Registered: 1175646809 Posts: 2,082
There was talk of going into Brighton today, but the weather and the sheer hassle and bother of going anywhere at all put an end to that idea.
So it's gonna be a big, fat, lazy day around here.
I've been very contemplative and reflective in the past couple of weeks.
I keep returning to my childhood.
I remember so many things I might have forgotten by now if it wasn't for my ability to absorb things somewhat cinematically.
I can recall details of where I was, the decor of the room, the dust floating in the sunlight that was streaming thru the window, how tall I was in relation to someone's knee or belt buckle.
Too many things like that to get into.
I suppose I'm thru going a normal phase.
And, to tell you the truth, my present tense is informed pretty heavily by my past every day.
Always has been.
Something about remaining closely and emotionally connected to those images and sounds has always help assure me that haven't been lost to everything else I've known since.
Like I'm still here.
I'm not talking about memories of being on the road or anything even as recent as the Dr Hook days.
That all happened after the fact in the timeframe I'm referring to.
Early relationships, both personal and professional, were still not as far back in time as I mean.
I took those responsibilities on as an adult, albeit a rather childish one at times.
Made lots of mistakes, some still spookily relevant today I'm loathe to admit.
But that's not what I'm talking about.
It's the memories of that kid who was shaped by everything he saw, heard, smelled, tasted and touched that have been flooding back.
In many of the interviews I've been doing since forming the new band and hitting the road playing the Hook stuff I've used the term 'sense memory' a lot, in a effort to express what part I think the music plays in people's lives.
The smell of chicken soup takes you back to your grandmother's house.
That kind of thing.
Maybe the music is doing it to me as well.
But it's not taking me back to what I was doing at the time Hook was successful.
It's thrown me back into 'pre-quel' mode.
What came before all that.
When I look at it chronolgicallyI can see that what I'm doing now, presenting the music I used to play, in a good many instances to new audiences who never had the chance to see the original band but have always loved the music, is my 'Hook 'sequel' of sorts.
What comes next.
It's all we really have, provided tomorrow comes.
If not, start the tally! The results are in!
Yeah, YouTube is fine and everyone can watch those clips long after we're all gone.
And, by 'all' I mean Ray, Rik and me.
I've seen a few lists of previous members of Hook that include names of people I've never met.
According to a handful of revisionaries it seems anyone who ever played in a band with Ray, George or Billy down in Mississippi or Alabama are now to be considered former members of Hook even tho they never actually played in a band with that name.
As a matter of fact, one of them was offered the drumming gig before our first album was recorded and he turned it down.
So, he went from probably kicking himself to kind of being 'in the band' anyway.
It's ludicrous, really.
But, if that's how things have fallen, I'd like to offer a couple of names who were an important part of my very early musical days.
So, please welcome Rob McCloskey (bass) and Billy Sheehan (drums) to the Hallowed Halls Of Hook.
We had a band called Gretchen.
We even recorded some self penned but never released tracks.
McC is still my closest friend today, tho not geographically speaking.
He's in San Francisco, my favourite US city, but we talk all the time.
Sheehan, who I haven't seen since I was about 19, is the captain of a riverboat in New Jersey and, from what I've read, has been positively involved in the environment, focussing on the condition of the fresh flowing waters in that state.
Both of those guys, by the way, actually played with the early bar band version of Dr Hook And The Medicine Show.
McC filled in for me on bass the night I got married.
First he played at my wedding reception, then he went to the Band Box in the Tranfer Station and played the night with Ray and George.
As a bit of accurate timeline, Billy hadn't even come up from Biloxi, Mississippi yet..
On another occasion, Sheehan showed up and sat in with the three of us for a couple of songs in that same Union City club.
Given the sketchy criteria previously adopted to augment members list I would say that my mates both qualify as much, probably more than anyone else for the position of 'ex-members of Dr Hook', wouldn't you?
Like I said, my mind has been running all over the place between the years of 1952 to 1969.
Exhilerating and debilitatiing
Innocent folly and melancholy.
But very, very necessary
Trust me, the day I'm sitting in the corner, drooling and singing one line of a song over and over it's more likely to be 'The Wheels On The Bus' than Sylvia's bleeding Mother.
By the way, I have discovered a brand new love of singing that song - Sylvia, not Wheels - with the new band.
The music and the harmonies are brilliant.
It was always a solo performance for me, even with Hook.
Listen to our one and only 'live' album.
There was a bit of studio 'doctoring' done on it (how appropriate!) before it's release, but Sylvia was taken from the solo spot I always used to do in the middle of every Hook show.
It's a great song and has held up as a guitar/vocal number all the way thru Hook and into my solo career because of the compelling story it tells.
From time to time I've gotten frustrated with trying to wring every ounce of emotion out of the lyrics with no help from the swelling harmonies and heart wrenching string arrqngement of the original track, but it's all there now.
For the first time in decades.
And it's very cool to tell that story with the proper musical settng.
Even for me.
Maybe especially for me. ~