Newsletter – June 3, 2013 – The Pops and Symphony Hall

Newsletter – June 3, 2013 – The Pops and Symphony Hall

Gang,

Some years ago on a flight from SMW (Somewhere) to BOS (Boston International) I awoke from a well-earned nap to find my seatmate having some kind of weird seizure. (I don’t suppose there is any other kind, now that I think about it.) His eyes were glazed and he was gesticulating wildly with his arms as though conducting a symphony, or wrestling with an imaginary gorilla. “Are you all right? I inquired cautiously. “I’m Keith Lockhart,” he replied, as though that were the only explanation required. “Ah!” I replied brightly. “I conduct the Boston Pops,” he said by way of clarification. Well! That explained the imaginary gorilla.

We met again just last week when I played with the Pops for the first time, as part of my Harvard 50th reunion. It was quite a kick. When those strings and horns come in it’s like the afterburner lighting up! Just one song, mind you (No Regrets), but they said they’d like to talk about having me back for more, maybe in the Fall, so I regarded this as sort of an audition. I hope I’m not giving anything away here, but I thought Keith and the gang did really well and I’m favourably disposed to giving them another chance!


50 Years of Music cover art A
1-hour version will air on Tuesday, June 4th (tomorrow!) at 10:00PM and they’ll be offering a full concert DVD-plus-CD combination as a pledge gift — you’ll be able to get it at 888-897-9424 or http://wgbh.org/rush. I’m a big Public Television enthusiast, and urge you to get on board here!*

I’ll be lazing around – well, actually putting things into cardboard boxes and taking them out again – until July 19th and 20th when I’ll be at TCAN in Natick, MA, and then Minneapolis, MN, Evanston, IL, and Pomeroy, OH, in August. Oh! And the Shalin Liu in Rockport, MA at the end of August (this one always sells out early) and Jonathan’s in Ogunquit, ME on September 1. Links to the venues for more information are below.

Stay cool, and enjoy the summer!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

*PS. New Hampshire Public TV will also be airing the show on Tuesday 6/4, in Hi-Def at 10:00PM and in Standard-Def at both 8:00 and 11:00PM.

Newsletter – April 1, 2013 – Easter Morning Surprise!

Newsletter – April 1, 2013 – Easter Morning Surprise!

April 1, 2013

Gang,
We live in such a friendly neighborhood! Some kind person dropped off this basket of kittens on our front porch in the middle of the night. I’ll bet they figured I’d think they were from the Easter Bunny, but I’m not stupid. I know the Bunny lays chocolate eggs and sometimes, if you’re lucky, Peeps. These little guys are so cute and frisky – I can’t wait to introduce them to our puppy!

A kitchen tip from your pal, Tom:
Have you ever tried putting Peeps in the microwave? Spectacular! In about 10 seconds they start looking like Marlon Brando.

Some gigs coming up this weekend:

Friday, April 5th at 8:00PM, the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. This wonderful theater was closed for years and years while they figured out how to come up with the money to upgrade the safety features of the building to comply with the new codes. It’s all done, safer than ever, and they’re back in business.

Saturday, April 6th at 7:30PM, I’ll be at the Chandler in Randolph, Vermont. I haven’t been there for some years and am very much looking forward to coming back – a great venue!

And stop by the website, now featuring the newly reissued “Live at the Unicorn,” (my very first album,1962) and “New Year,” from the first of my Club 47 shows at Symphony Hall in ‘81 (though I hadn’t yet started calling them Club 47 shows). (The DVD from last December’s “50 Years on Stage” show is coming along very nicely in post-production and should be ready “soon.” That’s as specific as I feel I can get.)

Happy springtime!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month:

If you can’t get a miracle, a disaster will do.

–– William S. Burroughs

Newsletter – March 17, 2013 – Tom Rush Declines Job as Pope!

Newsletter – March 17, 2013 – Tom Rush Declines Job as Pope!

March 17, 2013

Gang,

I am SOOO glad this Pope thing is settled. I mean, they just wouldn’t stop calling, and because of the time zone thing they were waking me up at all hours. I simply could not convince them that I didn’t want the job. I mean, I’ve got the infallibility thing down, and all that, and that’s probably why they wanted me – no learning curve! I kept telling them I’ve got a wife and three kids, and I’m not even Catholic, but they’d come back with “O, nemo perfectum est.” (You know, “Nobody’s perfect.”) (Their Latin isn’t all that good, actually. “Quam cito obliviscaris,” y’know. But I digress.)

