Treble is my middle name

So, there is something wrong with “Brazilian Guitarist Richard Miller.” What’s with the gringo name? My father is American, my mother is Brazilian. I was born in Rio de Janeiro and lived there (and São Paulo, Puerto Rico, and a few other places) until I was 15, when I moved to U.S. My parents gave me the most American of names, not knowing that I would develop a passion for Brazilian guitar. Even worse, my middle name is Elbert, after my uncle from Tennessee. Backwards that spells treble.

I’ve considered changing my name to sound more Brazilian. Ricardo Miller, Ricardo Ribeiro (mother’s maiden name being Costa Ribeiro), Viola (my capoeira nickname), Ganesha (that’s a whole other story). I’ve pointed out to people that my uncle was Sydney Miller, quite well known in the Bossa Nova era in Rio (there is a music hall named after him — Sala Sydney Miller at the Biblioteca Nacional in Rio) and who apparently didn’t feel a need to alter his name (nor did he speak a word of English). Then there is the Brazilian crooner Dick Farney who changed his name to sound American …. For one second I thought maybe I should be in country music. But I’ve decided just to stick with what is on my birth certificate and leave it at that, and express the music that is closest to my heart.

Some people judge books by their covers and people by their names. I hope I’m judged by the sounds that come out of my guitar.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Treble is my middle name

  1. Marilyn Millstone says:

    Judging by the sounds that come out of your guitar…your name is just beautiful!

  2. Von Whitley says:

    Ya know, I’ve got this goofy German preposition for a name. My parents aren’t German and I don’t think I’ve got a single ounce of German relation in my history. Yet, here I am stuck fielding questions about my family being germanic and is that your first name or a middle name? To make matters worse, I had a German roommate in grad school. He had a “Who’s on first” conversation with his parents trying to describe his roommate.
    “Hey ma, I have a new roommate–From”.
    “From where?” she asks
    “No, his name is ‘From’”
    “His name comes from where?” she ask again
    “Yes, where is he from again dear?”.

    Anyway, my name drives me crazy, and is compounded by the fact that my goofy parents named my brother ‘Van’. I thought about changing it for awhile, but in the end…I would lose all these funny stories about my name. So, I guess I’ll keep it and bore my grandkids with these stories some day…

    Hope all is well with you Richard . I miss our conversations.

  3. Ar Adler says:

    My name is a state of being, an oar in middle English, pronounced like a letter in the alphabet… I had to change it for a while when I was a working musician in a very conservative region of Upstate NY. Now that I’m composing, recording and performing my own music, my name is my brand and that’s worked out rather well.

    So what if I’ve had to make up stories to explain it…like my parents were existentialist…or it was a difficult labor and that’s all my mother could say when the nuns at St Joseph’s hospital asked her what she wanted to name me.

  4. Sandy Wester says:

    I really enjoyed this entry and the one about “Believe…”. You have a terrific flair for communicating universal thoughts and feelings through your words and in your music.
    Keep it coming.
    Have a healthy and prosperous 2011.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>