Monday, 20 May 2013

Notes from a Turnpike

a heavy compacted 7 albums in 3 days weekend
starting in princeton new jersey
where we did pepper and mystery together
right in the heart of the university
in a beautiful old theatre
steeped in glory

pepper falls out of us now
it's not like we ever take it for granted
but we know how to perform the album
we know all the tricks
and all the parts
we forged our own keys

magical mystery tour was exactly that
i noticed some of the CAL swagger ebbed ever so slightly
and we were a touch tentative
yet still exact
a couple of the songs soared
vocally we were at the top of our game
thankfully the horn section showed up with extra brass in pocket
and delivered a selection of sonically pleasing strawberry filled walls of sound

special merit badge to stevie dyte
who made history
with his note perfect blast of piccolo trumpet during penny lane
later that night i combed the internet
to find a flake of evidence
of another trumpeter coming close to what stevie did
no reply came the stern answer
stevie made history
footnote history

during blue jay way
i felt under prepared
i mixed the weekend's shows
and while preparing for the album
i continually glazed when it came to blue jay way
after the show
i mentioned to alex
that i thought the song was lacking
she said she loved it because she got to solo the entire song
at the next show
i grooved her fader north
and there she was
that cello of hers growling like the mean bitch it can be
and the song came alive
and fun

i love david love
i've had some similar conversations with lots of alumni
where they ask why i'm picking on them
i tell them it's because i think they're one of the greats
david's one acoustic guitar and i don't get along
i can't wrangle the sound i want out of it
and i tell him so
and he gets mad
and i get mad that he gets mad
and soon we're drinking wine at the bar together and discussing preamps
but my favourite moment with david
was in between albums
i voiced my upsettedness about the J-45
so david tries to buy a new guitar on line between albums
i love that
'craig - how about a martin?'
who doesn't love a martin
sometimes david love doesn't

mark stewartson has a perfect honey kissed sun ripened velvety smooth voice
and he's a warm soul to spend time backstage with

in niagara falls
the CAL zep band pulls into a new venue
and sells it out
trigger happy dom polito
and the newly braceleted phil naro
teamed up with gold medal goaltender rick vatour
and took the audience for a workout
check out rick's biceps for proof

saturday was a day off
i had my oldest son with me
so we hit manhattan
and tripped the day fantastic
it was nice spending three solid days with The Boy
we rarely left each other's side
at times i wondered
'who is this strange person following me around?'
he used to be a little boy
now he's proving to be an asset backstage
with gear photocopying and sugar

back in jersey
we began our beatles marathon
let it be
abbey road
in the afternoon
followed by
and mystery at night

some people might remember the original beatles marathon
at the phoenix
way back in the 40s
we did every beatles song ever recorded
in one day
it almost killed some the musicians
i understand after the undertaking
greg wyard took a year off to meditate
this marathon was a far more civilized affair
in that we once again cheated death
and sparkled resplendently
the band banded together
and became elastic pieces of joy
the vibe was cool
and the playing was juicy

i love the musicians
i know they know that
i and i know i go on about it too much
but i really sincerely care for them
and appreciate all they do
to make all of us
feel like we're connected
we've raised the bar
we've weeded out the whiners
we've plucked unwanted facial hair
we've arrived at a perfectly grounded round totem pole
around which we prop each other up
and build
and friendships
this is the stuff of life
next week
i head out again

craig martin
may 20, 2013
dairy queen