I thought about it – the pay was great, the hours were flexible, you get to live in your very own country. What it came down to was wearing that outfit, and they were pretty adamant about it. No blue jeans, no tee shirts, no flip-flops. I said “no,” but I told them I knew guy in Argentina they should check out. “He’d be perfect,” I told them, “fit right in!” They finally listened.

Which frees me up to go on the road next week:

Thursday the 21st is Asheville, NC at the Altamont. For DECADES people have been telling me I should play in Asheville and at last it’s happening!

Friday the 22nd in Moneta, VA, another first for me. (It’s at the Trinity Ecumenical Parish and they’ve asked me if I’ll please try to behave myself. I’ll do my best.)

Saturday the 23rd back at the good old Birchmere in Alexandria, VA, one of my all-time favorite stops. (Last time through Tom Paxton stopped in and joined me for a couple of songs – I’m going to see if I can wheedle him into coming by again.)

And Sunday the 24th in Phoenixville, PA at the Colonial Theatre – this is a co-bill with David Bromberg and should be tons of fun. The two of us always seem to be able to cook up some improbable collaborations. (My favorite was at a festival in the south of France decades ago. I wanted to do the Panama Limited in French and had it translated but hadn’t had time to memorize the results. I played the guitar part and David read the narration/lyrics off a piece of paper. The dumbest thing I’ve ever done on stage – that I can remember – and they LOVED it!)

And one last thing: the DVD (and maybe CD) from the Symphony Hall show last December is in post-production and coming along at a good clip. I’m not going to predict a release date – while infallible, I’m also relentlessly optimistic – but sometime soon.

Spring is coming!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the Month:

I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.

George Carlin

Newsletter – December 27, 2012 – Symphony Hall Tickets

Newsletter – December 27, 2012 – Symphony Hall Tickets

December 27, 2012
12_sym_poster.jpg

Gang,

Sorry to bug you again so soon, but Symphony Hall just told me that some blocks of seats for tomorrow night’s “sold out” show have just been released by the camera crew, and they’ve been put up at the box office. These will go quickly – wanted you to be the first to know.

And a reminder: if you can’t be there, there’s a FREE, high-def video webcast, live only, 8PM tomorrow night.
A link to the webcast is at tomrush.com or you can go directly:
https://new.livestream.com/TomRush/symphonyhall

Happy New Year!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

PS. I meant to put this in the last newsletter, but forgot. For those of you still interested in year-end gift giving, Nicholas Kristoff has some great ideas:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/opinion/kristof-gifts-that-change-lives.html?_r=0

Newsletter – December 23, 2012 – Symphony Hall, A New Song & Happy Holidays

Newsletter – December 23, 2012 – Symphony Hall, A New Song & Happy Holidays

 

12_sym_poster.jpgGang,

There’s a nice piece in the Sunday Boston Globe on the upcoming Symphony Hall show.

We’re sold out, but there are some seats being held by the Hall that will be released today or tomorrow, so it’s worth checking with the box office.

For those that can’t make it, there will be a live webcast (live only – 8:00PM Eastern, Friday 12/28 – no archive, no reruns). You can link to it at TomRush.com. If you’re following me on Twitter [@tomrushmusic], I’ll be sending out a reminder at around 7:30 PM Eastern.

And here are the lyrics to a song I’m writing for the occasion. It’s a sea-chantey kind of thing. (I figure since I can’t seem to get a handle on this modern music, I might as well go the other way, back in time.)

The best of Holidays to you all, and the Happiest New Year ever!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

ONE MORE TIME AROUND THE SUN
Words and music by Tom Rush © 2012
Written for Symphony Hall 12/28/2012

Once more, boys, around the sun,
We’ll sail the breeze that blows,
And pray these winds will bring us safely home.
And one more dance before we’re done,
If the ladies will allow,
If the ladies will allow we’ll dance ’til dawn.

One more time around the sun, it’s steady as she goes,
One more time, we’ll sail the breeze that blows.

