Tag Archives: air guitar/air drum

From Rebecca: Joe gave a personal and memorable show last Friday

Joe will remember December 2, 2016 for the rest of his life.

One of the reasons for that is the Going for Broke show, as he called it, that he performed in the community room of Addison Court for friends and a few special people. Regular readers know that David Trost, his buddy from childhood who he considers to be a brother, came to visit for a few days. Joe was happy to have Dave here for one of his shows. In attendance were also Joe’s girlfriend Traci and Traci’s sister and nephew. Joe included songs in the playlist for them and the show was one of his most personal performances. He shared with the audience that his first show was for his family when he was 10 years old, and he still enjoyed doing them for friends and loved ones. I will get into his actual show in a moment, after I talk about the special event in the middle of it, which is the main reason Joe will remember this day.

Joe finished his first set with a special song for Traci from the Rocky movie soundtrack, “You Take My Heart Away” by DeEtta Little and Nelson Pigford. Joe sang this love song directly to Traci, and she got tears in her eyes. He finished singing, then got something from the next room. Joe approached her chair, got down on one knee, and proposed to a very surprised Traci while her family shared the moment. Traci joyfully said yes. There was a break in the show, while pictures were taken and congratulations were said. The second set, understandably, was a little difficult for him to focus on for a couple of songs.

The first set was tighter than the second set. Joe started the show with three TV show theme songs, from Eight is Enough, The Dukes of Hazzard, and The Love Boat. The first two themes are about family and the third is about finding love, which set the tone for the show. His next two songs were “Shout It Out” by B.T. Express and “Show Me the Way” by Peter Frampton. Then he performed the first of two Pat Benatar songs, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” after observing that he also does songs by female artists. He had two songs to honor family members. “Seasons in the Sun” by Terry Jacks was a request from Traci’s sister, and “East Bound and Down” by Jerry Reed from the soundtrack for Smokey and the Bandit was for Dave. He finished the set with three love songs that he sang with great feeling, obviously for Traci. “Love Will Keep Us Together” by Captain & Tennille, “(Do You Love Me) Just Say Yes” by Highway 101 proceeded the above mentioned “You Take My Heart Away.”

Joe was nervous leading up to the proposal, but he was able to focus on his performance as he cued up his playlist selections on his computer, sang, and periodically added some air guitar and air drums. The second set did not go so well, and he almost canceled it at one point.

Joe was running his playlist off a website called Spotify, and needed an internet connection to play the songs. Because of some work being done in a nearby room, the connection he was using was off at the end of his break. We waited fifteen minutes, and then the show was able to begin again. Joe still had challenges. Last October, Joe was forced to postpone this show because of a sinus infection. Even though he is over it now, he was not able to rehearse as much as usual, and he forgot the lyrics a few times. He is also still recovering his energy and endurance and sat down for most of the second set. He said he was embarrassed, but we in the audience assured him we didn’t care if he sat, we just wanted him to be okay. He was still a little rattled, and had to start one of the songs twice to get the lyrics right. And then an employee brought in a big bin that had to be stored in the closet behind Joe, so he had to stop singing. With all these issues, it was not one of Joe’s favorite performances. But he persisted and gave his audience a second set.

He began it with a song for Dave, “Just Fishin'” by Trace Adkins, which was the song Dave danced to with his daughter at her wedding reception. It was a touching tribute to his buddy/brother. He sang “Foolish Beat” by Debbie Gibson, followed by the second Pat Benatar song, “Heartbreaker.” Then Joe took out a picture of his niece for a song that he first heard when he was spending time with her one summer and sang “Pieces of Me” by Ashlee Simpson. Her photo stayed up for the rest of the show. His next two songs were for the holiday season, “Silver and Gold” and “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” both by Burl Ives. Joe’s next song, “Clyde” by Waylon Jennings, was added just five days before, but Joe knew it so well that he sang it perfectly. He finished the show with the two songs “Don’t Bring Me Down” by Electric Light Orchestra and “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins.

Joe may have had problems in the second set, but he succeeded in giving us in his audience a personal show that touched the heart.

