Author: Williams, Dave

When Iím 64

ďWill you still need me, will you still feed me,
when Iím 64?Ē

I guess Iíll find out today. Iíll get back to you by dinnertime with the early results.

Just so happens, not by full moons, or solstices, or dia de los muertos voodoo but rather by an infrequent confluence of calendar months and days of the week, that the first Thursday of November (my welcome column day) falls on my birthday this year. It wonít happen again until 2019. You can bet Iíll be sure to remind you of this pointless piece of trivia in my welcome column that day. I obviously wonít be able to use the same title again on that day though. Iíd write my own song for the occasion but there is not quite the same ring to ďWhen Iím 70Ē and Iím not Lennon and McCartney so nobody would know what I was talking about anyway.

This is my first birthday as a retired guy and with the winter coming, along with the playing season winding down, itís time to take stock and put the winter plan together to get through to spring.

This is new since my retirement. In the past, there was no planning going on. When the time changed, I would go to work in the dark, come home in the dark every day, and just get into a four month funk. My go to plan was hibernation and vegetating under my full spectrum light.

No more! It is the new me. You might say Iíve seen the light, daylight that is, some every day and no commuting in the dark.

Turns out that most of the plan is already in effect. Lets see. I have peas, broccoli, green onions and oregano planted in the winter garden to go with the largest basil plant in Sunsetís Zone 15 planting area. There are 5 gallons of amber ale fermenting in my personal home brewery (otherwise known as the back bathroom.) As I write this, the tequila bar is fully stocked (but that could easily change before you read this.) 3 gallons of Heddyís Red and Black Bean soup are a in the freezer. The hot tub is always ready to go.

Bring it on old man winter. Iím ready for you this year. I donít care what time it gets dark.

Whatís still to do, is the most important part of my winter survival plan. What am I going to do musically? Supposedly, I was going to pick up one of the many other instruments sitting behind me as I write this, banjo, dobro, mandolin, ukulele but donít worry their safe for now. I still got quite a few rows to hoe with the bass before moving on.

Iím still working with two bands playing bass and jamming when I can including a weekly parking lot jam, subbing for a couple of old time jams and of course the SCVFA jams each month. But we all know band stuff and sometime even jams have a way of slowing this time of the year.

Leaving the jams out of the equation, because you always do them if you can, the question arises for me will I push for more rehearsals with my bands or do I keep quiet about that and get myself into the woodshed more often.

On the subject of rehearsals versus getting to the woodshed, Iím going to share a couple more quotes from the same guy I stole the grist quote from. He is a bass player from Kansas that plays with a friend of mine. It would seem we share similar views on rehearsing. Anyway here are the quotes and oh yeah, please understand that I offer these for entertainment purposes only and as an attempt to add some humor here:

ďExcessive rehearsals indicate a lack of confidence.Ē

ďWoodsheds are for practicing. Rehearsals, on the other hand, are where the minions learn the order of operations.Ē

Donít tell my bands (and Iím sure they wonít read it here) that Iím going to pick the woodshed over rehearsals. Yeah sure, Iíll go when summoned to rehearsals, as I do understand I am a minion that needs to know the order of operations, but my focus is going to be the woodshed. I am looking to hook up with my bass coach again this winter. Last year, from my perspective, it worked out very well having the structure of almost weekly sessions and being able to work on specific issues like syncopation. This helped me grow some on the bass and put a few more tricks into my bag. We stopped when the festival and playing season really got going and there were more rehearsals to attend. You knowÖ to learn the order of operations for the upcoming gigs.

Anyway, itís time to get going again. Meet up with my coach to work on improving my playing. As we all know, we never get it all but we can get better by putting in quality time. I still want to get a better feel for slow syncopated blues so I expect we can start there. Also want to get into some swing bass lines for fun. This should keep me locked up in the woodshed for a while. Fortunately, it is also the place I keep the beer and tequila so I should have enough fuel for the duration of the winter or at least until the phone starts ringing summoning this minion to a few rehearsals.

Speaking of beer, it is bottling day. Have to scrub and sanitize the bottles and then Iíll be joined by my brewing partner Linda, to fill and cap. Weíll be drinking by Thanksgiving. Just in case youíre not sure, there is a standing invitation to drop by over the holidays and weíll tip one with a shot of anejo on the side. This is my take on the old neighborhood bar boilermaker. Heck, maybe weíll do a couple. Bring your ax. Iíll show you the woodshed and maybe we can pick a few.
Posted:  11/7/2013

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