out loud and in public

now playing: shawn colvin, “ricochet in time”

“remember – no man is a failure who has friends.”

(written on the inside of george bailey’s copy of tom sawyer, from it’s a wonderful life)

i think i’m probably guilty, as are many people, of taking my friends for granted when all is well with my life, and not really showing the gratitude that i should as often as i should.

i made a point this morning, though, of sitting down and sending an email to some of the folks who have helped me through the past couple of weeks, through some incredibly difficult decisions that have thrown life in general into a state of shaky uncertainty, who have stayed up talking on the phone, who have repeated some truths to me out loud that i haven’t really wanted to face up to in the recent past, who have helped keep me focused at times when i’ve been more inclined to wallow.

i’ve stayed true to my earlier statement in that i’ve started a separate blog for more personal entries, but i felt that this needed to be said out loud in a public forum, and so it shall be.

my friends – you know who you are – thank you.

in other musical news, the alan mann show was a lot of fun – saw some folks that i haven’t seen in ages, and met some pretty cool folks as well. we played “lawyers, guns and money” and alan’s song “hockey punks”, which i loved the first time i heard it. tony astutely invited a friend of his (who i later learned was an old friend of mine), bill thompson, to come sit in on guitar with us, and it was a nice fit. nice enough, in fact, that i think bill might be inclined to join us on a regular basis…not that we’re going to lay “he’s in the band” on him, because i think with his other obligations he’s got his hands pretty full.

anyway, for the finale, everybody convened onstage to do “gimme shelter”. i had taken my les paul custom with the three pickups for the show, and bill brought his deluxe (we joked that we’ve gotta start coordinating our guitar choices), but bill didn’t get up for the last song. when it came time for my solo…i’m not sure why i did it, but i had a slide in my pocket and i dipped my left hand into my pocket and grabbed it. i was in standard tuning, so i was out of my normal element, but something just kinda jumped off the neck of the guitar during that song. i can’t really explain it, but i played a solo that i couldn’t recreate after the fact if i tried. i don’t know if it was the spirit of the show, or if it was some kind of emotional enema that took place at that point in time, but this monster just flew out and then it was gone. it was almost as if i was watching someone else’s hands on my guitar.

i looked up at one point at the rest of the guys onstage, and it was eerily reminiscent of the dance scene from “back to the future” after michael j. fox gets completely swept up in what he’s doing and then looks up to realize that he’s overstepped the bounds of what the audience was ready for – a couple of the guys were turned towards me, watching me play…and it was – well, kinda weird. not in a disapproving way, but it was this “who the hell is this guy?” kinda vibe.

anyway, on saturday afternoon i was doing some chores and my cellphone rang – the single-ring thing it does when you get a text message (which i only really get from my myspace alerts), and i opened up my phone and it said, “you have a new text message from alan mann” and it kinda freaked me out.

myspace messages from the grave. freeeeee-key.

anyway – half-days today and tomorrow…general clean up, tying of loose ends, organizing, so on and so forth…

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