I needed a writing project for 2018 and I knew I wanted this one to be about music. Reflecting back, I realized that there were a number of occasions in my life where either serendipitously or accidently on purpose, I bumped up against some interesting people who also happened to be musicians.
Often the occurrences arose as a result of a little badge on a chain, called a press pas, that afforded me unique opportunities to at least get into some close proximity with an opening not usually available to others. (See Leonard)
Sometimes it’s pure blind luck on an airplane. (See future piece Joni)
Often that little press pass made me feel like a bit of an pretender but I did produce some decent work as a freelancer so I still feel a great deal of gratitude for some ideal opportunities it afforded me.
I am fully aware of the countless artists, entrepreneurs and politicians who are full functioning asshats in reality. Cosby, Weinstein and Trump are the perfect trifecta these days.
Grace Notes is about an ordinary guy bumping naïvely into extraordinarily talented musicians in everyday circumstances. A lovely surprise for me was that the grace note was that small lovely note of their humanity, their gift of the real person outside the mask of celebrity.
Every time it felt like a gift.
Listen to the story as you follow along ... With a beautiful hippie wife and two little flower children we took the Muskeg Special, a train full of stories, to Churchill, Manitoba in the fall of 1969. It was the quintessential late sixties...
It is the Juno weekend of 2018 as I write this little story. Twenty-seven years ago, I went to my first and I suppose only Juno Awards show. am not sure how I might have scammed one more blessed press pass but it may have come from Sask. Report magazine looking for another story on our beloved Saskatchewan roots musician, Colin James. Colin did end up with Best Male Vocalist later that evening.