the plan is i have a gig! june 20. see the gigs page. but just like everyone i am giving lessons online and waiting to start gigging when it makes sense to do so. june 20 is outdoors so, mask on face, i’ll go to work. and i have written a solo piece for viola, a piece for classical guitar and am about done with a string quartet. nothing i can personally play. but i thought i would dabble in art.
some people in saskatoon (thats in canada) ordered a couple DVDs . i mailed them a long time ago. they didnt get there. i said i would resend them after the holiday rush. good that i waited. i heard today that the DVDs finally arrived. they’d been to Laos first.
appropos of not much: sometimes one remembers things. hazily, but still. when i was about 18 or 19 i was playing in a bar in ventura, i think, with my roommate at the time, a bass player and singer named tom boyd. maybe with a band, maybe the two of us. but a middle aged guy comes up and says “play born to lose”. i said “sorry we dont know it”. he says ” i said play born to lose”. “sorry” i said, “we really dont know it. sorry”. he puts a dollar in my shirt pocket, squints his eyes and says “now, play born to lose”. “really sir, you should take your dollar back…”, at which point tom says ” this guy is drunk and he is going to kick your ass”. “but why? i said i’d give him his dollar back”. tom looked at me with a combination of pity, impatience and you-better-pay-attention. he called a key. “but you dont know the words” i said. “right”, he says. and he began to sing “born to lose and now i’m losing you, born to lose and now i’m losing you, born to lose and now i’m losing you, born to lose and now i’m losing you”. take a solo, he says. i did. he says “verse 2” and sings: “born to lose and now i’m losing you, born to lose and now i’m losing you, born to lose and now i’m losing you, born to lose and now i’m losing you”. take it out, he says. i did. the drunk seemed to be placated. my eyes were a little bit more open than they had been a few minutes before.
december 8. irene got sick (very sick, it turns out) and couldn’t make the gig for the san luis obispo blues society. oh, boy, i thought, i gotta sing all night and try to carry this blues dance gig. oh, boy. panic. i called brett hoover of the cinders blues band. i was loathe to ask him because he’s got his own health issues but i asked. true to his nature he said he’d show up and see how he managed and if it wasnt a drag for him he’d be the singer de jour. But if he couldn’t carry out the plan i was building my confidence. i am not a bad blues singer, not great but not bad. yes, i can do this, sure i can. let me at ’em. no need to worry, i got it covered. got to the venue and explained things to the powers that be and said i was still a little hesitant to count on brett. one of the blues society guys looks at me and says, well lets hope brett is in good shape ’cause i’ve heard you sing. there goes all that confidence building in one quickly burst bubble. return to panic. well brett was great, it turns out, he kicked ass. and at the last minute we got burning james scoolis to show up with a guitar and his mic. and so he and brett carried the vocal burden and did great and i sang a few and, hey buddy, yeah you, i wasnt too bad. were you paying attention? the audience was dancing and we had a ball. and i didnt sing all that bad. really. i want to thank the blues society of san luis obispo for having us. thanks to brett and james for saving my butt. and a big round of applause for ken hustad on bass and the inimitable paul griffith (not griffin, its griffith) on drums. and most of all the audience of dancers who made us want to play.
If you are interested in guitar lessons via skype, send an email. dm1[at]impulse.net
Mike Baranik makes a real nice parlor, now dont you think?