Sunday, 20 June 2021

Fathers

 Fathers

rock n roll is the story of bad fathers

gone

drunk 

high 

missing

it was the price of art

young men mostly

getting rich

famous

and adored

plugged into the gravy train

and leaving a string of inconvenient children behind


time passed

and things changed

and as soon as their 40s kicked in

most of them became prodigal fathers

and invested in their kids lives

better late than never indeed

that said

some of them were better off staying away


for all you attentive dads

think of the mind set of your child if you weren’t around

i can’t fathom it

my saving grace as a father was that i showed up

warts and all

i kept showing up

and i’m lucky to have a circle of friends who do the same

show up

here’s your parents

we’re messy 

but we're here


lately i’ve been getting peace of mind 

by calling my friends 

and talking to them about choices i’m making with my son jackson

it’s somewhat of an informal mens group

where we speak with iron about our short comings

and occasional successes

it’s amazing how open we are

the stereo type denotes a tight lipped / keep it all inside kind of manly attitude

this couldn’t be further from the truth

hollywood has missed the mark on what it means to be a father

we’re no longer concerned with your dictating morals and personalities

we’re critical thinkers with compassion and somewhat verbose musings

i’m glad for this


i know of some estranged fathers

i have to be careful with this

having lost a son

i am unable to comprehend a scenario where you are not in contact with a child

who cares who did what

i would reach out no matter the circumstances

that said 

if you’re the cab driver i railed at a couple years ago

i apologize

i should mind my own business


when i was a young man of 20

i was with a woman

and we terminated a pregnancy

i was too young to understand the full impact of this

but i think about it almost everyday

and how different my life would be now

so when i say i’m pro life and pro choice

i mean it


these are changing times

and it takes a flexible mind to navigate through

being a father is the ultimate expression of love

it’s not for everyone

thankfully

there are people i salute for not having added to the population


my father could catch fish in puddles

i’m good at bringing people together

just do what you’re good at

and do no harm

show up

and stay open to love


jackson’s readying the canoes

the lake is glass

the sun is strong

and i’m alive 



craig

coffee and peanuts in the shell


Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Cocoa Beach

Cocoa Beach



it's beautiful here

lemon sunlight and 

slow breezes


i had coffee in bed for the first time in a year

that was nice

then i checked the socials to discover

it’s shain’s and bobby’s birthday

two good men

with soulful fingers

and ears tuned to satellites 

i posted about shain being with CAL since the 70s

and everyone started messaging me about my math and how that doesn’t add up

i realized that people don’t get me

or my sense of humour

that ripples into other parts of my life


i’ve been spending a lot of time with eric and his wife cindy

eric has all these fantastic stories about growing up in this unique part of america

i’m going to steal them and write a story!

he’s okay with that

cindy asked me if i had screamed at the ocean lately

so this morning i swam out far

and raged a bit

where’s my son?

why?

salty tears and a return to the beach


cocoa beach is frill free

families come here to lounge in the sand

and play in the surf

kids everywhere

from all the different soups

it’s beautiful

and it works

some old guy on one of those fat tired bikes blasting a jeff beck cut from blow by blow

balls going missing

hovering birds

i don’t want to leave


then a rocket launch

just a couple miles away

a spark of brilliant orange and yellow

thunder

someone is going to space 

the best we can do

the summit of our humanity

having nasa so close is 

affirming 

human beings are going to be okay


tomorrow i travel south to vero

and then to the keys 

where i’ll be playing guitar on the CCR show

outdoors

i’m unsure of when i’ll return to toronto

jackson’s with a new puppy

ian’s at the house creating

my mum is cared for

i’m starting to feel the string unwind

time to spin free



craig

april 7, 2021

starbucks coffee and scone

Thursday, 18 March 2021

Reflections On the Past Year

 Reflections on the Past Year


1. My internal voice has turned into a press conference. I envision a panel asking me if having a smoothie for dinner is a wise choice?


2. I’m good enough on piano now to play with a heavily drinking bar band that performs to people who are also drinking heavily.


3. The vaccination was painless. I felt euphoric afterwards - so much so that I’m flying away on 

Monday. But I’m going to treat the world like I have not had a vaccination. Dez experienced a tinge of lethargy after his vaccination but I put that down to his being exponentially older than I am.


