Update 36, January 3, 2011 LAST NEXT
A different sort of update this time - a personal retrospective of the past year, 2010.
Every 'holiday season' since 07/08 I have been stricken with an humungo chest cold despite the annual flu shot. Stress related? Probably to some degree but a real pain in the ass besides the obvious. I thought I was getting away with it this year but it hit early morning Boxing Day and I'm still suffering. So, I missed the Food Bank Jam at Mikey's Juke Joint. Come to think of it, I missed it the year prior also.
Although I had gratefully accepted Maurice Ginzer's September '09 invitation to put a band together and play a set at the 2010 Calgary International Blues Festival, early in the year I was still without a band as the drummer's chair was not yet filled. The one I had in mind was having health issues and couldn't commit when I had asked him in the fall. So there followed several angst - ridden weeks. Then (surprisingly) he recovered enough to say "I'm in". In a nutshell I found the right bass player and keyboard/2nd guitar/vocalist and I thought it was good to go. Really tough to get all of us together for even one rehearsal. Communication breakdowns of several sorts, mostly with 1st choice drummer who turned out to be having more than back problems. For my own self preservation I had to pass. But, another great drummer came to the rescue and all was well even though the first time we breathed the same air together was half an hour before we went on stage at noon, August 7. An exhilarating experience!
The band lineup fiasco turned out to be a revelatory, positive experience for my psyche. Also, around the same time, I made what will remain an unnamed 'vow' to myself. I couldn't believe how liberating that was for me at the time.
Throughout the year my physical health remained two thumbs up. I'm so fortunate, so blessed to have been given this second life. Regular exams continue and there has been nothing negative to report.5th Rebirthday coming up in July.
After the Bluesfest I thought I would finally give myself a vacation. I've played with a lot of different musicians since I started gigging in 1962 and thought it was about time to reconnect with a few of them, hopefully to also do some jamming. I called it my "Bucket Tour'" (1st leg). You never know when you will see these folks again. Facebook and email are fine to keep in touch but there is NOTHING like face-to face! I drove to Vancouver stopping in Kelowna on the way for a couple visits and an unexpected invite to play some jazz with 'Summer Ice' at a Friday afternoon house party in Westbank before hitting the trail for the coast. Big fun! The trip turned out to be about two weeks long and was just awesome. It could only have been better if there had been more pickin'. The grinnin' part sure made up for it, though. A side trip to Seattle was the icing on the cake besides visits with my daughter and sister-in-law
When I was in grade 8, 1961/62 I had entered a TV quiz show called 'Knowledge College'. I wound up winning the grand prize which was a whack of passes for the Seattle World's Fair including a trip to the top of the Space Needle. I chose to opt for a cash prize which enabled me to buy my first electric guitar, amplifier and reel-reel tape recorder. It set me on the path to a life as a musician. And along came Jimi Hendrix, from Seattle. My main reason to go there was to visit the Experience Music Project which was fantastic and just happened to be next door to the Space Needle. So, thanks to the guitar I finally got to go up there. Full circle of sorts.
Update (March 7, 2016) regarding October through December 2010:
I had been planning on a trip to Las Vegas to visit a couple musicians I had played with in the '70s, Bob Walker and Bob Ego, and also to see the Cirque de Soleil performance of The Beatles 'Love' at the Mirage. While driving me to the airport on October 6 Lisa stated that we needed to consider 'wrapping up' our marriage. The wheels were set in motion which ultimately led to our divorce in May, 2012. The week in Vegas however was a total blast!