Be forewarned, friends: this may well become a rather lengthy (and ‘sappy’) piece I am about to write in response to the L1 Musicians Conference. It is now the day after, actually the night after. I went to bed, exhausted at 9 PM, which is many hours earlier than my usual crash time. By 10 PM, I realized I would not be able to sleep, because I had a bone stuck in my throat, and the only way to dislodge it would be to write into this Forum and express my thanks, and share some observations about what was surely, a moving experience.
As that song asks: “Where do I begin?” I shall begin with the last scene first-the scene where I am exiting the Bose Headquarters at the conclusion of our time together and I chose to suppress the tears I could feel welling up inside me. It wasn’t simply due to the recognition that I was leaving ‘Epcot’ and returning to the real world-it was more profound. It was in response to listening to Dr. Bose share three hours with us. It was then that it all came together for me. As the saying goes, “The fruit don’t fall far from the tree!” For two and one-half days, I had been in the presence of a most unusual group of people, many of whom worked together at the Bose Corporation. (I’ll get to you musicians later!). I was impressed with them for many reasons, the biggest one being their humanity. While they all seemed to possess extensive technical knowledge and experience, I was struck by their apparent lack of vanity; the usual egocentric BS that too often accompanies achievement. These folks were nice! They were fun. They took their work (their passion) very seriously, without taking themselves too seriously. This will lead me back to Dr. Bose. During our tour of the Bose Headquarters, I had joked to some of my fellow travelers that “There puttin’ somethin’ in the water, here.” Everyone seemed so ...pleasant! Surely, something is terribly wrong! I kept waiting for that 7 foot-tall alien from the Twilight Zone to show up with his book ‘To Serve Man’, which turned out to be a cookbook! As the tour progressed, I began to experience a heightened sense of appreciation and respect for what they’re doing up there on that hill. Forget Lexus-the ‘relentless pursuit of perfection’ has been going on for quite some time in Framingham, Massachusetts. Let’s get back to the man in charge...It wasn’t long into his talk that it became readily apparent that Dr. Bose is most assuredly in possession of a brilliant intellect, particularly with respect to mechanical engineering and mathematics. However, the quality he possessed which most impressed and pleased me was his Humanity. (note the capitol ‘H’) Above and beyond the tech talk and the Bose ‘story’, what clearly emerged was a man of integrity; a man who has managed to retain a child-like curiosity.
Much of what he spoke about encompassed moral and ethical behavior and simple common sense. He made a point to twice refer to Einstein saying that “the imagination is more valuable than knowledge”. For all he has accomplished, he retains humility and grace. He often found amusement in what he said, or in response to a question raised, much to the delight of his audience. He seems to have built a commercial ‘empire’ despite all this! I believe he is revered by his employees not only for his significant achievements, but out of a respect, appreciation and affection for what he is, not merely what he has done. Vinny Boombotz and Joe Blow wouldn’t get that, but Ken Jacobs does. Cliff Henricksen gets it, as does Chris Ickler, Hilmar Lehnert and so many others too numerous to mention here. As I expressed earlier, “The fruit don’t fall far from the tree!”
Dr. Bose has skillfully managed to surround himself with like-minded individuals.
For the rest of us, this is a very good thing.
Enough of this sappy idolatry! Let’s get to the music! First of all, let it be known that I am now the President of the Connecticut chapter, of the Rick Jordan Fan Club! I know I ain’t dead, but he killed me! I died with a smile on my face. A big one! Here’s a guy, a regular-lookin’, obviously pleasant-seemin’ guy; a Minister from Georgia who shows up with a guitar and a smile and participated in our little musical love-fest. On the first night, it took just a few milliseconds for this guy to totally captivate us all. Sure, he played that thing like nobody’s business, and that’s the point of it all! He performed as many of us did-with a good-natured, non-assuming, self-deprecating approach. No stench of ego, whatsoever! What a joy to watch and listen to him! Luckily, we got to do it again on Saturday night, as he opened the Big Show with some sort of ‘down-home’ surgical precision (non-invasive) that healed us all. Good thing it was indoors, otherwise I’d a swallowed up a bunch a’ flyin’ critters with my jaw so wide-open like that! Rick Jordan, Thank you for offering up music and singing most Joyous! He seemed to set the tone for what was to become an evening full of happy surprises.
Speaking of happy feet and merry melodies, how ‘bout that Cliff-from-Bose guy?! Guaranteed, many of us are already looking for the chart to ‘Something You Got’! Bouncy, catchy and intoxicating. (maybe he was!) We do know for sure, he wasn’t ‘muddy’ or ‘chesty’.