4. CAL has been powering through. After launching concerts off my front lawn we were able to make the jump to the Empire in Belleville and stream 20+ shows from there. Mark Rashotte and I have the best partnership I’ve ever encountered. Nothing signed. No long winded conversations. In fact, here’s a little inside scoop: this summer we’re performing at a drive-in in Toronto, very close to water with a very large esteemed symphony orchestra from Toronto. I wanted to make sure that everyone who attends has a clear view of the orchestra so I called Mark: 

Me: Any chance your guys would like to help us out broadcasting a performance onto a drive-ins screens?

Mark: Absolutely!

Me: Great.

And that was it. This is the way the world should work.


5. Plain organic yogurt. Fresh orange pieces. Blueberries. Squished nuts. Crumbled oat cookie. Maple syrup. Mix. Call me and thank me.


6. ‘Call Of the Wild’ is the best movie available for you to watch tonight. 


7. I think the Grammy’s proved that celebrity culture and worship is not only dead but vapid. I realize that I’m no longer being marketed to, but it feels like celebrity entitlement is on the downslope. Health care workers and those on the frontlines are worthy of our thanks, adoration and love. Next time you’re going to buy a product slammed down your throat by a so called influencer, spend that money on a coffee gift card and drop it by your local healthcare unit. (it feels good to do this). Need more proof? Next time a celebrity is speaking, listen for how many sentences start with “I”. Next time a health care worker is speaking listen for how many sentences start with “we”.


8. I’m at the age where I’ve noticed that many people who continually do a lot of exercise that puts stress on their body are having pain. Entropy is creeping in. Walking is nice. Some gentle stretches. Light weights. Don’t hurt yourself. And don’t push it if you’re over 50. So many people are chiming in with exercise related ailments. I’m no expert but there seems to be cause and effect within this tiny study of mine.


9. I should be bald. Balder. The one thing I liked about Trump was his combover. He had that shit down. I aspire to that kind of art. But man, all this time in the house has really shone a light on how much hair I shed. I’m a mess of a man.


10. CAL is more than a concert series. It’s a social gathering. I miss the musicians so much. And I miss watching the crowd from the back of the room. The bobbing heads. The hands clapping. The smiles on people leaving the theatre. The feeling of being in a room together and experiencing the greatest music ever documented. I recently gave a lecture for UCF and the students asked ‘why wouldn’t we just stay home and listen to the album?” A valid question. I rationed with that thinking there would be no reason to not visit art galleries or vistas or architecture or cinemas. The communal feeling - this is he current that our lives need to feel connected. And isn’t that the point of it all?


I send love to everyone’s family.



Craig

Plain organic yogurt. Fresh orange pieces. Blueberries. Squished nuts. Crumbled oat cookie. Maple syrup.

