- We are putting on a push to get more Likes on our Grateful We're Not Dead Facebook Fan Page. If you have a Facebook account, please feel free to drop by and click the Like button on the Fan Page. It will be much appreciated.
- Grateful We're Not Dead entertained in Brockville at the Zoomer's Health and Lifestyle Expo on June 8, 2012. We set up a small video camera and the resulting, edited video is now on Youtube.
If you've only been dropping by this site and thought we'd died off, we're pleased to announce that we're still alive and kicking and hope to see you at a Grateful We're Not Dead show sometime in the future.
Got a hankering to plaster stickers over everything you own, then what you need is the Grateful We're Not Dead sticker. Feel free to buy as many as you like. Stick them on your books, laptop, guitar, pickup truck, baseball cap, rifle case, whatever. Use it as a bumper sticker. Even stick one on your forehead. Show 'em you're a big Grateful We're Not Dead fan.
Have fun and see you again,
The summer was quite busy for Grateful We're Not Dead. For a band that originally expected to entertain maybe once a month, we've been running our butts off since the beginning of June but in the process have raised donations for the Alzheimer Society, Ottawa Valley Aid for Chernobyl Children, Mufindi Orphans and the Carleton Place Food Bank.
June started with the 2010 Psychogeriatric Team Exchange Welcome Wine and Cheese Party on the 9th which was reported in the article Psycho. Grateful We're Not Dead then entertained at the 20th Anniversary Party of Elizabeth Court, a seniors' building in Carleton Place on June 13. This was followed by a birthday party at Little Rahane Farm for four individuals who had reached their mid-century mark. And we finished off the month with a performance at Lanark Lodge in Perth on June 29.
July and August fortunately weren't as hectic. Grateful We're Not Dead entertained outdoors in the bandstand at the North Gower Recreation Centre on Canada Day. The wind was so strong we had to nail up tarps around two sides of the bandstand in order to play. The electrical service to the bandstand wasn't working so we ended up running the sound system off a gas-powered generator. Other than that, the afternoon and evening went quite well. A few weeks later we donated the money from that event to Ottawa Valley Aid For Chernobyl Children.
On July 16th we entertained at a 65th birthday party at a home outside of North Gower. This gig resulted in a significant donation to the Mufindi Orphans charity. The big event in August, of course, was the Mufindi Orphans Fund Raiser on the 14th at the home of Peter and Janet van Zyl of Manotick.
Our September 4th gig was a surprise party for Gord's 65th Birthday. We booked it on our calendar as a 50th Wedding Anniversary party. Gord and I showed up early to set up equipment and Gord even helped me hang a large "Happy Anniversary" banner. When the bride and groom showed up, Gord immediately congratulated them but by the time the first guests appeared you could tell by the look on his face that he was getting suspicious. When the next guests arrived you could see the "How in Hell do they know them?" look as it finally dawned on him that he'd been had.
Unfortunately, our annual performance at the Ariel Court End of Summer Party was rained out but the party went on in the rain without live music. On September 23rd we entertained at a 4th Ottawa Peace Festival event in the Ottawa Main Library Auditorium before and after the showing of the documentary, The Peacekeepers. We received quite a bit of nice feedback and inquiries as a result of that performance.
On October 3rd, Grateful We're Not Dead were back in the barn at Little Rahane Farm near Franktown for the 3rd Annual Cowboy Classic entertaining the cowboys and cowgirls participating in the two day Ranch Sorting competition. This resulted in another donation to the Mufindi Orphans charity.
October also saw the band getting involved in municipal politics when we were booked to entertain at an election campaign event for Carleton Place Mayoral candidate Wendy LeBlanc. We must have done something right that evening because we were then booked to play in the Carleton Place Canoe Club on October 25th for Wendy's Election Night Party. We knew there were two possible outcomes that night. If she lost we'd be home early; if she won, it would be a late night. We ended up playing four 45 minute sets. Congratulation on your win, Wendy. In between our politic-ing, we managed to perform at Lanark Lodge again on September 19.
That pretty well raps up what Grateful We're Not Dead has been doing over the last five months. For November, we'll take some time to just sit back and smell the flowers as we brush up on some of the Christmas material for our December gigs.
And just in case we don't see you for awhile, have a Grateful We're Not Dead Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
One thing I considered early on was that I should write a theme song for the competition but that exercise fell by the wayside as I found myself unexpectedly climbing up the Leader Board. However, I did manage to scribble down a few lines and I'll post them on the Grateful We're Not Dead blog so I can find them in the event that Sean holds another competition that I can get involved in. So here goes:
The Sean Rasmussen Song
His name is Sean,
And he looks a lot like Clint
And he's making his money
On the Internet.
He'll show you how to do it
And it won't cost you a dime.