Talk about guys getting’ up there and diving into the pool with reckless abandon: how about Seattle Dan’s turbocharged (and ballistic) rendition of ‘I Feel Good’?! Go ahead and tell me you expected that! Ouch-my jaw was really getting’ sore by then. Next thing you know, Murray-from-Toronto jumps up and starts in with ‘Superstition’ and off we go again! It seemed everybody was getting’ in on the act and it just kept building and building. We all felt reasonably safe so long as Jay Saxman-Plus, from Philadelphia stayed over there in the horn section! Good thing this was a privately-funded shindig, ‘cause if the Government had produced it, Jay would have been on Ritalin and it wouldn’t have been the same. Besides, the band seemed quite capable of self-governance, as evidenced by the many interlude/rests provided by that Banjo Guy, whats-his-name! With each solo he got, those big, menacing savages on the bandstand became suddenly tame, as though they had put down their chainsaws and machetes to enjoy a spot of tea, with pinkies extended, of course. I could go on, but who’s listening?! I mean to say, the point of all this is that it was great fun. It seemed everyone got in the game and played their part with a lot of gusto. No one seemed delusional to the point that it was ever about ‘ME’, or “Hey-look what I can do!” or “Mine’s bigger than yours.” We kind of played like a Bose band.
Oops, there I go, again. I’m gonna take a hammer to my mother-in-law’s Wave Radio just to try and restore some balance!
In conclusion, as Yogi would say, “THANK YOU for making this necessary!” I can think of no better way to show my appreciation than to put an end to this epic journal entry. In closing, I’d like to say an extra-extra large thanks to Ken Bausano for giving me a shot to sing with the big boys, even if it was ‘Just For a Thrill’! Of course, thanks to Ron Murray, my partner and mentor for the past thirteen years for inviting me to add my secret blend of herbs and spices to the mix. Larry, you OLDGHM, you’ve got a sweet, velvety set of pipes and a matching disposition. I’m glad I met you. Tom, Chuck and all you Rusty Insomniacs, I’m sorry we don’t all live in the same town, or maybe, county. (Let’s not get crazy).
So, why did I leave Bose Headquarters with a tear in my eye? Because they might not be in the minority, with respect to how they ‘do business’. They might be unique. If they’re the only ones doing it right, that’s sad. A very sad commentary indeed, on the state-of-the-union.
Ghandi implored us to “be the change we seek”. Over the past few days, I have thoroughly enjoyed being with a bunch of like-minded (crazy) people. I learned a lot. I thank you all, and invite you all to consider the question posed by the ‘Doc’ himself: “How can we make this better than it has ever been done before?”
Happy Trails to You...
Michael Ciulla aka voiceman
Hey-come visit me at voiceman.biz .......and I also found a way to sneak into Ron Murray’s site: ronguitar.com Keep them cards and letters comin’!
Thanks for the "heart dump", Michael (voiceman)! (Michael is really a funny ... and fun guy -- just be sure you read the note above with a bit of humor in your "head voice" [pun intended].)
For readers of this thread -- be sure to go to the Post-conference thoughts and discussions for more of attendees' "decompression" notes.
I'm so glad I met you, otherwise I could not hear your voice as I read your words, and that makes it all the better.
Thank you, Larry! Let me know when we can raise that barn together...
I look forward to seeing you down the road.
Michael, I am also glad to have met you. Brenda thought we were way too similar to be allowed in the same area for any length of time. It was fun trading Marx Brothers lines with you, and don't forget the pool hall with "a cue stick" tile on the ceiling. And that those who are fortunate not to have to work the daily grind because they don't have a case of "day job view."
One of the great take-aways from the conference was the ability to read posts using the voices of the posters. It helps immensely.
Bass guitarist, IONA
Thanks for the great recap, it's so cool for me to be able to read it and see your face and hear your voice (which is incredible, BTW).
Thanks again to you and Ron for letting me sit in on your covers.
You and Ronjazz togetha........fahget about it!!
Thanks for a great hang!
too much fun !
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Chuck Lawhorn:
Michael, I am also glad to have met you. Brenda thought we were way too similar to be allowed in the same area for any length of time."
Yup! I'm sure the teachers woulda' separated us! I'll see you in detention.....and thank you for the kind words...
[QUOTE]Originally posted by holliwil:
"Thanks again to you and Ron for letting me sit in on your covers."
...and now you've ruined them! My wife took them to the cleaners, and she was told they couldn't get the stain out! She's very upset.
I wish I could...comforter! (ugh!) What's this gotta do with music?! Nuttin'!
Thank you Jeff, for them nice words, and please know that the participatory enjoyment was mutual! Keep Jumpin' and Jivin' and Wailin'!
Thank you for the super nice words. It was such a blast meeting you and hearing you sing and even talk.(What a voice!!) I also enjoyed the time around the table, though it was hard to eat while laughing at your one-liners. If I had more time around you, I would steal you blind.
You and Ron make a great team. I've been to both of your websites. Way cool. It will be so good to see you again down the road. I just love to catch people doing something good!
Thanks for keeping us smiling.
You were a riot, the life of the party, and an incredible singer and entertainer.
I am so glad that Ron, in his wisdom brought you along.
Playing with all of you made me feel like the winner of "Pro-for-a-day".
When I asked Ken Brown, a world class drummer, to play the "trash can" on my Monday night set, he just smiled, got the brushes, hit the can a couple of times and said "Man, I'm all over it!"
You gotta love that spirit.
Thank you, Ken Brown, Ken Bausano, Alan, Dan, and Jay for just doing it. It was a real honor to watch it happen.
That's Rick Jordan, CGP.*
It was a pleasure being part of your backup band, Rick!
* Certified Guitar Picker
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