Saturday, December 9, 2017

2017 - A Year in Pictures

Here are a few highlights of 2017. I am very lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it. I have a good life with many activities, with many people, in many various locations. I know I'm lucky. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't feel grateful.

It would appear that music is a huge part of my life, as you will see.


February - San Juan

Jason and me - arriving home after 20 months in jail. Visited him every week
in Penetang and drove to Kingston 8 times. Matthew 25:36.
Thanks to Facebook, I was able to locate and visit Jackie Smith. Jackie was the singer in
Little Sister - my first band. I started managing them in Kingston. It was a good foundation
 for the artist management job I developed again in 2012.

Me and Debbie Feeley met up in Kingston. Great to reconnect with the lead singer of
Stagger - the second band I managed while living in Kingston, about 1984.

LIFE 100.3's nearly annual "Heart of Worship" concert series, this time held in
Orillia - Luke Langman whom I manage is on the left.

Air Raid 26 - Rapture Rukus at HiWay Church in Barrie.

After the Breakfast Club came to a close with the departure of Tim Maassarany, we debuted
The Get Up And Go Show by hiring Steve Bradley to co-host with Todd Gale

LIFE 100.3 staff Bootcamp at Elim Lodge with Brant Hansen. Training and lots of
radio stories.
Spending some time in the "SJ Home Gym and Athletic Centre". It's something to do."
I also started skipping.

Studio recording of "Let It Go" - the first single by All Rescued Children.
Jared Groenewegen laying down vocals. The song was played nationally across
Canada. "Take A Step With Me" followed, and reached number one.

All Rescued Children - the current band I manage




Traveling to a gig - Andrew, David, me and The Captain


Video recording of "Worthy" with second verse sung by guest artist
Francois Goudreault of Hello Kelly.

My wife Janice got into public speaking this year with her story of growing up
in Toronto, our life together and some other stuff that makes her cry.
When Anthem For Today liquidated their stage gear, I was able to snag
the stage carpet. It reminds me of 150 amazing shows together, the songs that
were sung and the messages shared - all on this carpet.
Me and Janice - i love this pic.

Jerry Lee Lewis in NYC - his 82 birthday. Highlight of the year!
While in New York, me and Mike hanging out on the Bowery at John Varvatos Men's Clothing
store, my favourite store for funky fashions, which also happens to be the same venue once used as the premiere
punk club in NYC - CBGB.

While in NYC, we attended a concert by 3 Dog Night.

NYC - Mike and me walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.

NYC - the New World Trade Centre Building - 102 stories.
New York City - meeting Carlos Montanez and Broadway Bill Lee
at WCBS-FM.

Playing cajon at Living For Jesus

My 60th birthday - with Ian Eskelin and Dave Clo. 

The only thing better than hearing your favourite song on the radio, is being in the band for a day.
"Thank You Goodnight" - All Star United - on my patio for my birthday.

Biking in Ottawa. I go once a year to ride along the Rideau bike path, hang out
at Hog's Back and let my brain buffer.

Many rides with Tom Roe, another artist I manage. Tom plays Country Gospel music.
I never thought I would be a fan of this style, let alone be Tom's percussionist!
Biking with Janice.

I conceptualized the gathering of Canadian singers all singing O Canada
and releasing it to Christian radio. The song was nominated for a Covenant
Award for Artist Collaboration Of The Year. (front row is Luke Langman, whom I have
managed since 2014.)

Lulu - "To Sir With Love" in Gravenhurst - seats were ringside. One special song
that tugs on my heart.

Still on the radio. Still lovin' it. The Retro Show on LIFE 100.3
Saturday mornings and Amherst Island Radio 92.1 Tuesday
nights at 9pm.


Monday, November 6, 2017

THE SJ HOME GYM AND ATHLETIC CENTRE


It's kind of funny that I'm writing this. I don't see myself as in outstanding shape compared to some other people. I'm not an exercise expert but I think I'm doing ok for my age. Mostly, I like to encourage people. Encourage them to create, to stay busy and active. Be busy working. Help someone who needs help. Keep yourself tuned in to God and take care of your physical body for the short time you have it.

So, as you read this, it is not meant to be an informative "how to exercise". This is just what I do for myself, and maybe it'll be something you might want to do.

I've been asked, why post gym photos on Facebook? The answer to that is "motivation". If I can motivate someone to get up off their lazy bums and exercise, I think I've helped someone. When I see other people post their activity, it nudges me. I have a couple of friends who text me their "routine from yesterday" - sort of like accountability.

I only stay at hotels that have free weight gyms.
So why a home gym?  Don't I get distracted?  Ya, sometimes.  Going to a gym in the city is great because you're surrounded by people who want to get in shape - and there's nothing else to do.

At home, there ARE distractions - like the fridge, the phone, the dog, the TV, someone at the door. But it saves me from getting in a cold winter car and driving back into town.

I moved from Barrie to the country five years ago. When my annual membership at the Georgian Gym was up for renewal, I decided to spend the renewal money on home equipment. My whole gym cost me less than $1,000. I started with a bench and a couple of dumbbells and then added on, later.