When I was a younger man
A woman took my heart,
Stole my heart, ran off to New Orleans.
But a heart that’s ne’er been broken, boys,
Is a heart that’s never loved,
And a sadder thing this world has never seen.

One more time around the sun, it’s steady as she goes,
One more time, we’ll sail the breeze that blows.

The longest nights, the darkest days,
There’s ice upon the rail,
Haul away, we’re bound for better weather.
Let’s make merry while we may,
Though the winter winds may wail,
Let’s raise a glass and dance this dance together.

One more time around the sun, it’s steady as she goes,
One more time, we’ll sail the breeze that blows.

Let’s raise a glass to them that’s gone,
Wish ’em fare thee well,
Wish ’em summer winds to fill their sails.
There’s a feather on the water, boys,
Then a wing upon the wind,
And where they’ve gone there ain’t no one can tell.
One more time around the sun, it’s steady as she goes,
ne more time, we’ll sail the breeze that blows.

So let’s haul down to Boston town,
Where the ladies all are fair,
The lights are bright, the band will play ’til dawn.
So bend your backs and haul away,
Oh, life is but a dream,
And merrily we row along.

One more time around the sun, it’s steady as she goes,
One more time, we’ll sail the breeze that blows.

Now the year is done, a new one comes,
One more time around the sun,
We can ever know what lies in store.
So let’s go spinning one more time,
Twirlin’ round the floor,
Here’s to one more year, and many more.

One more time around the sun, it’s steady as she goes,
One more time, we’ll sail the breeze that blows,
One more time, we’ll sail the breeze that blows.

Newsletter – November 25, 2012 – Symphony Hall Concert, Kickstarter & The Mouse

Newsletter – November 25, 2012 – Symphony Hall Concert, Kickstarter & The Mouse

November 25, 2012

12_sym_poster.jpgSo! It appears that our Kickstarter campaign to fund the Symphony Hall show on December 28th was the 5th most successful music campaign they’ve ever done – not bad for the first time out! Amanda Palmer holds the number one slot but she’s cute, which I regard as a form of cheating. She also appears naked a lot, and I refuse to lower myself to cheap tricks like that. I have standards!Gang,

I have, however, seriously considered charging everybody an extra $20 to keep my clothes ON. This could work! A fellow at my school made a good deal of money by NOT chewing the head off a live mouse. It went like this: he announced that if everybody gave him $5 he was willing to chew the head off a live mouse. (This was, mind you, when $5 was $5, or at least $3.75.)

When he had the money in hand he produced his pet mouse and stuck its head in his mouth. As he began to chew, its little legs and tail thrashed about frantically and everybody in the audience blanched and cried “Ewww” in unison. He then announced that, for an additional $5 apiece, he would cease and desist, otherwise he would resume gnawing. The soggy-headed mouse looked at us imploringly. He cleared about $50 and the mouse lived to put on another show. Quite a team!

Speaking of Symphony Hall, the show on the 28th of December is going on sale tomorrow, Monday, November 26th, by phone (888-266-1200 or 617-266-1200, M-F: 10-6pm, Sat. 12-6pm ) or on the web (http://www.bso.org/Performance/Listing – it may take a day or two for it to appear on their website.) It won’t be advertised until sometime next week, so you have a head start. Not many table seats left, good seats still open in the balconies. If you’re a Kickstarter supporter your tickets should be mailed out to you this week. Also, the CDs being reissued for this event are being manufactured as I write this and should ship to the Kickstarter folks well in time for Christmas.

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

PS. I just got a notice from MacKenzie & Marr Guitars that they’re having a rather astounding Cyber Monday sale on the Tom Rush Signature guitar – check it out! (Note: this is not the Naked Lady guitar, but still a lovely instrument.)

Quote of the Month: Sorry, I couldn’t find a quote relating to chewing the head off a live mouse. And I looked hard!

Newsletter – October 1, 2012 – Caught by Hidden Camera!

Newsletter – October 1, 2012 – Caught by Hidden Camera!

