11-year-old jams at Lewiston pub

LEWISTON — Justin Lindsay doesn't exactly look like he belongs roaming around open mic night at the local watering hole.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Justin Lindsay, 11, of Scarborough warms up prior to Monday night's open mic at Pedro O'Hara's in Lewiston.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Justin Lindsay, 11, of Scarborough warms up prior to Monday night's open mic at Pedro O'Hara's in Lewiston.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Justin Lindsay, 11, of Scarborough, performs at Monday night's Open Mic at Pedro O'Hara's in Lewiston.

In fact, he's barely tall enough to see over the bar.

He's not much taller than the electric guitar he plays.

Nope. The 11-year-old from Scarborough looks more like your typical middle-school student than a budding rock prodigy.

"I wanna have a band. I definitely don't want to be a one-man band," said the smiling sixth-grader as he prepared to take the stage Monday at Pedro O'Hara's in Lewiston.

Lindsay, whose family is originally from the Twin Cities area, has been playing at the Lewiston restaurant's Monday night feature for about a month. His prowess has caught the attention of local crowds but also musician Denny Breau, who is working one on one with Lindsay.

"I think he's got a lot of talent, and at just 11 years old, he's got a lot of guitar out in front of him," said Breau, who is introducing Lindsay to the blues. "For someone like Justin to get into the blues, it's his destiny. It's definitely a good vehicle to get you to love your instrument."

Lindsay's mother, Monica Morin, said her son fell in love with the strings after discovering the video game Guitar Hero at age 6. The youngster liked it so much that his father, an avid music fan with a collection of more than 800 albums, bought his son's first guitar a year later. His mother signed him up for lessons shortly after that.

Morin said things progressed quickly, as Lindsay rapidly picked up song after song. Maybe it was his uncle's promise to pay him $20 if he learned to play Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." Maybe it was an inherent love of the classic rock his dad exposed him to as a toddler.

Whatever the driving factor, Lindsay's uncle, Kyle Lindsay, said he never promised to pay his nephew again because he learned the song so quickly. With a broad smile, the Sabattus man added that he would have gone broke quickly if he had gone on promising to pay the boy per song.

"He really surprised us. He blew everyone away," said Mike Krapovicky of Auburn, who runs Open Mic Mondays at Pedro O'Hara's. "Just to come out and see somebody with chops like this. He's just so far ahead of everybody at his age."

Morin recently realized there might be something to her young son's dream of one day hitting it big.

"My heart was telling me," she said. "I knew it. But to hear a third party come out and say it, I'm starting to see this kid turn into something special — this kid who always wanted to be a rock star."

ahannon@sunjournal.com

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Comments

Monica Morin's picture

A Supportive, Positive Comment from Justin's Mom

I shouldn't even be wasting my time trying to defend giving my son the opportunity to share his talent publicly, but I can't help myself. Apparently some people have far too much time on their hands and love negative attention to take the time to go on an on about an 11-yr old playing at local pub in Lewiston, and making extremely inaccurate assumptions about his parents. Justin's family supports him 100%. We are all originally from the L/A area and found Pedros to be a warm, welcoming environment that had open mic night at a reasonable hour. Most places start at 8 or 9 which is too late. Justin is a well-rounded child; an honor roll student at Scarborough Middle school, he plays basketball and does snowboarding. I will continue to bring Justin to these open mic nights as long as he's still having fun. We are doing our best to guide him carefully. Justin will be on the Channel 6 - 207 program this coming Monday night February 27th at 7 p.m. Watch for more on his talents and his incredible guitar instructor Tom Dee from Portland, Maine. We are extremely proud parents and have no regrets. Thank you all for your positive words.

 's picture

Commenting On Other peoples Parenting Skills

Make sure that before you make comments regarding other peoples children and the parents Parenting skills that your and your children are PERFECT!

Then by all means have at it!

RUSSELL DILLINGHAM's picture
staff

response

Are you also against kids that play sports and don't get home until late on school nights? My son is in JROTC and Army Cadets at his school and often does not return from drill until late on school nights. It is a requirement for athletes and cadets to have good grades in order to participate. With proper guidance from his parents, this youngster might just be successful in school and also be able to pursue his dreams. It's all about guidance and support. What's the alternative. Stay home, watch TV, play video games, facebook and troll the comment section on websites to pick apart everyone and everything, blaming the government? I say, pursue your dreams while getting a good education. Who knows, these kids that stay out late on school nights pursuing their dreams just may make something of themselves and become productive, tax paying citizens, not couch potatoes living off the state.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Open mouth;insert both feet.

