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

Tom on Growing Bolder

Tom on Growing Bolder

Tom features in a new segment of Growing Bolder, where he talks with reporter Bill Shafer about his career,  the surprise youtube sensation “The Remember Song” and putting out his first new album in 35 years “What I Know”. He also talks about a few of his many side projects like the “Fish Story Song” a story book and video for children.

Shown on many PBS stations, The Growing Bolder TV show reaches 97% of the country.

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

Newsletter – April 23, 2012 – Club 47 Rides Again !

Newsletter – April 23, 2012 – Club 47 Rides Again !

April 23, 2012

Gang,

Spring Break for the 12 year-old, and yesterday we were in a huge mall somewhere and got split up. Recalling that the Kid said something about bras (it’s unsettling when your little Pumpkin Seed sprouts hairy legs and cleavage – it happens very abruptly), I wandered over to the lingerie section. When Renee called on the cell to ask where I was, I announced, loudly and brightly, “I’m in Women’s Underwear.” Caused quite a stir among the ladies within earshot, the highpoint of my day!

club47gig_ks.jpgThe Kickstarter campaign to fund the Symphony Hall Club 47® concert is off to a great start, thanks to the way you guys jumped in – check it out! I’m optimistic enough that I’ve started building the foundation for the show, recruiting artists who are also great sidemen – the ones who can brilliantly back up other artists when the occasion arises.

So far I have lined up David Bromberg, Buskin & Batteau, Eric Lilljequist and Dean Adrien. Trevor Veitch, my guitar honcho for all those wild years in the ’70s, will be winging in from the West Coast to dazzle us with his sensitivity. The next step will be to expand the list to include some other alumni/ae from previous Club 47® extravaganzas. There will be, of course, some brilliant new faces as well, because this is the heart and soul of the Club 47® experience. Go to the Club 47 web page for an idea of who’s been on board in the past and to get a feel for the history of our Club 47® shows.

The Kickstarter campaign is really the best way to get tickets to this show – better seats, lower price. The Symphony Hall box office will be adding a $6.25 surcharge per ticket once it goes on sale to the public. (If you can’t come to the show, there are still some other compelling goodies to tempt you on board.) If you’re so inclined, it would also be very helpful if you’d post the video on your Facebook wall.

Also in the news: some shows coming up this weekend. Marblehead, MA at the Me & Thee on Friday, 4/27 (they’ve had to reduce their seating capacity to make the Fire Marshal happy, so don’t dawdle on this one); Saturday, 4/28 at the Iron Horse in Northampton (close to sold out last time I talked with them); and Alumni Hall in Haverhill, NH on Sunday, 4/29 – back on my home turf!

Enjoy the spring!

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month: “Adolescence is when girls experience social pressure to put aside their authentic selves and to display only a small portion of their gifts.” – Mary Pipher

Newsletter – April 9, 2012 – Symphony Hall or Bust!

Newsletter – April 9, 2012 – Symphony Hall or Bust!

Symphony Hall or Bust !
April 9, 2012

Gang,

Things are popping around here, but I’ve been too busy with a lost dog issue to tend to the popper. In this household dogs are esteemed members of the family, held in as high regard as any human. (Sometimes higher, depending on what the human has been up to lately. “In the doghouse” can actually be an upgrade.) Suffice it to say that the pup disappeared on Saturday afternoon and wasn’t found until 22 hours later, a mile away, by a friendly neighbor. So Saturday night was sleepless, and Easter was spent plastering the town with fliers, including putting them in mailboxes. I know this is illegal, but I was planning to blame it on our 12 year-old who “didn’t know any better.” Once the dog was found I had to go back around and retrieve them all. The idea of a 12 year-old doing hard time was more than I could bear.

Back to the popping. The REAL BIG NEWS is that we’re making a run at doing a bash at Symphony Hall, Boston, on Friday, December 28th as the Grand Finale for my 50th year on stage. I’m envisioning this as a resounding echo of the shows I used to do there in the early ’80s, lots of guests, lots of fun. Now this is a huge undertaking, but I figure if we can get the folks who are interested involved up front we might be able to pull it off. And here’s how we do it:

club47gig_ks.jpgThere’s a website called Kickstarter.com that is dedicated to raising money for artistic projects – books, works of art, fun software, what have you. And concerts! You set a goal ($100,000 – this is my best guess at a break-even number) and a deadline (47 days, for the old Club 47), and offer rewards for different levels of participation. In this case the obvious reward is tickets to the show, the best seats priced slightly BELOW what they will be once they’re offered to the public. There’s other stuff, too – guitars, CDs, posters, tee shirts and so forth – for folks who can’t get to Boston on 12/28/12. IF we reach our goal by the deadline, then and only then will your credit card be charged. If we fall short the whole thing just disappears. No charges, no rewards, and probably no concert. Check it out atKickstarter.] Get on board if you can!

