Jan 242015
 

“Me and some guys from school/ Had a band and we tried real hard
Jimmy quit and Jody got married/ I shualda known we’d never get far”                               
– Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams (.2, .3)

Six months ago, I emailed Rob, a former guitarist band mate to see if he wanted to play music together again. Shortly afterwards, we jammed during an impromptu “open mike” session at the London Music Club (LMC). We hadn’t played together since the ‘60’s; however, with me playing bass (along with a volunteer drummer), and no practice, the chemistry between Rob and I was still there… after all these years. We even laughed at our own mistakes and the audience loved it.

Soon afterwards, my wife Judi and I visited Rob and Jackie – still a couple back then. And, just like a friend said of our relationship: theirs was meant to be.

Since we all grew up in London, we shared many common musical experiences of bands and musicians from the ‘60’s /’70’s era – some of whom reached international success.

 “And now the times are changin’/Look at everything that’s come and gone” (.2)

I was saddened, however, to learn that our original bass player, Warren (‘Zeke’), had passed away. I also found out that our former drummer, Robert, had called Rob, years earlier, but had all but disappeared since.

“I guess nothin’ can last forever, forever… no” (.3)

Despite this, we approached LMC co-owner, Pete – who was very supportive – to do a “re-union” gig at the club. As he said, this is why he and his wife, Jan, started the club – for moments like this: using the power of music to bring people together.  

Fortunately, the music community is really quite small and we ended up (through mutual friends) practicing with the fantastic Sandy MacKay (voted “London’s jazz drummer of the year”). After the show – which was well received – it turned out that Sandy’s wife was a close friend with someone who knew our former drummer’s sister, who – on our behalf – got in touch with her (in Arizona). His sister then got in touch with her brother, Robert, who then emailed us.

It’s been my experience that, it doesn’t really matter what happens in life, next, because it’s the step after that that’s more important: if we hadn’t had our re-union performance, we never would have gotten in touch with our former drummer.

When I think of what a miracle it is: of all the people who helped us… it’s humbling that they should have cared at all. The first heart-felt “OMG!” email of joy I received, says it all. Who says there’s no such thing as second chances?

“Oh, I get by with a little help from my  friends” – by The Beatles

To me, this is more than a band re-union: it’s a relationship… one that’s stood the test of time. Something Zeke would have approved… it’s real!

“Nothing to get hung about / Strawberry fields forever” – by The Beatles

 

Fred Parry

www.fredparry.ca                   The Music In Me        January 2015

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