March 2021







Sunday, 1 November 2020

Animals

 roger waters saw it all

very early on

decades ago animals was released

and today it sounds all the more vital


this is not an album to take lightly

it’s a serious piece of work

lyrically sharp and strong

sonically it’s a stunning landscape of thought and sound


when i sing dogs

i get a tangible shiver

the power of the song resonating in me

i feel like news reporter 

telling it like it is


i can’t think of pink floyd 

without being reminded of my dear friend nicole

i put her on the dark side show

she was unfamiliar with the album

she called me soon after and said

that dark side mirrored exactly where she was with her life

it embodied all she felt and lived at that moment

wow

that is a testament to and enduring work

decades after it’s release it finds a warm soul and connects

i feel that way about animals

i feel like this is the time for this album


rob phillips knows all this

and he will ably lead CAL through the 3 different acts within this album

i urge everyone to visit and revisit this album

giving it attention will be more thoughtfully rewarding

than any book you read

or any movie you see this coming week

and what a week to come


i send love to everyone’s family



craig

coffee and toast with jam


Wednesday, 7 October 2020

On Streaming


it’s a good experience

the employment element alone is soulful


in the beginning russell gray and i had chats

about how many people would tune in

we thought tens of thousands

i may have got carried away and dreamt of hundreds of thousands


we get about 450 people

it’s a happy place


lots of people getting in touch

wanting to know how to do it

i’m hesitant to advise

military surgical protocols of course


there’s a lot of links in the chain

you need a good team

my first conversation with mark rashotte at the empire

lasted about 2 minutes

we both wanted to get things done

it was that easy

we’ve never talked about it since

we just tell road stories


i think all the bands should create their own streaming platform

and book it themselves

create a season’s worth of presentations

from one location

indie pod

metal pod

folk pod

rock pod

tribute pod

create your own infrastructure

book shows

it’s a ton work


we didn’t bother with the pay wall

we just counted on people’s goodwill

this is a very organic heartfelt experience

the donations are churchlike 

the musicians have purpose because of goodwill


outside of that

deep breaths

lower your expectations

enjoy the ride


i send love to everyone’s families



craig



.









Monday, 23 March 2020

The CAL State of the Union

i want to thank everyone for reaching out
so many messages coming in
i started replying individually
then i had to do a format reply
that felt fake
so i’m addressing a few things in this blog

i don’t think we’ll be back in business for a very long time
i can’t imagine a large public gathering in two months
maybe six months
probably more
but even then - who’ll have money to spend?
i hope i’m wrong about this
but as soon as the big sports teams get back to normal
so will CAL

despite the song
i do trust our governments
i don’t believe that anyone will go hungry or get thrown out onto the streets
the change coming is severe
but the humanity of the crisis is starting to take hold
and people are going to be taken care of
it’s a time of trust and awareness

i don’t think we’ll be doing a live broadcast anytime soon
i have been in talks 
and we agree that when the time is right - we’ll do it right 
until then 
we can’t gather
it’s just not responsible
we’re abiding by the protocols and doing our part to flatten the curve

and having musicians all stream together online is extremely problematic
sound and sync
mics and mixes
too many moving parts
it’s classic albums live
not classic albums digital

i do applaud all the musicians that have been doing their thing from their pads
they’re joyous and connecting
i’ll post more of those as time passes
right now my feed is full of living room performances
rob phillips did one with his daughter
they wrote a hit song!
i’ve been humming it all day
i hope to see more of these
they restore our connections to one another 

it’s dark days for us all
and yet
in isolation there is a certain peace
all the alumni are practicing 
and learning things
i do chores and cook and crosswords and compose
i put on some doobie brothers from time to time 
i’m learning french through the duolingo app!
mostly i play guitar piano and sing
while music is not an essential service
we do have a silver lining in that we have our instruments
to guide us through the uneasy unclear path

my mother is a world war two survivor
she was in london
a child 
she was evacuated to the country
where it was rations and drills and uneasy expectations
her stories of this time
filled both my childhood and my adult life
i’ve learned that 
the stiff upper lip can really make a difference
she came through the experience and is living a life full of love and appreciation
so 
i look at that time from the comforts of my home
and reflect on her and my father’s experience
and i stiffen my lip and get on with it
i abide

when the curve disappears
we will all be amidst the roaring 20s once again
people will be warmer and more empathetic 
borders will just be lines on a map - but respected
and the world will appear like a mirror to us

and when this happens
it will be the musicians who will make a difference
it will be our time to share what we have committed to 
we’ll show the way towards love and goodness
we will be harbingers of soul defining life experiences
we will be at our best 
me and my crew
we’ll do it with classic rock

i send love and hope and harmony to anyone who reads this

craig martin
founder 
classic albums live

(glenfiddich with apple and cheese)

Thursday, 7 November 2019

The Lithium Experience


time for change
a new project
the lithium experience
grunge

this show differs from CAL
in that it’s a show

my generation is quick to dismiss the 90s
but the grunge bands brought real change
a sincere shot of integrity
eddie vedder radiates integrity

when grunge first hit
we all sensed the shift
all the silly hair bands collapsed
people became aware
poetry

the lithium experience debuts in florida
the casino on dania beach
jan 4
joe - the cat that books the venue - understands how serious this music is
so we launch in tandem

the band is nicky h kara shain joe colin
with a canadian line up soon to come
perhaps a return to the phoenix!

sirius has a channel called lithium
named after the nirvana song
it’s a fantastic station 
this music is thirty years old now
it still grips

this is a nice time for change
something about a new year
a fresh page

wishing everyone peace and prosperity


craig
nov 7 2019
perrier nuts