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Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Thrill Is Never Gone

"Old musicians never die - they just go from bar to bar."

It probably started when I came across the unused coffee mug my sister gave me years ago with that painful pun. Later that day, soon after noticing the 1928 copyright of "Ain't Misbehavin" - a Fats Waller tune I'd been memorizing - I inexplicably flashed to an obscure band called McKendree Spring that I'd loved during my undergraduate years. What are those guys up to? Are any of them still playing music?

http://www.franmckendree.com/

As his easily located website indicates, Fran McKendree is still at it - and worth listening to - 47 years later. No surprise, given his talent. Though I didn't research the subsequent careers of his three bandmates, it would surprise me only if I learned they were not still musically active.  In my experience, giving up playing music - no matter the level of notoriety - is a source of regret for anyone who does so. Pay attention to the age of jazz musicians mentioned in the media. Eighty and older is not at all uncommon. And though economics is a partial explanation, the buzz I get playing - even alone and frustrated - tells me much more is at work.

I go from bar to bar, I delight in learning ninety year old songs, I re-discover a musician from almost half a century earlier. What gives you a similar thrill?

"If there were no music, then I would not get through": Shawn Colvin from "I Don't Know Why"        

1 comment:

  1. From my old coffee mug: "Old teachers never die - they just lose their class." Perhaps this explains why I'm picturing you at age 80 in a bar, sulking over that last promising guitar student who decided to take up drums instead.

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