I just posted video from the most recent John Maxfield Band rehearsal, in which we play several original songs and don’t do too bad a job at it, either. We laughed of a few minor mishaps and had a good time making a joyful noise, and I hope that joy crosses over into your life when you watch the footage and listen to it.
Getting the band back on track has been exciting, because everyone is playing so well and enjoying the time together, which always feels too infrequent. Whatever time we do carve out of our respective schedules has made for good progress in our music making, and strengthened the already very sturdy bonds of our friendship. There have been other members of the John Maxfield Band rotating in and out for many years, though in recent years going back to not nearly as recent years, my left and right hand men have been Derek and Eddie. They have come up with so many great ideas, adding intricacies and stylistic choices that give the songs something that their studio versions lack, even when it’s those same fellas playing on the studio track. After a while, especially two or three years of playing a song, it’s amazing how much more you have it down than when you first thought you did. We all enjoy this; how we reflect on a studio version of some song we’ve not listened to (in that form) in a very long time- all the while playing that very song and still mutating it into it’s present form that we all like and are more used to. Sometimes, a live version is so in the moment that it seems like it was just that one take that one time when doing it all that way made perfect sense, like a mullet on a dude who owned a Harley-Davidson in 1983… I’m sure it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Alister (my four month old son) is just now starting to roll himself over and hold his head up higher than I’ve ever seen. He has been laughing a lot lately and smiling any time he isn’t tired. Bottle feeding has started to make him protest, though he will take about half of what he used to pull reliably from the bottle. He’s getting the hang of it again I’m sure, and just like this video of this band practice I enclosed above, sometimes when you haven’t done something in a while it gets a little dusty and rusty, getting back on the old bike. Sometimes you got to pump the tire and put the chain back on it, and the more you do even THOSE things, the sooner you get back to riding the bike.
Sorry for mixing metaphors, but not really. I hope it makes sense to you in some way that’s deep and has some semblance of truth for you in a personal way.
Anakin (my six year old) just turned six at the very end of this past May. We threw an enormous party for him on Labor Day, invited a lot of guests, had balloons and food everywhere, and we got him lots of gifts. The day of the party was a National Holiday, so there were a lot of people who were able to come- kids and their parents. We used the party as an excuse to deep clean our home and try to get things organized while so doing. I think in every way we had hoped and planned for, the party was a huge success. I think it was surprisingly successful in some ways, too. The only thing I’ll mention on that note was a sense of deep satisfaction that we got through it, everyone had a great time, the house is still clean and organized (and decorated) and despite an overabundance of barbecue and a ravenous appetite, I still have a lot of food off the grill ready to reheat and eat for what’s left of this week… unless I eat it all for lunch the moment I finish writing this blog.
One last thing; I went to the doctor last Wednesday and had these absolutely terrible tests done on the severed nerves in my left arm. They stuck me with a needle more than seventeen times, and each time just sort of let that long needle hang in whichever place it was stuck in my arm for sometimes over one very uncomfortable minute. They also shocked me to the core- seemingly from every pore of my left arm. I nearly shouted out “TRUUUUEEE LOOOOOVVE!” ala “The Princess Bride” when Wesley is being tortured by the albino.
I have some medication that I was just notified is available, and I suppose I’ll pick it up on my way to work this afternoon. I have very little faith in this untried drug making any difference in my constant state of pain in the arm and hand; but hey- it’s there flickering and threatening to dwindle– though it has not done so yet entirely. I hope that taking it doesn’t create any kind of effect I don’t want to work or drive on, though I’ll have to report back on how that all goes after I try some of the latest medicine.
Farewell for now, dear readers and listeners. Thanks for being. / JM