From Rebecca: Joe performed the Beatles last Friday, May 13th

Joe took a chance against the curse of Friday the 13th last week, with a performance of Beatles songs in the community room of the Addison Court apartment building. Except for a few problems, one of which delayed the show for half an hour, which I’ll get into in a moment, he defied the curse with a great show.

Joe did a bit of air guitar and air drums, but mostly he sang to the sounds of the Beatles playing through his speakers. Most of the songs were ones he had performed before in shows, but some were new for him, like “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” He started the show with “Twist and Shout,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and, and a new one for him, “You Really Got a Hold on Me.” Another song from his first set that he also performed for the first time was “Norwegian Wood (This Bird has Flown).” It has a different tempo than the others, and Joe did a great job adjusting to the change.

By the end of the first set, people were starting to join in the singing here and there. People were coming in and out of the room, and the audience size went from small to big and back again throughout the two and half hour show. But for one song, the one Joe has in almost all of his shows, the audience was spell-bound. He started “Yesterday” and it seemed that everyone got still and focused. By the end of the third line, we started singing in a low chorus, sounding mournful and reverent. Joe connects this song with a woman who lived in the building until she passed away, and he sang it for her in a tribute concert he did for her in July of 2013. He may not have been the only one thinking of Erin as we sang it with him. Looking back in the archives, I see that the first time “Yesterday” was in one of his show, in December of 2012, it was played on the cello. I remember that and it was uplifting and special, but I was more moved last week, as we all softly sang the song with Joe. Then he finished the set with “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” a song that lifted the energy and party mood again for the break.

Joe started the second set with two special songs, one to his girlfriend Traci Harter and the other a special request from the videographer. The one for Greg Brown, “And This Bird Can Sing,” was added less than two weeks before, so Joe warned the audience ahead of time that it would be rough. He did a good job with it though. Greg worked hard on the video and Mike Weaver did an equally good job taking still photographs.

The special song for Traci as a surprise, which Joe had to spoil the night before for unforseen personal reasons, was the theme song to Traci’s favorite TV show Reba, “I’m a Survivor,” by Reba McEntire. Traci liked it very much and was touched. She had someone record it on her phone, so she can watch it again. I used to watch Reba and knew the theme song, but the version Joe did was the full song from her album, which included lyrics I had not heard before. I was a little teary-eyed too, from the touching lyrics, and the sweet gesture of Joe singing them to his girlfriend.

Songs in his second set included “Lady Madonna,” “Come Together,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” and “Lovely Rita.” One song in particular impressed me. Joe sang “She’s Leaving Home” for the first time in a performance, and I was not familiar with the song before. In the chorus part, there is a section with lyrics from the parents in the story, sung a little softer and in between the main chorus lines. Most people would sing the more prominent lines, I think, and let the back up sing the softer words, but Joe did the opposite, giving voice to the confusion and hurt of the parents who don’t understand a daughter being so eager to move away from home. It was poignant and brought out the sad side of the piece. I thought it showed talent from Joe, to make that choice and to sing the section almost underneath the main part.

Joe was getting tired by the middle of the second act, and needed another short break, but he rallied. He finished the show with “Get Back” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise).

I mentioned that there were a few Friday the 13th issues, including the show being delayed at the beginning. The community room has a door to the bathrooms just behind where Joe was set up to perform. Just before start time, one of the toilets overflowed on the floor in the bathroom. The water had to be turned off at the pipe, and a maintenance man came through to fix and mop up. The mop was then left in view in a corner of the room, apparently the only place for it. Then later in the performance, a staff member had to bring back a big trash-gathering bin, go through Joe’s space, and return it to the closet. Joe understood, and stopped to let him through, then began that song again. Despite these challenges, and that he was getting tired toward the end, Joe gave it his all. It was a great show, that I enjoyed very much. We sang, we clapped, we bopped along, and we had fun. Good work, Joe.

We will get pictures of the performance up as soon as we can. It might be a week or two, but we intend to get it done.

