I have such a story to tell. It started many years ago, at Sam's Burger Joint here in SA, and has done nothing but snowball on me.
I heard Del Castillo for the first time.
I was blown away, and remember racing up to the two guitar players, gushing something inane like "I've not heard playing like that since DiMeola, McLaughlin and De Lucia!" We, they and I have gone thru massive changes in our lives since then, many happy, many not so happy, and I have grown to love those guys, and their hardworking crew like few others I have ever known in the music business. I have given them my loyalty and effort, because I believe in what I hear in that music. If you would know who they each are, listen to what they play.
I could take the reader on a LONG, long trip thru the last several years, but it wouldn't mean much if one was not there. I have recorded the stories here to the best of my ability, finding it difficult in the best of times to warp the words into describing what they mean to my heart, because of the nature of what they are. It is, as I said, in their music.
No fan can ever truly know what affect he/she has on any band, because as they climb the ladder to success, musicians sometimes move away from where they once were, as more and more people come thru their lives. The slurry of faces and names thrown at them has got to be mind boggling. I still see this group of guys take the time to talk to most anyone who approaches them, and the number of people they seem to remember astounds me. At the same time, I have watched them become more noticed by the world, and once or twice have felt I might lose them to the world some day. And I still might.....but they are forever in this heart, for reasons that words fail to tell.
Last night, on the eve of my 49th birthday, the boys played their last gig of 2007, a very eventful year for them. It was at Sam's again, and the place was crammed. The energy was tremendous, though of a different nature. A tragedy had struck not two weeks ago, and while I have been hesitant to write about it, I knew it was tainting the whole event. I was surprised the gigs this weekend even happened really. It would have been justified to cancel, but there they were, pulling from deep inside to make the dark light again.
I was so happy just to have so many of my DC friends in the audience with me, it would've have been a terrific birthday present by itself. My boys, and one particularly sweet son of one them, made it more. After the main bulk of the show, Bert came out on with a birthday cake in hand , the rest of the guys following him out, and on stage, presented it to me, and sang to me. It was not in me to cry about it, but I can tell you right now, I had a smile on my face all night, and still get silly no matter what I am doing, just from the memory.
Bert and his son Dylan plotted the whole thing, and while I am not a very outgoing sort, I cannot say I didn't get a kick out of it. I'd be lying if I said his lovely words about my utter dedication to this band were unfelt. And to have my absolutely favourite rhythm section all around me singing Happy Birthday....well, let's just say- favourite b-day so far, and a hard one to top for this music nut.
I have so much going thru my head today, and a ton of beautiful pictures to mull over...pardon if I keep this short and sweet. I cannot thank all the DC familia that was there enough (the group picture came out REALLY well!)and as for my Boys, and Dave and the crew.....I think I am getting misty now.
Bert- you raised a great son. Dylan- you have your father's heart. DC...well, you know already. You showed me that last night.
I love you.