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A Campfire Jam by the Glow of a Crackling iPad May 23, 2012 A Campfire Jam by the Glow of a Crackling iPad
On four iPad screens lying in the center of Anthony Sosnick's spacious SoHo apartment Tuesday night, electronic fires were crackling. Nearby, vegan soy hot-dogs with beet-slaw were cooking, chef Tom Colicchio was strumming his guitar and a reporter was double-fisting a Brooklyn Lager and an artisanal coffee-ice-cream pop.
"Rollin', rollin', rollin' on a river!" sang Chad Smith, the drummer for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, in a backwards Yankees cap. He sat near the iPads and adjacent to "Streeters," an enormous Gilbert & George photo. Mr. Sosnick, the founder of Anthony Logistics for Men, and Mr. Colicchio sang along.
In Manhattan, this is a campfire jam. A Campfire Jam by the Glow of a Crackling iPad
The pow-wow was also the launch event for Guitar Mash, a new nonprofit that aims to connect New Yorkers through guitar, recently founded by Rebecca Weller, who also created the "Midsummer Night Swing" festival at Lincoln Center. Mr. Smith is the "Artist Chair"; Messrs. Sosnick and Colicchio head the "Guitar Council."
The organization's inaugural benefit jam session will take place this November at City Winery, where hundreds of acoustic guitarists will play alongside rock-stars to benefit the Church Street School of Music and Art.
But on Tuesday, the rock-stars played alongside each other and their friends.
Mr. Smith said he's touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers until next June—but sometime around then, he'll be back in the studio. "We've got ideas," he said. "We're growing and changing and hopefully getting better. Other than that, it's whatever goes, goes, and wherever we're at, it's where we're at. That's what we always do."
Presumably, he will be sticking to drums. "I know some chords," he said between songs. "I'm not better [at guitar] than the average person. I'm a fish out of water here."
Mr. Smith, who sang and strummed "Rollin' on a River" and "I Saw Her Standing There," seemed, in fact, like a significantly better guitar player than the average civilian.
He begged to differ. "Guitarists are like Hendrix," he said. "Sexy! Drummers are the sweaty guys in the back. We're more like neanderthals."
Mr. Colicchio, who co-founded the famed Gramercy Tavern, among other things, has previously revealed his not-so-hidden knack for guitar-playing. He insists, however, that it's just a hobby.
"I sit on my couch and I play for myself," he said. "Everyday. When I wake up in the morning. And when I go to bed at night." If his kids are around, he added, "they'll sometimes get a 'Wheels on the Bus.'"
Would Mr. Colicchio ever join Mr. Smith's profession and put out the Tom Colicchio album?
"No, no, no," the chef said. "No."
Is he sure? He looked pretty into playing.
"Yes," he said. "I'm sure."
Please, we tried again. "No," he said. "Yeah, no."
For now, he'll stick to his couch, apartment parties and benefits.
A version of this article appeared May 24, 2012, on page A23 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: A Campfire Jam by the Glow of a Crackling iPad. 05/24/12 >> go there