Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Back in the fall (I think) of 1970 (I'm sure)...

...I was just beginning my lifetime love of playing harp outside. Which is to say: in front of real people. I had been practicing, yeah, but I was green to the processes, the manners, the culture, the whole life of being a publicly performing musician.

I don't know or remember why songwriter John Lyle asked me to record on his 1971 album "Bootleg Powerhead". I don't really even remember how we came into contact with each other. But I do vividly remember recording a tune "Livin' the blues (like a fricaseed chickadee)" I think is what it was...anyways that's more or less the lyric/title. (The 60's can be like that and they didn't end right at the stroke of Jan/70.) We did the recording up at Simon Fraser University. With good equipment for the day, too.

To the point: John was a really skilled songwriter--he wrote hooks that I've hummed at least a few times a year, for decades now. Back then I really wasn't used to being asked to play. At all. So it meant a lot to me that he asked me to do the recording, especially since he already knew many of the cream of Vancouver's serious young musicians. Well, he put the "Livin' the Blues..." tune out with the rest of the tunes on the album so I guess I didn't suck too bad. I hope.

Anyways, for decades we didn't have any contact with each other, but occasionally I would search the 'net for "Bootleg Powerhead" because I used to have a copy...two actually. Worn out and dead and gone to the rings of Saturn along with Bic lighters, missing airline luggage, socks from driers, and guitar picks. (Were you wondering where the lost stuff went? Now you know.) Today I find John.

And he's on CBC fer crissakes, and doing real well on the Roots charts. Which he solidly deserves. Check his new stuff out. I'm listening right now.

Nice to be back in touch, John. A good way to start the year.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plugs, Ron! I really appreciate them.

I asked you to play on the record for two reasons-I loved your sound and you were a nice guy to be around.

You sound even better now!

John Lyle

Ron said...

The recording gig with you was a real encouragement to me, and it means more knowing learning now that it wasn't just my music. Many thanks back at ya, John--and same.

Anonymous said...

You left a stache of guitar picks here in Duncan when he you left. I actually didn't even find them until I went to Florida. Why? They were in your luggage from your trip to Ottawa for that Debacle with HRDC. Not knowing anybody in Flordia who played guitar enough that giving them away was an option. I gave them to Josh. He used them for quite some time with his green and brown and black army men as some sort of shields in play battles.

So there.. I do know what happened to about 25 of your picks.

They ended up being lost, presumed dead missing in action, serving a worthy cause, in the battlezone of the backyard.


Ron said...

...missing in action....relocated to Saturn for the duration...