October 1, 2012

Hidden Camera footage
Hidden Camera footage

I’m off to the West Coast next week – it’s been a while. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends out there, and refreshing my frequent flier portfolio.Well, I am shocked and mortified, and hope you will be too. I was at a fundraiser, simply making some off-the-cuff remarks to a few of the high rollers, trying to explain my position on the state of the country. Well, it was captured by a hidden camera – the scallywags have no shame! I was being perhaps a bit too candid and now the whole thing’s been posted on YouTube. Very embarrassing! I probably could have expressed myself better, but there you have it. We just have to hope it doesn’t “go viral,” as the kids say. (I probably could have forged a link between the Club 47 and the 47%, but it didn’t occur to me until later.)

If you can’t attend, … you know the rest.

Enjoy the Fall!

Tom

Tom Rush

P. S. – I’m still working on firming up the list of guest artists for the Symphony Hall show on December 28th. As soon as that’s done – by mid-October, I hope – we’ll have tickets on sale at the Symphony box office, and the Kickstarter supporters will be notified. Thanks for your patience!

Quotes of the month: “A fool and his money are soon elected.”- Will Rogers

Also, “Anyone in the world wanting to understand American music could well start right here”- Pete Seeger, speaking of “Bossmen: Bill Monroe and Muddy Waters,” by Jim Rooney, now back in “print” as an e-book on Kindle at Amazon, Nook at Barnes & Noble and as an Apple iBook.

Newsletter – September 21, 2012 – Growing Old Gracefully

Newsletter – September 21, 2012 – Growing Old Gracefully

September 21, 2012

Tom tries out a new hearing aid.
Tom tries out a new hearing aid.

I’ve been studying what Old People do with the idea that I could learn from their example, so that I could fit in better, but problems keep cropping up. I don’t get golf, for instance (what’s up with those little waterfalls and windmills, anyway?), and shuffleboard is just plain boring. Napping, on the other hand, seems to be something for which I have natural talent, as I’ve discussed in a previous missive, and telling the same story over and over again is something that I’ve never seen a problem with, so perhaps there’s hope. I will report back from time to time on my progress.

Speaking of the perspective of age, the upcoming show at Passim on Sunday (the third and final installment in the series on my 50 years on stage – each one has dealt with a certain time period) will be on Modern Times and will focus mainly on the last 10 years or so, road stories and material from the “Trolling for Owls” and “What I Know” CDs. I’ll also be introducing a new song, written by my buddy Josh Brackett. It’s called “The Poor Have Too Much Money,” and could easily change the course of the upcoming election. (The documentary crew that will be shooting the show will try to get a YouTube clip out of this one, so here’s your chance to go viral, if that’s something that appeals to you.)

 

Tom at Passim
Tom at Passim

 

I’ll also be introducing you to a youngster I think has a lot of talent, Ms. Hayley Reardon. Be there if you can. If you can’t, be there virtually via ConcertWindow.com. If you’re on my Twitter list I’ll be sending out a reminder-tweet about an hour before the show goes up at 7:00 PM.

Enjoy the Fall!

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.”- Mark Twain; and, “True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Newsletter – August 3, 2012 – The Naked Lady Rides Again!

Newsletter – August 3, 2012 – The Naked Lady Rides Again!

August 3, 2012

Gang,

It’s been a while. The last time I wrote to you, nearly 2 months ago, I was apprehensive about chaperoning a 7th and 8th grade “Semi-Formal” dance – and I’ve left you hanging in suspense. I hope it hasn’t ruined your summer!

It actually wasn’t as difficult, or as dangerous, as I’d feared. The worst part, really, was the “dancing,” so called, which consisted of them all jumping straight up and down more or less in unison, more or less in time with the music. When they were all “dancing” at once I did worry a bit about the structural integrity of the building, but it seems to have sustained only minimal damage.

I didn’t get to use the cattle prod – though I was eagerly looking for opportunities – or the air horn. The referee’s whistle was deployed on a couple of occasions, during the slow dances mainly, but I found the most effective device for keeping our daughter in line was to threaten to get my guitar and sing some songs for her friends.

Speaking of guitars: back in the late ’60s in Cambridge I bought an Epiphone Texan for $179, brand new, with case. I figured it was cheap enough to take to beach parties, and if someone stepped on it, it wouldn’t be the end of the world … but then I kind of fell in love with the thing.

