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Date: Thu 10 Jul, 2003 at 07:54
Headline: Current Events, part 3

Greetings & Salutations!

I have an appointment with my optometrist this morning, and just got off the phone with his "answering service" -- that is to say, a person whose only job is to take calls and jot down messages before the office actually opens and the phone lines are turned over to the staff. Does this strike anyone else as odd? I mean, I'm grateful to be able to contact a real live human being by phone in the year 2003, especially in a business context, but...really? Someone who is paid just to answer phones, but has no access to the actual office's facilities/information? How bizarre and impractical is that?

Back To Our Story

So the Zephyr gig turned out to be a far better experience than we had expected, and has given us a real shot in the arm. Right now we're hoping to head back there next month, as well as pick up a few more Park City dates before the Fall. We had hoped to get in on a few of the outdoor festivals taking place in the local area, but it seems not to be, at least for this summer.

All-star Line-up

I just got a chance to check out a video copy of the Zephyr show (thanks Randy!) and while I can hear all the little mistakes and places where we could have been tighter here and there, it just thrills me that over the past few years we've been able to assemble a band as good as this one. There have been temporary brushes with less-than-stellar musicianship in the past, but at this point I see no holes in the armor. It's especially cool when it comes to Pink Floyd music because, as wonderful as many find it to be, it's not really all that technically challenging. Knowing that these guys (and girls) have so much going for them in the chops department and yet restrain themselves to fit the soul of the situation just makes me that much more proud of being associated with them. Occasionally I just have to sit back and marvel that musicians this good are willing to share the stage with -- let alone take orders from -- a bum like me. :-)

Independence Fray

And speaking of sharing the stage with talented musicians, I had a blast at the 4th of July gig with my friends from Jupiter. In front of a few thousand people on an absolutely perfect summer's night in Brigham City, Juli Mueller, John Clark, Ray Opheikens, Curtis Shapley and I breezed through a couple of hours of music, touching on all of the different moods and genres (rock, pop, soul, country, disco, swing, etc) in which our little human jukebox of a band traffics. The crowd really seemed to get off on the variety, which is always good to see, and the band was (forgiving the occaisonal lyric miscue) the tightest we have been in some time. We threw in a few "patriotic" songs for the occasion, and I was especially jazzed to be running through Night Ranger's 'You Can Still Rock In America', which is the sort of unfashionable music that one normally just can't get away with playing in public anymore.

It's always a different kind of experience playing in Jupiter, partly because I'm on a different instrument, but mostly because there's so little responsilibity compared to what I do with the SONS. Just being able to lay into the playing and not worry about anything else is such a great release, made even better at this particular gig by working with an outside sound crew for the first time in the band's history. Nothing like being able to leave technology in the hands of the pros to make a performance that much closer to stress-free. Between this show and the previous night's goings-on at the Zephyr, I was beginning to feel seriously spoiled, and said as much to Juli before the show. She agreed, and we mused for some time about how great it would be for things to always go this smoothly...

Out Of The Woodwork

Just as our set was winding down, the lights were going out, and we were getting ready to belt out the obligatory 'God Bless The USA' under the glare of the fireworks display, someone at the side of the stage got my attention and waved me over. We had been making announcements for security and finding lost family members all night, so I assumed this was something similar, but it turned out that this person wanted to talk to me specifically....and after a few moments, I recognized my High School drama teacher, Brenda Park (or Wylde now, having been married some time after my class graduated). I hadn't seen her in more than a decade. Funnily enough, she doesn't live anywhere near Brigham City -- her family just happened to be meeting some friends on the other side of the ballpark that night, and she had recognized me on stage. I headed back up to play the last song, then afterwards she and I gave each other very brief rundowns of our lives thus far. She asked about people from the past, some of whom I am still in touch with, and some of whom have simply vanished in the mists of time (cue Alan Parsons "Old & Wise"). I gave a her a copy of the new CD, and we laughed about the strangeness of meeting in this fashion before going our separate ways once again.

The next day, I received a phone call from Bert Smith, another friend I hadn't seen since High School. Apparently a neighbor of a few of my in-laws, he noticed my name on one of their CDs and made the connection. We chatted for a bit about life, the universe and everything, then did some swapping of contacts as he is currently managing a band based in SLC called Passage. Funny how the music thing has a tendency to bring the past into the present from time to time.

Shut Up Already, Captain Exposition!

So, folks and friends, that is what has been going on these past few weeks. I am right this very moment awaiting word from Carl on new concert dates, and in the meantime I've been enjoying some much-needed rest and recuperation. No doubt we'll be back to work soon enough...

bye for now,