Saturday, 17 September 2011

Let me know

I’m reading a book called “Vinyl Tap Stories” by Randy Bachman. I am really just beginning the book, but so far it is really quite interesting. Randy has a CBC radio show on...well...right now, Saturday night from 7:00PM to 9:00 PM. While I was writing, I realized that it is on right now. Cool! In the show (and the book), Randy talks about his time in the business and his take on what is happening, has happened and will happen in the music industry. I find it very interesting just how bands developed and how songs came into being. It isn’t at all magical, but seems to be a fair amount of work. Is it working if you love it?

You should make a point of getting this book if you love music. If you happen to have grown up in Winnipeg or Canada during the sixties it will have even more impact on you. It would be great to go back in time and watch all of these great musicians in small intimate venues, instead of the large stadiums and halls that they are in now. Can you imagine seeing these geeky guys and girls when they first played in their high schools and community centers? I wonder if you would even recognize the beginnings of their talent.

That isn’t possible, but every now and then you get lucky and can get a real close experience. A friend of mine was travelling in Europe many years ago and was sitting in a bar in Greece when a guy came in and told him that Cat Stevens was on the beach with his guitar. Jim went out of course and was treated to about two hours of music and singing for as long as there was beer. Cat would talk about how the songs came to be written and what he loved and hated about the business. God I wish I had been there!

When I was about fifteen, we were down in Florida and met a guy at an arcade that told us that he had gone to an Alice Cooper concert the night before and how great it was. We were pissed that we missed it, but he said there was another concert tonight and he thought that there might be tickets left. What the Hell, we decided to give it a go. We arrived at the hall, and after getting our tickets we couldn’t help but notice that there were maybe thirty people there. We asked one of the ushers just how early we were and he said the show would start in about ten minutes. Huh? Sure enough, ten minutes later Alice and the band did the “Dead Babies“, concert. I can’t tell you how cool it was; and it would have been even better if I really liked Alice Cooper instead of just thinking he was OK.

The next time I had a similar experience was at Ontario Place. I remember there were a few large outdoor bars with different themes, all of them very loud. I guess when you drink beer your ears lose the ability to hear quiet sounds, or that is what the bar owners think. Maybe, if you can’t talk then all you can do is drink. Hmmmm... I was in the “just give me a drink” stage, but I couldn’t find a barmaid. I decided to take care of myself and went to where the bar tenders were. It turns out that they were in a lovely enclosed, quiet space and the only sound was the clinking of ice cubes in glasses and the mellow sounds of this blind, black bluesman and his piano. I sat listening to him play in a very comfortable arm chair, drinking several boxcars and wondering if this night could go on forever. You know, it just may go on forever or as long as my memories keep it alive.

The last empty entertainment experience that I remember was when Louise and I took the kids to see “The Peanut Butter Solution”. We bought our tickets and when we went in to the theatre, we were the only ones there. No one else came in at all! The kids got up and wandered around the theatre sitting up front for a while then moving to the very back. I think they eventually sat in every seat in the house. We didn’t have to shhhhh them once. Very cool time, the movie was okay, but I am not sure it would stand the test of time. The memories have though.

I hope that I can have another experience like those in the future, but if not me then I hope you can have one.

Let me know...

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