Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The last month...

Jackie Washington passed away. A couple of weeks after the delightful celebration of his life and work at McMaster, he went into hospital and after a week of fighting it, finally slipped away. He was in his ninetieth year.
On Monday, July 6th his friends organized a Memorial Evening at the Jackie Washington Park. It was attended by a large crowd of friends and family, and featured performances by Ken Whiteley, Mose Scarlett, Tony Quarrington, Paul Langille, and others. Poems were read by Holmes Hooke and James Strecker, reminiscences shared by Bill Powell, it was hosted by Bob Bratina and all put together by Margaret Stowe. I've left out lots of names ofd folks who were instrumental in making this happen...but you know who you are! Thank you! Jackie...we miss you!
A couple of days after that, Rich and I travelled to Toronto to visit Susan (Java Mama) who we'd met at Hugh's Room. We had a well brewed coffee and a chocolate brownie and listened to more stories about Richie Havens. Thanks Susan!
Then vacation time. Away to Scotland with my wife and our friends Kevin & Fran. Two weeks touring around, from Glasgow to Skye, from Skye to Inverness, Inverness to Pitlochry, to Edinburgh (Rebus-land!) and then down to Catlowdy (actually in England). From there we attended the Elliot Clan Gathering, drove to Hadrian's Wall, and had sufficient single malt or lager and surprisingly wonderful Scottish grub until we drove back to Glasgow for our flight home! A splendid time was had by all.
I picked up the new Ray Davies CD, The Kinks Choral Collection which is perhaps the most interesting idea for a "hits" album I've ever heard. I wish Ray sang on more of the songs, but the Choir is excellent, and their interpretation of "You Really Got Me" needs to be heard to be believed! Found Ian Rankin's QuickRead A Cool Head which is unavailable on this side of the pond. As promised I finished it in a day but it is a fine little story, as was Some People Are Crazy: the John Martyn Story. I've never been able to get into Martyn, but I'm going to give him another try after reading this biography.
Arrived home to find a signed copy of Los Angeles Stories waiting for me. Paul Martin (another Rylander) picked it up for me in Barcelona! It's Ry Cooder's first book! Self-published and only available during the European Tour it turns out to be a well written collection of short stories all set in Los Angeles through the last few decades. Character development and a sense of place are excellent! Thanks Paul!
I have my tickets for Bruce Cockburn, and for Billy Bragg, both coming to the Studio Theatre at Hamilton Place, a week apart in November. Looking forward to that! Supposed to be seeing Rufus Wainwright this weekend. More as that develops!

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