two sitars on the floor that served as a table. There were human face masks from Africa. There was a large plane rotor leaning against the wall. You could spend hours just looking at the memorabilia of his travels around the world. I was just sitting there at awe with Mr. Mehrpooya.

His sexy secretary in mini skirt took our information, collected the tuition money and gave us the notebooks and told us where to buy guitars. After a while he came out of his office and greeted us. He was a nice and kind man. Over the next several weeks, he took his time teaching my cousin and I how to play the guitar, he pressed our fingers against the strings and showed us how to do the chords.

The first song that we learned was The Dark Eyes (Ochi Chyornye). I rehearsed the notes “sol la si la la...sol la si la la ..la re re do do ..mi fa mi re do…sol la si la la…sol la si la la ”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSZcRrGpOdc

The next song was Strangers in the Night, “fa sol sol fa sol fa sol la si fa..mi re re mi re…”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlSbSKNk9f0

My cousin and I were doing well with the guitar lessons but I was not all that thrilled about the whole thing. My mind was still on the street and the soccer ball. Then came our family gathering. My mother and my aunt told us that once the dinner was served and when everyone was ready for singing and dancing, we should play our guitars.

Well, we played the two songs that we knew but nobody seemed impressed! Our relatives didn’t know these songs and couldn’t sing or dance to them. After the party, my mother had a serious talk with my father about what we were learning at Mr. Mehrpooya’s class. She said that she was going to come to Mr. Mehrpooya’s office and have a talk with him! She wanted us to do Baba Karam and Vigen’s song, Chera Nemi Raghsi!

Mr. Mehrpooya did not take kindly to my mother’s advice. He wanted us to learn the classical guitar not the pop stuff, but he gave in. In the next family gathering, my cousin who was much better than me was playing all these cool songs on his electric guitar and everyone was dancing and having a great time, and I was just trying hard to catch up by playing the chords.

Mr. Mehrpooya soon realized that I was not really that good of a musician and told my mom and aunt that I was holding my cousin back and he needed to separate us so that my cousin could advance faster. That was a good excuse for me to quit the class and get back on our street and join my buddies!

I admit that I was not a success as a musician but Mr. Mehrpooya inspired me and I learned enough about music and poetry that they became a part of my life. I should also say that Iranian parents are the best. They do so much for their kids. Mine did all these great things and still to this day they are apologetic about their shortcomings.

We are so lucky.

Thank you Ostaad Mehrpooya. You have a special place in my heart and I will have to go through the rest of my life knowing that I was not good enough to be one of your better students! But I hope that you forgive me!

Here is مهرپویا - آسمان میگرید امشب

آن زمانها کبله گاه خسته مرغان دریایی

وز سکوت ظلمت شبهای تنهایی

و هنگامی که بی او جان من چون موجی از اندوه میشد

قطره اشکی دوای درد من بود

این زمان آن اشک هم پایان گرفته

وان دوای درد بی درمان منهم

ماتمی دیگر گرفته

آسمان میگرید امشب

ساز من مینالد امشب

او خبر دارد که دیگر اشک من ماتم گرفته

او خبر دارد که دیگر ناله ام پایان گرفته

آسمان میگرید امشب

ساز من مینالد امشب

او خبر دارد که دیگر اشک من ماتم گرفته

او خبر دارد که دیگر ناله ام پایان گرفته

قطره اشکی دوای درد من بود

این زمان آن اشک هم پایان گرفته

وان دوای درد بی درمان منهم

ماتمی دیگر گرفته

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more from Faramarz
 
Esfand Aashena

آبرو ریزی!

Esfand Aashena


 Aaseman migeryad emshab was and probably still is one of my favorite all time songs.  Somehow Mehrpouya, Habib and Farhad's songs were "new" and interesting to me.  Along with Gita's If love is this, if life is this, I don't want my eyes to see the world!

So you didn't amount to anything in music?!  I thought you were going to say Mr. Mehrpouya taught you guitar and later you used your talent to pick up more chics!

Well there is always Tonbak!

Everything is sacred


Faramarz

You Are so Right Oon Yaroo Jaan

by Faramarz on

We were having so much fun that we managed to screw things up Royally.


