Thursday, May 21, 2009

No New York, but I have a new song!

Perhaps it wasn't meant to be, but my Mother's health has put the kibosh on our trip to New York. We might revisit the plans again in September, when it was originally planned, assuming she's okay enough to travel. She doesn't feel bad - except she's a bit pissed off that she had to cancel. She apparently asked the doctor if he realized just how important this trip was? Her health is much more important.

As I was growing up and learning the guitar, I started playing Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young) tunes - after all, it was the 70's and I was rock and roll. But they had a few country-laced hits - and the one she liked was "Teach Your Children", Graham Nash's tune. I, of course, learned to play it and from that point, my Mom always asked me to play it for her. I guess it reminded her of why she had kids.

My idea was (and it still might work), is that I wanted to write a song and have my Mom and me sing it together at a recording studio during our little trip together. I will record this and leave space for her harmonies. I hope she'd be up for this - I haven't told anyone about this plan. She sang in her youth and apparently sang with Peggy Lee in NYC in her early twenties, (that woulda been in the 40's).

Here are the lyrics:

She Taught Her Children Well
© 2009 Phil Bearce

She was always there when we needed her most
The five of us are all now grown
Despite sibling jealousy we’re all real close
Prepared us for the unknown

Raised five on her own without much support
Taught us how to run in the races
She kept us safe and showered her love
The provision of her graces

We all stay on the path - no extremes
We never really raised any hell
Learned by example and fed off her dreams
And she taught her children well, lord
She taught her children well

She danced with a sailor one night on the base
He tended the bar there some nights
They dated and wed and crafted a family
And we all out fought the good fight

Time marches forward and comes to pass
Don’t you ever ask them why?
We make a world that they can live in
And watch our children grow by

We all stay on the path - no extremes
We never really raised any hell
Learned by example and fed off her dreams
And she taught her children well, lord
She taught her children well

Lead Verse - Chorus

Monday, May 11, 2009

Return of (the) Spring Jam

photo by JP

The 'Jam' returns just as the spring returns. It occurred to me that the title I gave to this event, "The Return of Spring Jam", can be used in two ways - Since I'm bringing it back, it's the return of the event. Going forward, it's be the Return of Spring' Jam - therefore I can keep it for the annual event. Good, I'm glad you're with me on this.

After all the planning and running around - and mostly getting the house together, it was totally worth it. We had about 30 people, musicians and 'listeners', crammed in our small house and spilling out into the backyard. I stressed a bit over the logistics and how everyone would be situated and whether or not they'd want to plug into something. But after a while, I started to figure that it will be what it is and what's the point of worrying about it. The musicians just started playing music - like we do. The day progressed organically and music was pouring out onto Georgia street and filtering it's way out to the backyard as well. Pictures taken by Grego and Michelle can be found here: SpringJam Pics

I also got to reconnect with a couple musical Davids that I haven't seen in quite a while. David L. and I hitched cross-country in 1975 and I've known him since the early Seventies. We worked together at Pied Piper Pies in San Diego. And David F. and I worked together at Hewlett Packard back in the Eighties, where we had a standing conference room reservation to play music at lunch on Wednesdays. Falcon and I played Fogelberg's The Reach again after a bunch of years. Funny how it comes right back. I won't lose touch my friends again.

My buddy Grego manned the two video cameras, and kept them going through most of the party. So hopefully there'll be some righteous footage of some of the finer moments. I have yet to see the tapes.

Jane and I made two kinds of chili, a vegetarian pot and a meated one as well. The veggie one took the longest - we started that around 6 in the morning. The meat version was a bit overly meated but very tasty. All the fixins' as well, cheese, onions, cornbread Madelines. We'll not use Chinet bowls again though, they got a bit soggy. There is so much of everything left - we had to freeze a bunch. We'll be eating chili for a long time to come. I wish I liked beer more, we have many bottles left.

I have so much fun playing music with my friends, I will have it again next year. It will be better as I learn from my mistakes.

Next stop: the Stinson's SUMMER JAM out in Twain Harte in July. It's a goody!