July 7, 2009 10:17 pm
On a Continental flight from Seattle to Newark. I have just had one one of the best weeks of my life. Flew out to Portland last Tuesday and then drove down to Eugene, OR to spend some time with my Aunt Harries, my cousin Ellen, and her husband Ed.
Got in about 5:30 pm. Went out for a nice walk with Ellen before dinner. The weather was magnificent. One plus of going to the NW during the summer months. Had a really nice dinner and then cooled out for the night.
The next day, I got up when I got up, and went with Ellen down to the Willoument River to run on the woodchip trails. Again, perfect weather and an amazing run. Went back and had some breakfast and coffee. In the afternoon, My Aunt, my cousin, and I drove over the mountains to the Oregone shore. As we got closer to the ocean, the temperature dropped down quickly until it reached 53 degrees at the shore itself. It was foggy and very windy. We went for a beautiful hike and I took a lot of pictures of the amazing trees, canals, and dunes. My Aunt and cousin dropped me off for dinner at Kathy’s and they went out to dinner. Played a very relaxed house concert at Kathy’s. Small but appreciative crowd. Had a really nice time. Then I drove back to Eugene. Had a semi close call with a big buck in the middle of the road, but all was well. Had another run the next day, and then headed back up to Portland to fly to Seattle.
My good friend and fellow Whisperings artist, Joe Bongiorno, picked me up at the airport. From there, we drove to the restaurant that he manages, and had the nicest dinner. The great thing about the NW in the summer is that it stays light until about 10 pm. Joe, his daughter Taylor, and I hung outside under the stars. It was magical. Went home and hung out for a bit and then went to sleep.
Then next day morning I went for a really nice run around Joe’s neighborhood. There is a state park very close by, and Joe told me about a path to run on. I ended up running down to Lake Washington and running over an hour, which is a little more than I’m used to doing. Didn’t have a problem with it except for some of the steeper sections going back up from the lake. Got myself together and packed up and headed up to Bellingham for my first concert with David Lanz at the Amadeus Project. I wanted to get up there earlier, but I was running later than I had anticipated. I had a plan to meet up with a very old and dear friend, Alan James and his wife Eve. Alan and I go back to LA when we were both in our mid teens and going out to rock concerts. He was a writer for a New Zealand teen paper and he used to get us backstage to all these cool concerts. I saw Keith Moon dancing around naked on acid at the Shrine Auditorium. Saw Peter Townsend’s Strat with blood on the fingerboard. Got into the dressing room at the Forum where Cream was making their first appearance in LA, I believe. Was backstage with Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Jack Bruce. It was so cool. Anyway, Alan, Eve, and I went out to lunch. Had a good old time. Got back to meet up with David at the Amadeus Project at 5:00 pm. We talked about a few things and then David suggested we go out to coffee. We had never met before, so it was a good chance to get connect. David is really the trailblazer of New Age solo piano, so I felt honored to be playing the concert with him in the first place. We went back to the venue and got dressed and ready to go.
I have to say that I had one of the best concerts I have ever played. I was so relaxed it was weird. I really was happy with my playing. Watching David perform, I learned so much. He is really an outstanding writer and performer. How he talks about his songs and how he stands and deals with the audience was educational. I usually sit at the piano to talk to the audience. So, I took a cue from David and stood up to speak during the second half We were able to get two two piano improves in. It was great fun. Really enjoyed listening to David’s music. A pleasure.
After we cleaned up most of our stuff, David was going to go out for a beer with some friends of his and invited me. I would have loved to go, but I had an hour plus ride ahead of me to get back to Kenmore and the idea of going out to drink beer and then having to drive didn’t suit me. I had a feeling that we would hang more on Saturday night, which we did.