Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Have you ever noticed how some people tend to over-analyze things? I was with a group of guys the other night and a couple of these guys turned a simple decision on how a piece of carpet was going to fit, into hours of discussion and measuring and walking off the room. It drove me crazy!!! I'm thinking, you can't make the carpet grow or the room shrink. It is what it is! This is probably a fault of mine, I don't give enough thought to things. I know that I've underestimated the importance of many sitiuations in my life. I look back over the years and realize that a friend was trying to convey something that means a great deal to them, and I've listened casually and totally forgotten within a short period of time. It is what it is, and I can't change that.

I have also seen lately that a change in circumstances can bring people's true colors to light. I know it's true with me. I've also seen it in other people close to me. I think that we become so caught up with day to day life that we begin to take things for granted. The once magnificent becomes mundane. Feelings that were like explosions of your soul become so insignificant that we don't even notice them. How sad is that? I think reviving those feelings and thoughts is the reason for certain events in our lives.

All of us have asked the question one time or another, "why me?" We've all been faced with an event that makes us wonder why is this happening. Possibly, something that seems to have no good purpose, happens to give us a wake up call. Unfortunately it may take something horrible in our lives to make us realize how blessed we are. Or maybe an event can make us aware of a side of us that we never knew, or maybe didn't want to know. Sometimes we discover a good side and sometimes a bad side. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. There have been many times that I couldn't see the reason. I have experienced many things in my life that I still don't know why they happened, I just keep believing that there is a reason.

Hopefully, before I see my final hour, I will understand the reason for my life.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I am sad to report that the Chesterfield is for sale. The current owner called me yesterday and said that he is not going to renew the licenses or the lease to keep the business open. He is hoping to find a buyer in the next 30 - 60 days. It will be a shame if the coolest club to hit Sioux Town in 30 years has to close it's doors. As I have mentioned in previous posts, the community has not supported the vision. I think the Chesterfield is as "right" as a live music club could be. The musicians that have graced the stage have nothing but good to say about the club. Many touring acts and locals alike tell me that it is at the top of their list of places to play. The music lovers who have enjoyed the Chesterfield, thank us repeatedly for opening a club like this in Sioux Town. "It's just what this city needs!" I've heard that many times. Yet, when all is said and done, the numbers don't work.

I'll have a club again some day in the next year or two. It may not be in Sioux Town, but I'll do it again. I'm hooked on the live music, the musicians and the fans. I love the rush of putting together a show. The anticipation as the downbeat approaches is incredible for me. The look on people as the live music radiating from the stage reflects on their smiling faces. I love that.


Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm back. I started to blog a couple of times last week, but I couldn't expose the true thoughts running around in my head, so, I did nothing. Hell, I still can't sort out the thoughts in my head. I have always been able to make a decision and go with it, good or bad. Sometimes I regretted my decisions the next day, but I lived with it. Lately, I can't seem to reach that point. I need to sit in my thinking chair and think...think...thiiiiiink. (Just a little "Blues Clues" for you.)

Can we really make a difference in our lives or more importantly, other people's lives? A while back a rather spiritual friend of mine reminded me that none of us are all that important to the outcome of daily struggles of work and play. Over the years I have thought that I am important enough to make a difference. People have said things to me that made me believe that I mean something in their lives. It is very kind of them, but I am beginning to realize that it's rather egotistical of me to believe this. I plan to continue to be there for people when they need someone, but I will try to keep my ego in check. It takes some stress out of your life to acknowledge that you are just not that important.

Any of you who have read very many of my blogs know about my desire to create a live music scene in Sioux Town. Well, we had a live music sighting Saturday night that was very uplifting. Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers made an appearance at the Chesterfield and packed the house. It was wonderful! I felt as good as I have in quite a while. It is so cool when one of these shows actually works. There obviously is a large enough group of music lovers in this blue collar town to make it happen, they just hide very well most of the time. Are we on the path to enlightenment from the blessings of live music? We shall see.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Where do I begin? I was at a friends party Saturday night that turned weird quick. It was late when we got to the party and we had a good buzz on, but the party was in high gear. There is a pool at this house, and there were a few drunks bobbing around in it like hard boiled eggs. We decided to test the water. A couple of drunks started jumping up and down on the slide and busted it up pretty bad. The worst culprit is a good buddy of the guy who was throwing the bash.

Well, my friend went crazy over the damage to his pool, rightfully so. But he aimed it at the wrong people. He ripped on his friend who broke the slide, but proceeded to really rage on everyone else in the area of the pool. I find it interesting that people will throw their anger at someone they don't mind offending rather than the real source of the problem. I've been guilty of this myself. I guess it's human nature to take the path of least resistance.

The fear of facing issues head on is in every one of us. I like to think that I'm a stand up guy. A guy who tells it like it is... confronts a problem head-on. Not... I've avoided dealing with the real issue many times just in the last few days. I'm weak. I read something recently that stated that you have to come to grips with yourself before you can make yourself all better. I'm beginning to think that is very true.

And now for something completely different...