I started fancying her up – mother of pearl trim and whatnot. I asked a young lady named Chris Hayward to inlay a reclining nude entwined with a snake (Hey … it’s a Biblical theme!) on the neck. Well! She caused quite a sensation from the very first day, and was tagged “the Naked Lady.” I can tell you that when the roadie yelled to the stagehand, “Tom needs the Naked Lady in the dressing room right away,” heads would turn! Sadly, she burned up in a house fire in 1990 and I have missed her terribly for the past 22 years.

1982 Symphony Hall promo shot
The original Epiphone “Naked Lady” – 1982 Photo

2012 Naked Lady
McKenzie & Marr “Naked Lady” Photo: Medora Hebert

But wipe away those tears, children – there’s a happy ending! John Marr of McKenzie & Marr guitars contacted me asking if they could produce a “signature” guitar with my name on it. He brought me some samples of their work and I was very impressed. The discussions wound along and at some point I worked up the nerve to inquire if the top-of-the-line model could have a naked lady with a snake on the fingerboard. Yes! I’ve been playing the prototype on stage now for some months, and she’s a honey. Feels great, sounds great and looks … well, stunning! The production models have just arrived and they’re every bit as good. (There were also a few made without the inlay, for those shy persons out there.) In my mind this is a $5,000 instrument, but M&M are selling them for less than half of that. Check her out!

Shows coming up:

Thursday, August 10th at Infinity in Norfolk, CT. A wonderful hall with some real history. (Mark Twain stood on that stage!)

Friday, the 11th at the Rubin Museum in New York City. This should be fun! No amplification at all – no plugging anything in, no sound system. And I’m supposed to do at least one song that ties in – in my mind at least – to one of the artworks they have on display. We’ll see how that pans out.

Saturday, the 12th at the Stephen Talkhouse way out on Long Island in Amagansett, a great little club. I haven’t been there for some years and I’m looking forward to this!

Sunday the 13th at 4:00 PM at the Turning Point in Piermont, NY, just over the Tappan Zee Bridge. A Matinee! And in what is probably the most intimate venue I ever get to play.

And on Friday and Saturday, the 24th and 25th, the glorious Shalin Liu Performance Center in Rockport, MA. These are close to sold out, so don’t dawdle.

Come on by. If you can’t attend, send a friend!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the Month: Regarding the dilemma of having to ride herd on a 13 year-old girl, the best advice I got came from a Texan, via Steve McCarty: “When the boys start swarming around, just shoot the first one … the word gets around.”

PS. I’m still rounding up guests for the Symphony Hall show on 12/28. The tickets will go on sale soon after I’m done with that, hopefully in September. Those of you who were part of the Kickstarter campaign already have your seats secured – they’ll be mailed out as soon as the show goes public. TR

Newsletter – May 24, 2012 – Last Call/First Call

Newsletter – May 24, 2012 – Last Call/First Call

May 24, 2012

Gang,

I’ve been pounding you pretty hard lately, and I apologize. There’s been a lot going on, with a lot of deadlines. After this I’ll go tend my garden and give you a rest for a while!

club47gig_ks.jpgLast call for the Kickstarter campaign for the Symphony Hall show on December 28th – 48 hours to go. It closes at 1:23PM EDT on Saturday, May 26th. There will then be a short hiatus before the remaining tickets go on sale at the Symphony Hall box office, where they will be charging an additional $6.25 a ticket. Ticket prices for some sections will also go up, and most of the incentives will no longer be available (though you’ll still be able to get tickets, posters, shirts and CDs on the open market.) But the special seats where you can join the band on stage for the finale (one left), the private concert (one left), and the bundles of seats + posters + tee shirts will be gone forever.http://tinyurl.com/7oar2qq

First call for my show at Passim on Tuesday, June 12th. You have a 48-hour head-start, starting now, and there are only 80 seats. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at noon on the 26th. This is the second in a series of three shows dealing with various stages of my 50 years in music. (The first one, back in March, on The Early Days sold out in a matter of hours.) This show will focus on My Middle Ages; Eric Lilljequist and Dean Adrien will be joining me to talk and sing about the Elektra and Columbia years, and all the madness of the ’70s – or as much of it as we can remember. http://tinyurl.com/7hnc8xj

That’s it! Thanks so much to you Kickstarter supporters – can’t wait to see you at Symphony Hall in December!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the Month: “Gardening is not a rational act.” – Margaret Atwood