Three sessions in 2 days.
Where there's a will there is a safe way.
I am sitting in North Bay Ontario looking at the lake through a hotel window. Damn it is beautiful. I'd forgotten how beautiful Northern Ontario is. Inspired by the Netflix series, “Cardinal”, I’m revisiting my old haunts in “Algonquin Bay”.
Yesterday I had a coffee with a former co-worker from Music City, where I was employed over 40 years ago.
What a great time reminiscing on old times, forgotten bands, dead musicians, our youth with all its ribald triumphs, failures and near misses. I am feeling reenergized and full of beans going home today. It was a good idea to reach out. Thank you, Bob and Mike!
This morning on my way out of town I will be having coffee with an old blues player, whom I jammed with around 1976-77. We’ll talk blues and music. I don’t know the guy, but I do know his work. And, I remember fondly his playing.
Time is short, if there is someone from the past you want to play with, get on the phone and reach out. Time has passed, they will likely say yes. If you need to patch up some things from decades ago, it’s time.
How to live in the moment. Shaan, age 4, is learning to rock on in the midst of everything that is gong on. His dad loves KISS, so we are playing appropriately titled etudes as he learns skills at the piano. Music he can show off. He doesn't see work, he doesn't feel stress, he sees fun.
Maybe we should be learning some new music that gives us the same thrill. Think way back, which piece of music from your youth do you wish you could play?
Now time to get busy, dust off your ax and jump right in.
Apparently age 50 is the golden year to join or form a "dad band". This explains a lot. The proliferation of collectable instruments as a start. Pros are not buying the expensive boutique guitars, pre-amps, snare drums. They are mostly broke. Fifty-year-old lawyers with dad bods and rekindled musical passion are. Online video lessons reach out to the same demographic. As do jazz camps, rock fantasy camps et al. I know, I've been. The "campers" are predominantly male and skew heavily to ages below 25 and over 50. The before and after children crowd. All have exquisite instruments.
Why do fifty-year-old women not do the same? They know better. Someone said they run marathons. But I digress.
For a hilarious take on "Dad Bands" and inspiration for this blog post check out this link to "The Debaters Podcast"
I realise that lately I've been drumming in a lot of "Dad Bands" and "Grandpa bands". Oh boy. People I haven't seen in 30 and 40 years are in these bands. "Hey Dave, where have you been?" My response is always, "super, whom am I talking too?" I remember young men.
I'm reconsidering my next move. My 85-year-old mother tells me I'm not ready for this, I'm still making a living as a professional musician. I should wait until the time is right, she says. Good advice.
What a lot of fun last night with this bunch. Drummer was away, I gave it my best shot. In recovery this morning.
It is interesting to meet up with guys you played with 30 to 40 years ago. Where the hell did the years go?
Was there shock?
Was there pushback?
Was it difficult to learn?
No, no, and no
Sounded awesome too. We were playing a straight 8th piece, I threw in a drum beat inspired by Drake. Now I'm pumped. What a breath of fresh air.
The old guys still have the stuff. Tonight in Toronto at the 416 Festival Terry Clarke, Bruce Cassidy, Glen Hall, Kieran Overs, and David Story took to the stage. I figure everyone had between 40 and 55+years of playing experience. Let's think, that is 250+ years of collective experience. Yikes! And they still play like young guys, full of beans and ready to play.
How do they do it?
I'll speak for myself first.
What I observed in the guys today at both rehearsal and later on stage.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.