Open mouth;insert both feet. Life is good.

Heather Sullivan's picture

As I said before, Dan,

As I said before, Dan, Pedro's may HAVE a bar but it is a RESTAURANT!! And how can you sit there and talk about sleezy?! There are many other BAR ESTABLISHMENTS out there that you can sit there and talk trash about it being "sleezy" but you don't see the parents bringing him there to support their son's talent! Yes, it is school vacation but nonetheless, he is there under parent supervision and that is appropriate! Just as long as it is not on the weekends. I've been a bartender for over 10 years and besides, it is not only bartender's call, but also the restaurant owner's discretion. And they are obviously helping Justin out with getting his name out there as a young and TALENTED musician. He is not sitting home and being a couch potato playing video games or absorbing himself in the television.....Have some compassion for this young musician and quit critizing him! Besides, it is NOT your say!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If I didn't know you so well,

If I didn't know you so well, I'd say you sound just like any other liberal trying to tell other people how to live up to "their" standards. But, I know you well enough to know that you just can't help yourself; it's who you are.

 's picture

Please Sun Journal!!!

Where is that Ignore button?!! I am shocked to see no mention of Republicans or Nutting here!!

KRIS KUCERA's picture

Nice cover of the Stones' Sweet Virginia.

The fuzzy orange guitar strap is perfect. Keith would be proud. Jam on, Justin. . . . (Rock-n-Roll Security, please bounce Dan outta here.)

"But come on, come on down, Sweet Virginia,
Come on, honey child, I beg you.
Come on, come on down, you got it in ya.
Got to scrape the [feces] right off you shoes."

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

While Frank Sinatra sings,

While Frank Sinatra sings, "Stormy Weather", the flies and the spiders get along together.....

 's picture

Justin Lindsay Great Job!

Wishing you the best and to have Denny Breau in your corner, one day soon you will be a legend just like him... Epic playing on the rise!!!!!!! GV

Jessie Fields's picture

Dan, I tend to agree with

Dan, I tend to agree with most of your posts but, in this case, I can not. This is LIFE learning! There are some things children cannot experience in school and this is one of them. Its not like his parents have just dropped him off at some bar. They are there, supporting him. And he is doing what he loves for people who can appreciate his music. Perhaps he will gain some perspective about the bar environment at an early age. School is not "the" journey to adulthood; its only a piece of it.

 's picture

It happens to be school

It happens to be school vacation week I believe!! At least you aren't blaming it on Lepage as you usually do with anything you don't agree with.

Heather Sullivan's picture

Dan, Pedro's may be a bar but

Dan, Pedro's may be a bar but you seem to forget that it is also a family resturant. On Monday's, no big deal....it's when it is a Thursday, Friday, or even Saturday night that I would say is not encouraging. This kid has talent and needs to show the world. If he is that good, he will be a somebody. He needs to start somewhere and Pedro's is giving him that opportunity! Good for them, and everyone that does support this child with what he loves most...music!! Bravo Justin!! Keep rocking!!

RUSSELL DILLINGHAM's picture
staff

Bad to the bone

Thank you Heather for your comment. I was going to say just that. Geez. Give the parents a break. Would Dan rather the kid sit in his basement playing video games, hanging out at the mall, etc. His parents and friends were all gathered around a table prior to the open mic night having dinner at a restaurant, and then they were treated to watching their son/friend perform and watch other local talent. There are not too many places that are not bar like places where up and coming talent can perform. Again, kudos to the parents for driving all the way from Scarborough to give their son some experience performing. If he has a passion for this, let him perform. Mentoring and nurturing with close supervision is needed, and after talking to his relatives, I am sure he will get it.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

At least, there are two

At least, there are two Lewiston parents who know where their kid is on a Monday night. How many hundreds are there who don't have that luxury?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Before I get totally car

Before I get totally car bombed, make that, two Scarborough parents.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Because Denny Breau is in the

Because Denny Breau is in the L/A area?

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