Oon Yaroo

Ostaad Agha Faramarz Jaan, Thank you!

by Oon Yaroo on

This was a great era that will never be again!


Faramarz

That's Great Divaneh

by Faramarz on

Somehow, I can picture you sitting in the kitchen, surrounded by pots and pans and having a solo performance; before somebody shows up and twists your ear!


divaneh

Story of music

by divaneh on

Thanks for sharing this lovely story Faramarz. My elder sister was a big fan of Mehrpouya, but I did not appreciate his music those days.

When I was a kid I loved to be a drummer and was playing drums with my mother's pans who were all knocked as a result. My father enrolled me in a Tonbak class in the Kargah Mousighi Koudakan va Nojavanan and I had good fun to be in the company of the like minded kids. When I became a teenager I got my wish and started learning drums in Khaneh Javanan but shortly after there the revolution and it closed down. F..ing revolution. I still get angry about it.


Faramarz

Thank You Uncle G.

by Faramarz on

I am glad you liked it.


G. Rahmanian

What a story!

by G. Rahmanian on

Having dreamed of becoming a musician at some point in my life, this sounded more like a fairy tale.

I've met many famous people, but to take lessons from Mr. Mehrpouya would have been great.

At home we liked to listen to his music almost daily. I don't know what happened to his records after I left home for my studies. Our collection was small and limited to a few singers, anyways. No dance music!

Reminded me of my hometown and my wonderful childhood friends that I still miss, after all these years. One more game of soccer with those who are still around will be great.

I wasn't good at the game, but loved playing it. Maybe that's why I wanted to become a musician.

Thank you for sharing.


Faramarz

Thank you Vildemose

by Faramarz on

The clips that are provided here are one better than the other.


vildemose

Beautifuly written story of

by vildemose on

Beautifuly written story of coming of age. Love it.

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny.--Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.


Faramarz

Thank you note

by Faramarz on

Thanks for reading and your comments and clips.

Mr. Mehrpooya as evident by Jeesh Daram's comment and my observation was way ahead of his time and I feel privileged that I had the honor of learning a few things from him.

God bless his soul.


Anahid Hojjati

Nice story Faramarz

by Anahid Hojjati on

Reminded me of growing up and how I was always impressed with those who played a musical instrument. Just the fact that you took the classes and learned some guitar is good. Thanks for sharing.


maziar 58

......

by maziar 58 on

Thanks for a personal blog of your youth.

khoob motreb ke nashodi,molla ham ke nashodid

then you're fine.Maziar


Souri

Thank you Faramarz

by Souri on

Very interesting blog. It reminded me of my late grand mother who loved this song of Mehrpoua, ghame tanhay . She was able to listen to it, for long hours, over and over. RIP, both of them.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTlQkEuN8Y8


Jeesh Daram

Faramarz & Mehrpooya

by Jeesh Daram on

Faramarz,

Thank you for such a rich and lovely blog about an Iranian legend that with all the fame he had, yet he still needs to be understood by many.  Your memories of him are so beautiful and you took me to my childhood. He was a very close family friend and we used to spend time with him in family gatherings in Shemiran. This was during late 50's and in 60's and he was just discovered and used to drive a red 1950's VW (Karman Ghia) and the back of it was for us children and he called it "sag-dooni".  As I grew up I got the rare opportunity to visit his Japaense Room in his house which was an amazing Japanese ambiance in a room with only few dark red lights and sounds of water falls and many artifacts. Japan Ambassador gave him an official thank you piece of doucment after he visited that room.

A very sincere and humble man and it's great that you got to know him.

These songs are for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Br5_Q_xrskM&feature=related

http://iranian.com/main/video/2010/aug/kojaie

and his most famous song:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhNk7Zr6kh8&feature=related

 

Salute.

 

 


Shazde Asdola Mirza

چهار راه شاه، کوچه برلن، کلاس گیتار ... خوش خاطراتی

Shazde Asdola Mirza


The guitar is not a difficult instrument, Faramarz jan.

Give it another try, and you will enjoy playing the simple pop tunes again.