I started playing “live” as the rhythm guitarist for our Church’s folk music group. Bob Dylan music and a Young Life song book provided much of the inspiration for the selections.
Soon thereafter I formed a band to play the music we were hearing on the radio. Phil, Gord, John, Wayne, and I became “Albatross.” Our first “gig” was playing in the Church basement for our classmates. It was invigorating. It was pure adrenaline, fear and excitement. It was all this and more – all in one.
It was also humbling. We quickly exhausted our rehearsed repertoire. Phil had played Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets” in our recent rehearsal. “Hey Phil,” I shouted over. Let’s do “Benny and the Jets.” Phil nodded and immediately started into the unmistakable piano chords that open Elton’s fine song. I started singing and all was proceeding well. Suddenly everything stopped. Our world had come to a grinding halt with all of our classmates looking on. I looked at Phil. He looked back. “Phil, why did you stop?” I asked. Phil replied, “I haven’t learned the whole song yet.” (We returned the favor on other songs.) The importance of practice, communication, and so much more – this experience provided all of us with several “life lessons.” Music does that. It teaches, inspires, nurtures, comforts, and challenges.