Also in the news, I’ll be going back to Passim for two more shows, one June and one in September – I’ll give you advance notice as soon as the dates are firmed up. Also, a Canadian outfit, McKenzie & Marr has created a dazzling reincarnation of the Naked Lady guitar that I played throughout the 70’s and ’80s. I do a whole newsletter on her soon, but you can visit her right now at http://www.macmarr.com/store/tom-rush-naked-lady.

And lastly, but far from leastly, Todd Kwait and his merry band (he’s the guy masterminding the documentary on me that is in progress even now) will be premiering his film on the Club 47, “For the Love of the Music,” (Also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Club47Film – Twitter: @club47film) at theBoston International Film Festival, Tuesday April 17 at 6pm. It’s a very nice piece of work.

Enjoy the Spring!!

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month: “I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” Abraham Lincoln

Newsletter – March 16, 2012 – Maple Mystery Pix

Newsletter – March 16, 2012 – Maple Mystery Pix

March 16, 2012

Gang,

Maple Syrup?One of the cool things about maple syrup is that nobody knows where it comes from. Kind of like subatomic particles, political candidates or the things that teenagers say. Well, actually we know that syrup it comes from maple trees in the form of sap; but what we DON’T know is why the sap flows when it does. Freezing nights and warm days seem to be a prerequisite, an “enabling factor,” as they say, but in no way a guarantee. Some think it’s a southwest wind that turns on the tap, others look to moon phases or barometric fluctuations but it’s all very anecdotal and unscientific. Music seems to have no effect whatsoever. At least mine doesn’t. Maybe they like rap.

Suffice it to say that this year nothing is happening sap-wise, for me at least. All my buckets are bone dry, though other folks are getting a little action. And yes, I did tap maple trees, not pines. (In my youth I used to hang a few buckets on telephone poles just to make people wonder.) Last year, when I didn’t have time for it, there was so much sap that one neighbor told me he just took down his taps after a while because he got tired of all the boiling. This year, nada.

It might be just as well, since I am again girding my loins to go out into the world, to play some shows, perhaps for you! Sellersville, PA on Thursday, 3/22; York, PA on Friday the 23rd; Alexandria, VA (the Birchmere!) on Saturday the 24th; and to round it out, Garwood, NJ, on Sunday, March 25.

Then there’s the “Tom Returns to His Roots at Club 47 to Kick Off His 50th Year on Stage” thing at Passim in Cambridge, MA on Wednesday the 28th. This sold out within hours of my announcing it in the last newsletter, but do not despair!! We’ll be webcasting the show for the unfortunate millions who did not get to pay $100 to be there. (It’s a fundraiser for the New England Folk Music Archives.) For a mere $3 you can be virtually there. Go to http://ConcertWindow.com/Passim and there will be two big sign-up buttons, one for just this show, one for a month’s subscription. (They also do webcasts from other clubs around the country.) The show kicks off at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 28th, but the webcast will start about 30 minutes ahead of that to give you time to get your equipment calibrated, the beer properly chilled and so forth.

One caveat: Concert Window is only set up for LIVE webcast – there are no re-runs or archives. So if you forget it, forget it. Also, you cannot sign up in advance, so set your alarm clocks for 6:30PM, Wednesday the 28th. There will be a link to my Facebook page there, and I’ll be checking comments and requests from time to time on stage so that I can reply with appropriate, or inappropriate, retorts.

This is where I’ll be introducing you to a new guitar and, hopefully, be making an announcement about a fantastic Grand Finale to the 50th year. Join me if you possibly can!

All the best,

Tom

Tom Rush

Quote of the month: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing” – George Bernard Shaw (thanks to Gunnar Baldwin)

The Fish Story Song & Coloring Book

The Fish Story Song & Coloring Book

This is the coloring book-with-CD I mentioned in the recent newsletter. It has received good reviews from the neighborhood tykes and is now all dressed up with a cover picture by one David Jorgenson (who illustrated the Velveteen Rabbit, and many others, and happens to be a neighbor); 16 pages, with each verse on a separate page ready for your budding Picasso (Monet?)
It’s now available online and at shows.

And here’s the song that made it all possible, The Fish Story Song:

Celebrating 50 years in Music

Celebrating 50 years in Music

50 Years of Music cover art ACelebrating his 50th year of singing, Tom appeared in a gala show at Symphony Hall, Boston, on December 28th, 2012. The performance featured Jonathan Edwards, Buskin & Batteau, Dom Flemons, Trevor Veitch, Eric Lillequist, Dean Adrien, Joe Mennonna, Marshall Rosenberg, Paul Guzzone and special guest David Bromberg. The performance was streamed live on the web, and was recorded for special DVD/CD 2-disc set, available now in our store.

For the occasion of his 50th, Tom has also re-released two CDs of earlier work, Tom Rush at the Unicorn (1962) and Live at Symphony Hall (Originally released in 2001). The latter contains selections from the album “New Year Live at Symphony Hall”, originally released in 1982, and “Late Night Radio”, released in 1984. Both are available in the online store.