Inspiration comes when you least expect it

Greetings, readers. As my memorial show for my late friend Erin draws closer, I needed one more song to add to the playlist. Which KISS song would it be? There are many to choose from. Too many to name here. But I had one in mind. It is called “The Oath”, from the album Music from the Elder. I purchased this song from itunes and dropped it into the playlist slot where I wanted it. I hit play and came to a startling conclusion. I couldn’t figure out what they were saying.

The way the band recorded that song it had an echo effect. My next step then was to go to Yahoo! and try to cut and paste the lyrics to the song on a word document. With that in front of my eyes, I began to make sense of the song. This morning I practiced for the show from 8 until noon, concentrating heavily on the newly added song. Now, here is where the inspiration comes in.

Every time I saw my friend Erin, who battled cancer every day, I rarely saw her without a smile on her face. She never quit fighting, not even at the end. I was a gnat’s eyelash away from deleting the difficult song and asked myself, would Erin want me to quit? Would she want me to take an easy way out? The answer was obvious.

With renewed enthusiasm and inspiration, I said to myself, this song is not going to get the better of me. And, by the end of practice, I can honestly say I have confidence that this song shall remain in the playlist. Whether I shall lip-sync or vocalize the song has yet to be determined.

Readers, inspiration comes in many forms and most times it comes when you least expect it. This performance of mine for Erin, I already know in my heart, is going to be a success. I feel her spirit will be with me.

Until Friday, enjoy the nice weather if you have it. Take care and happy reading.

On with the show, times 2

Greetings, readers. Thank God this election is over. I’m not going to tell you if my man won or not, but even if he didn’t, I’m just so glad that this whole two-year political bombardment is done. Between the primaries, the debates, the advertisements on TV and radio, MSNBC and FOX News’ round the clock analysis, I couldn’t take it one more day.

Oddly enough, though I did not scour webpages, I did pay very close attention this time around to the candidates, especially on the national scene. What I fear happening in years to come, however, is going to be right after the inaugural speech that we will have ads from candidates for the next election. Note to political heads: Stop the madness!

I stayed up until 2:30 last night watching speeches from both the winner and the loser, and found both people to be gracious and eloquent. I sincerely hope that republicans, democrats, and independents, can put their differences aside and take care of the people they are representing; the citizens of the United States. This country has problems that need solved and it’s not going to happen by one party trying to block the other just so they can win the White House four years from now.

On to another topic. Rehearsal for my new show is coming along splendidly. I’m sure my Beatles performance next month with a friend of mine will be a smashing success. So far my play list stands at 28 songs. If that seems a bit long to you, remember that most early Beatles songs were just slightly over two minutes. Be that as it may, I’m going to talk to my friend and see if there are any songs which she wishes to whittle out.

This coming week, besides writing, I will have to begin my mental and physical preparation for the show. I’m not as young as I used to be, and an intense air guitar air drum show does take a lot out of me. I’ve already decided that if I start huffing and puffing after two songs, I shall bag the air guitar and just concentrate on the vocals. There is a very slight chance that one or two songs will be recorded and possibly put up on the blog at some point.

Until next time, take care, enjoy the weather if it is nice where you are, and happy reading.

A quick post for today, 10/19/12

Greetings, readers. As I returned home last evening from supper at Godmother’s, I had time to reflect  on things that have been going in on my life recently. I was sitting at home listening to music, I recalled my earlier post, Life doesn’t have a reset button. This morning I re-read that entry and I have just a couple of quick things to say about it.

First off, I might have been a little bit too rigid in my thinking. Life is not always black and white. Sometimes it is indeed grey. For instance, when it comes to my ex-wife, Georgia (last name omitted for privacy reasons), feelings can be quite mixed. After everything that went on, I still feel myself caring for her very much. She was my first and right now I am not looking for another.

I also read over my post from yesterday, Depression helped by air guitar. I thought about how much fun I have when I partake of my hobby and that actually alleviated some of those dark thoughts. What I need is a good case of let’s get down to work. Before Rebecca and I move on to our creation day, let me add a personal note to my ex-wife. I have told her many times how I feel and that sometimes even two people who care still can’t play house anymore. She knows I’ve got her back.

Until next week, have a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. Go Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Iowa