THE GEAR
  • Incline/flat bench
  • Dumbbells (pairs) of 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50's.
  • 2 sets of rubber cables attached to the wall
  • 1 rubber cable lying around
  • a pair of push up bars
  • a 6-pound medicine ball
  • a floor mat
  • a chin-up bar
  • a 100-pound boxing bag
  • a trainer for my bike in the winter
  • my phone with "saved videos" of 5 minute cardio sessions

MY ROUTINES

Day 1 - Chest/Bicep
Day 2 - Shoulder/Tricep
Day 3 - Light day - chest, bicep, shoulder, tricep
Day 4 - Light day - 100 push-ups, 300 situps

I mix it up and do what I feel like, pending time and motivation. Oh, and the scale.

Planks are killers!






OTHER STUFF I MIX IN:


  • Cardio - several rounds on the boxing bag
  • Cardio - several professional 5-minute videos
  • Cardio - skipping, usually 1,500 jumps
  • Various crunches - I do these throughout every workout above
  • Ab punches with gloves with a partner
  • Ball throws during sit-ups with a partner
Skipping - learned it in a boxing club and my buddy
Chris Bray got me back into it.



AILMENTS
I have a few health issues, but none severe. My lowered back complains from time to time. but mostly, it's not bad. Every day that I can lean on the handle bars and ride my bike is a blessing.

I also have Brachial Neuritis which is a nerve condition in C5 and C6, which caused muscle atrophy - where the nerves stop talking to the muscles, and they shrink.  The triceps in both arms are affected, so it limits some of what I used to do in the gym, like push-ups, but, it's not affecting my quality of life.

My buddy Tom Roe and I did a few bike trips this summer!

BIKING
I don't bike for exercise - only for relaxation and fellowship.  I hit 1,000/km this season, which is terrible, compared to distance rides and 3,600 km in my best year. The rides are now under 50km a day, and sometimes only 20km. I'll admit - it's an age thing.

Overall, I'm grateful that I can do this. As I get older, I can feel my body wearing out. But I figure if I keep myself tuned up to whatever level it is that I'm at, maybe I'll last a little bit longer than I would have, had I not done this.

DIET
Anything, plus a Coke, baby! I’m lucky I have a fairly fast metabolism!

Happy workout, everyone!








Tuesday, October 3, 2017

JERRY LEE LEWIS - AND OTHER STUFF

I'm not a fan. Well, maybe I am, now.

Jerry Lee Lewis is a 50's pop star known for two songs "Great Balls Of Fire" and "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On".  Now in his 82nd year, he performs less than a half a dozen shows a year. And one of them was in New York City at B.B. King's Bar and Grill, in Times Square.
In the 50's.


The show lasted 40 minutes. We all stood as he "walked" on stage, looking elderly, white hair, pale face, hunched over, wearing a silver sequined jacket which fit him horribly. Being frail and unstable on his feet he was helped to the piano stool by two stage hands.

As prepared as I thought I was to see a feeble, elderly man, well past his prime, I wasn't. I lost it. It was beyond emotional. He reminded me of my Dad visiting my house, careful and slow to not miss a step as he walked over the threshold at the door.  Many times I thought, "this could be the last time I see my Dad."  And, one day it was.

As Jerry played, he reminded me of that.  I was crying, I'm not kidding.  It was overwhelming to be there. I wondering - is he doing this for the money?  Or because he still loves to perform?  I don't know.

view from my seat
Between his southern drawl and slurred diction, it was hard to understand him. But, he pounded the keys with fervor and that was exciting. The audience cheered!  Well, they cheered for everything!

This particular show was JLL's 82nd birthday.  His wife (7th wife) sat on stage taking pictures on her phone, sometimes getting in the way of the band. A fan went up to the stage with a birthday gift, wrapped in silver, and leaned over the monitor to hand it to Jerry. Jerry leaned forward and I thought - oh no!  He's gonna fall right over. A stage hand intercepted and tried to take the gift, but JLL grabbed it and sat it on the piano. Haha.

"Great Balls Of Fire" played, more or less. The band was average. They didn't perform. They just played, carefully, without enthusiasm. Not because they didn't care but probably because they don't have much energy left.

Then it was "Whole Lotta Shakin'"  - the place went bonkers!  And, I kid you not - at the end, Jerry stood up, kicked the piano stool backwards, flipping it over, just like he did when he was 25!  The place - went nuts!

Then, his assistants came to him, and took him to stage right, where his wife was still rapidly taking photos as if it was his last show.  And then, they brought out a birthday cake with super candles with 18 inch flames shooted high.

Despite, my sad and emotional memory it was incredible!  I was in the second row, just off centre and it was worth every dollar. And this show cost me plenty.

Happy birthday!
It was like being with royalty. A man who gave so much to early rock and roll. He is a pioneer. He kicked man stools over, rocked many fans into a frenzy much like Elvis. He married 7 times, one time to his 13 year old cousin. He's had tax issues and been incarcerated. And who knows what else. But he's a pillar in pop music. And he's still doing it.

I'm so lucky to have been at this show. I was watching history. Gosh, I am lucky.

***********************************

Here are some other highlights of my trip to new York.


Visit to my favourite clothing store - John Varvatos on the Bowery,
former site of CBGB's nightclub.


Awesome hotel gym - Paramount Times Square

My new friend Carlos Montanez, with (legendary DJ) Broadway Bill Lee at CBS-FM.

Movie - about JD Salinger writing "Catcher
In The Rye." Great indie movie.

Mike and me on the subway.

Mike and me on Brooklyn Bridge.

A Coke truck.

Amazing lunch place off Wall Street.

The World Trade Centre.