Wednesday, 20 April 2011


2 of my closest friends turn 50 this weekend
on the same night
and johnnie b

we're doing a bash at a smelly bar
complete with a big jam and old faces
my rolling stones cover band - the midnite ramblers - are reuniting
this is a big deal to us
the original line up hasn't played together since 1986

over the years there have been so many players coming and going
so many
i've tried to count how many actual musicians gigged under the ramblers banner
i fell asleep each time
sometime in the 80s i ended the band
and decided to embark on original music
that didn't last long
but in my absence a couple of the guys started another band
and called it the midnight ramblers
they got another cat to sing
i went to one of their shows
it wasn't very good
but i kinda liked it

recently i watched 'stand by me' with my boys
they were transfixed
there's a line at the end of it
the last thing richard dreyfuss types
it ricochets around inside of me:
"I never had any friends later on, like the ones I had when I was twelve.
Jesus, does anyone?"

when i was twelve i was a loner
right up until i was in grade 12
i had one friend
and we did the best we could to fit in
but mostly it was lots of time alone
in my room
with records

when i found my orbit
i hit the road in a rock n' roll band
months away from home at times
non stop shows
traveling together in my station wagon
those are my 'stand by me' days
the excitement of waking up in a strange town
and going for breakfast together
i knew at that time that i would be doing it forever
and i am

there was never a regular job for me
i would take disappearing things in between gigs during slow times
but i'd walk off of many a factory floor
once the hint of a gig came my way
there was open road out there
with guitars and drums on the horizon
i swear i found the key to the universe
on the stage of a northern town

something found me again
just when my road work was running out of chords
a new path
it grew into my life like a magical weed
and again i was back on the road

never ever
am i at a gig
and forget to take heed of the moment
take in the stage
and the musicians
the techs and the hall
the comings and goings of everyone involved
it's a hidden beauty
and i work hard to keep it fluid

i wonder if the musicians feel this way too?
i press them on it from time to time
i get varied responses
they think that i'm a tie dyed romantic
your goddamned right i am
the romance of the road is a sweet kiss harbouring within my life
i've done my hours
this is a beautiful life
no dress rehearsals
my atheism aside
i feel blessed

des is turning fifty
and soon i will be too
my totem pole is strong
my children
my love
my family
my series
my friends
our audience
all piled up under the sun and rain and snow

april 21, 2011
jack daniels

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