Last night we had our Saturday in the Park committee wrap-up meeting/party. It was held at the Orpheum theater in Sioux City. This theater is beautiful. I would put it up against any theater in the world. Yes, in the world! It was restored to it's original 1927 beauty about 5 years ago. So here we are a random group of music fest volunteers. The man in charge, Dave Bernstein has certain privileges in the Orpheum that very few people have. By very few, I mean maybe one or two others would have these privileges. So the 20 or so of us stumble into the theater after an hour of drinking in the lounge. Iowa Public Television is broadcasting a feature they did on the Saturday in the Park festival. We are watching it on the high-def video system on a huge theater screen and listening through one of the best house PA systems in the country. It was incredible! We drank and cheered and reveled in what we had all been a part of. After the IPTV broadcast was over some of the faint at heart left the building and the party kicked up a notch. Dave hooked up his G5 Apple and played the entire Pink Floyd album "Wish you were here" to the synch of a random graphic generator. If you've ever watched anything like this on your 17" computer screen, imagine a 100' X 60' hi-def screen and a world class house PA, in a theater with wonderful acoustics! I was blown away! It was so cool to play with a few close music lovers in a theater like the Orpheum. What a memory!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm getting excited for the Tommy Bolin Music Fest this weekend. We've made it bigger and better than last year in an effort to honor Sioux City's rock n' roll son. I hope the local people and the Tommy fans around the world come out to support the foundation and pay tribute to a guitar playing genius and a good young man. His accomplishments are huge for someone who only lived to be 25 years young. This city doesn't have many things to be proud of, Tommy Bolin is one of them. I'd like to see the mayor and the city big boys at the festival showing their support. Hey, a guy can always dream.

I continue with my personal battle to foster a live music scene in Siouxland. The people who witness one of the many truly enlightening shows at the Chesterfield or the Promenade love what they have seen and heard. Yet so few come out to experience the joy. It does my soul good to hear a person say, "WOW, what a show!" On the other hand it crushes me to see a club with less than 50 people in it listening to a world class act like Liz Mandeville. If live music fades away, I wonder if anyone will miss it. Will the few who support live music have a hole in their lives? How can we get the masses to realize what they are missing? I'm sure that if you could have pulled 300 people out of their homes and into the Chesterfield last Friday night, squeezed the $3 cover out of them and made them listen for a couple of songs, every one of them would have been thankful. I believe they would have felt better about their lives. Hell, they might have even smiled.

Music is a powerful thing. Sometimes it makes me laugh. Sometimes I cry. But I always feel something when I listen to music. I believe that everyone feels something when they listen to music. Some people may not even know it, but subconsciously, they do. So, I forge ahead. Pulling the live music plow, hoping to plant a few more seeds every time a killer act hits the stage. I tell myself to stop, but I can't. I love it. So for all of you who have become followers, I thank you from the bottom of my soul. And to the hundreds and thousands who choose to deprive yourself one of life's oldest and simplest pleasures, I pity you.

I have stated before that I could write my rambling messages on a piece of paper, fold it into a paper airplane and launch it from the chief's monument and my message would reach more people than it does here, but I like it here. So thanks, and pass the word... live music is cool!


Friday, August 03, 2007

Wednesday night I was told about the passing of Cleo, Johhny Bolin's biggest fan and dear friend. I didn't even know her last name, but I have visited with her on many occasions over the past few years. Cleo had some life struggles that she had to deal with, but always supported live music in town and especially any band related to the Bolin thing. She was known as the little lady with towels for the band by many music fans. She will be missed this year at the Tommy Bolin Fest, which will be held Saturday, August 11. David Hare said it best, "She's in good company now."


Thursday, August 02, 2007

I can't seem to wake up lately. I might be getting too much sleep. Maybe it's my state of mind that says, "Just sleep, it's best." If the weather cools a little, I'll start walking and biking more. I think exercise would help.

"I've seen fire and I've seen rain... but I always thought that I'd see you again". That classic James Taylor song just played on the radio. It's crazy how a song you've heard hundreds of times can grab your soul like it was the first time you heard it. I was told that he wrote the song about a young woman he had made friends with while they were institutionalized in the late 60's. Back then if you had drug or alcohol problems they just locked you in a mental institute. There was nowhere else to go. That was before rehab became the multi-million dollar industry that it is today. I'm convinced there is no genuine interest in ending these problems in our society. Think of all the people that would be out of work if everyone stopped abusing drugs, alcohol and gambling.

Speaking of gambling... I was watching the boob tube a couple of nights ago and a commercial came on for some drug that helps with something or another. The narrator was going through the usual list of side effects when one of them caught my attention. "If you experience an uncontrollable urge to gamble, see your doctor immediately." I'm serious, it was a real commercial. I plan to watch for it, so I remember what the drug is. When I listen to the side effects from some of the drugs available I laugh. I would have to be very ill to risk going blind, bleeding internally or worse... gambling, just to have a hard on for four hours or feel "good" about myself.

As long as I'm on commercials. How about some of the tampon commercials. They are crazy. I like the one where the beautiful young lady is standing by a water tower that is about to burst and she saves the day by plugging the hole with her tampon. I'm sure women everywhere, would compare their "time" to an exploding water tower. I witnessed an actual event that would make a great tampon commercial. A group of us were drinking and playing with whipped cream one night at the Attic. As usually happens when you mix alcohol and whipped cream, someone gets hurt. This guy fell, hitting his head on a bar stool. We tried everything to stop the bleeding. The only thing that finally worked was duct taping his sister's tampon to his forehead. I have pictures to prove it. Now that would be a cool commercial. It might open a whole new market for tampons. Food for thought...