Friday night.

Just me. And you guys.

Hope you’re all doing very well.

It’s been a very busy stretch of parenting, music-planning and getting ready to send out the new album to those of you who Pledged on it. Thank you again for getting me to this stage.

I think Imagination is going to be the first single. The first step is to shoot a video for it. I dreamed up a half bass / half keytar that I hope my brother Frank will now…build. Hope you don’t mind Frank. Just dreamed up this weird instrument and now it’s time for you to find your toolbox. And not leave your house for 2 weeks.

Seriously, just between you and me, I can’t find anyone who has made one of these. Possibly it could be the fact that it’s very difficult to play bass and keyboards at the same time, but come on, why would you not want to try, or at least alternate now and again…using a little imagination.

I found this online, it may become the inspiration for our piece. It was built in 1974, says the internet although the CDs next to it would suggest that the photo was not taken in 1974. I suggested to Frank - "just build it", and he said, "well, it wouldn't take that much more to make it work". Which is Classic Frank Gryner.

basskeytar.jpg

As I’ve been reflecting this week on life, its twists and turns, and trying to put into practise the art of “letting go” - which sounds like we should all circle up, smoke a big one and listen to some Phish bootlegs - I’ve recalled some of the great advice I’ve received over the years. Experience of course is the best teacher, but sometimes other humans are. I’ll get to that in a minute.

 

For me letting go is the hardest thing to learn. I think possibly that I can let go better if I just jump in to life. That’s very hard to do at my age. But since Greg died, something I’ve tried to adopt as a life motto is…”why not?”. I remember at the end of the play, asking Greg to go for a beer, and he said “why not?”. And in one of my Pledge updates, when Leonard Shaw was laying down B3 on The Passing of Ayro, my friend Genevieve said, “I'm so psyched you’re putting B3 on this” and he just said, “Well yeah, why not?” So I try to be a bit more “why not" these days.

 

I also recall what my Music Industry Arts teacher Terry McManus said to me one day a few years back. I sauntered into the MIA office at Fanshawe College during one of my “periods of doubt” regarding the music business and Terry just said to me quite simply, “Emm, you’ve never waited for anyone.” And I loved that. That someone could be so bold and remind me of a simple truth. And that as much as I champion self-reliance, there are some of us who simply need the reinforcement of other humans. Who know us. Who see us when we can’t see ourselves.

 

I think Terry is a member of the Insiders Club so thank you Terry for that bit of advice, which lives on. And I’ll send it out to all of you, because surely, we are all waiting for something, whether we realize it or not. It’s liberating to know that more than often you really can think of something you want to do, and just decide to be in charge of it. 

 

Of course, is anything really in our control? 

 

I should also thank some of you for your comments on my recent diary entries. Some of you have mused over the songs on the albums, some of you have gotten really in-depth with analyzing the meanings of them, and it gives me great strength and joy to know you are listening so closely and sending some of that energy back to me.

 

It’s also the birthday weekend of a friend of mine and Insider member Tycho Manson. I met Tycho at Songstudio where I led a workshop and he was in it. I just wanted to say thanks Tycho for being a super-great friend to me all fall. I’m not an easy person to be around, but Tycho filled my ears with so much great music I had missed from the 70’s and 80’s. Fleetwood Mac, when they were bluesy. China Crisis…if you’re a fan of Steely Dan look that one up. I’ll send out to him and all of you a new rare track…which actually, is from the 90’s. It’s called “Sweet Nothing”.

 

And you can all use it as an anthem of unrequited love. Sometimes people just don’t come through, and whoever didn’t come through for me in 1994, got this little jam inspired by the Gin Blossoms song “Found Out About You”. Remember that? Don’t worry, I won't be writing any songs in the style of Blues Traveler or Sister Hazel. Or…maybe you wish I would. Anyway, it’s not gonna happen.

 

This was recorded by Stuart Brawley, who ended up producing The Original Leap Year (the album that came before Public) and Northern Gospel. It features a little firecracker named Mike Alonzo on the guitar. And it was recorded in the studio, on 2-inch tape at Fanshawe College.

 

Here’s to the past, and letting it go.

 

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