Pep Talk for Michael Clarke

 

A few days ago the Australian Cricket team suffered a most embarrassing and potentially demoralizing defeat at the hands of England. If I could, I would love to give Michael Clarke and his team a little Pep Talk.

Note: To US readers just pretend this is about baseball, for now is not the time to explain the rules of this wonderful game. But as I know you like beating England, please read on. Read On »

Performing for The Queen

 

Many years ago I was in a musical theater company touring the outback of Australia. It was a grueling 5 month expedition, playing a 3 hour show each night, then pulling down the stage, packing the truck and driving on to the next town. Most nights I’d get a few hours sleep in the van, as I would have to share the driving (sometimes up to 16 hours) with the other guys. It was all part of the job and for the first few months it was a lot of fun.

My deal with the management promised me a share of the door takings and for a while there all the blood, sweat and tears seemed well worth it.

One night, after a long hot drive over dusty roads we readied ourselves for a big show in a mining town club with seating for over 800 hundred. Word from the management was that it would be sold out and in my mind I had already spent that bonus money. But as I peeked my head out of the curtains just before show time I counted barely thirty in the audience. Read On »

The Gift of Inclusion

A few years ago, along with a makeshift band of friends that included the dulcet tones of Mike Eldred, blues guitarist extraordinaire, I played a concert at a maximum security prison in California. The atmosphere in this prison, once the home of the likes of Al Capone, Micky Cohen and Charles Manson was less than welcoming and as we set up our equipment in the main exercise area we could feel the heat of mistrust and suspicion from a thousand pair of eyes. Read On »

That’s not how we Play it!

There is a quality in a musician that is more important to me than either skill or professionalism and this is a childlike love for the unknown… an openness to the discovery of something new.

I view a performance, whether it be on stage or in the studio as a moment of its own.

This particular shared moment has never happened before and will never happen again. It is ours to create and enjoy together. Read On »

Is Anybody Listening?

EarsA term that is often used in musical training is the word ‘listening’. While it should be a given, it is one of the missing elements in many musicians no matter their experience or pedigree.

As a young buck, playing with my father and his band I was often too loud and too busy… meaning that I was playing too many unwarranted notes. I was constantly reminded (nagged) by various members of the band of this wonderful adage.

“If you can’t hear someone then you are probably too loud (and should turn down)”. Read On »