All you'll be investing
Is just a little time.
He's got bags and bags of money
And he's giving some away.
If you want to grab some of it
All you have to do is play.
Sean Rasmussen Talks Facebook fan page for me to work with. But like those little Post-It notes I mislaid them and now I'll have to try to work my way back through the posts to find them.
So if Sean holds another contest and I get involved, I'll have to finish this song right at the start and maybe Grateful We're Not Dead can do a basement recording in time to get it up on the 'net before the contest ends.
- P.S. Sean, if you're watching did you notice I'm using some of those little on-page SEO tricks I learned from you?
- P.S.S What in Hell rhymes with Rasmussen?
- P.S.S.S This is not a typical Grateful We're Not Dead composition - no mention of beer, boobs or babes.
- P.S.S.S.S And if you've got some free time, check out the Sean Rasmussen Fan Club
Bruce, Don, Jerry Doll, Gord, Al
Now I must admit, upon seeing the name Psychogeriatric Team Exchange when they contacted us last year, some weird images ran through my head: psycho = crazy, geriatric = old, team exchange = wife swappers???. Hmmm, what are we getting into here? However, it turned out that's not what it was about at all. What we encountered was a fun-loving group of people ready to party and capable of dealing with some of the more socially-significant material in the Grateful We're Not Dead repertoire such as At Least Once Every Minute, Don't Look Now Mama's Got Her Boobs Out, Show Them To Me, The Day My Wife Met My Girlfriend, Dear Penis and The Boob Song, amongst others. (With apologies to Rodney Carrington and J.D. Wilson)
May I say, that Grateful We're Not Dead thoroughly enjoyed the evening. And we'd like to take a moment to thank Kim Schryburt-Brown of the Geriatric Mental Health Community Outreach Teams of Lanark, Leeds & Grenville for asking us to perform for their function and making a donation of $150 to the Alzheimer Society as compensation for the entertainment. Apparently, Kim first heard the band on CBC Radio's All In A Day while travelling between appointments. She then tracked us down on the Internet and got in touch via email.
Getting The Feel Of The Crowd
All joking aside, this is an amazing group of people who on a daily basis provide services for adults with severe and moderate mental health concerns, including support for primary mental health problems such as depression and anxiety as well as more chronic illness such as schizophrenia and manic-depressive illness as well as dealing with senior adults experiencing dementia and other related concerns. I would like to raise our Grateful We're Not Dead hats (both cowboy and boob) in a salute to all those men and women who carry out these difficult tasks.
Bless you all.
Of course, what I'm talking about is my new Fender Telecaster.
The neck of the Telecaster is a bit longer than the the neck on my Fender Mustang which I played for 45 years.
I've gone from a 24" scale to a 25.5" scale; from 22 frets spread over 17.25" to 21 frets spread over 18". Now granted that leaves a bit more space between the frets which is nice when playing closer to the body of the guitar. However, it also means that the frets are not located where my mind tells me they should be. And at my age the mind is difficult to retrain, especially after 45 years. You've heard of old dogs and new tricks, eh?. Oops, that should have been A instead of Bb. Now I find myself having to look at my left hand a lot more than I used to and I'm hoping it won't take 45 years to retrain my mind to the new positioning.But I must admit I do like the feel of the new machine. So I guess I'll just keep plugging away and trying to slide my left hand to new lengths.
And guys, I'll try no to screw up too often.
Grateful We're Not Dead have been reasonably busy over the last nine months. In September 2009 we played for the Annual Ariel Court End of Summer Party at the home of John and Barb Reid. We managed to do this without a repeat visit from an Ottawa By-Law officer. Then in mid-September we performed a few peace songs during presentations at a Civilian Peace Service Canada meeting at St. Paul's University.
October found us entertaining the Ranch Sorters at the Annual Rahane Cowboy Classic sorting competition at Little Rahane Farm near Franktown, Ontario. In November we provided background music for the Canadian Future Achievers Awards Dinner and at month's end we were back entertaining the residents of Park Lane in Ottawa.
In December we headed out to Perth to entertain the seniors at Lanark Lodge. For the last half of that show we did a quick costume change into Christmas hats and ties and performed a number of country Christmas classics such as Christmas In The Valley, Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy, Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer, Blue Christmas, etc. We ended the Christmas season with the Annual Christmas Party hosted by Gord Breedyk and Evelyn Voigt.
At the beginning of January we entertained at a fund raiser for AIDS Orphans in Mufindi, Tanzania. Geoff Knight, who represents the FOX Foundation in Tanzania, made a presentation concerning community outreach activities in the Mufindi district. You can view videos related to the activities on Youtube. At latest count the evening had raised $3,135 for the programme.
In early February, Grateful We're Not Dead joined forces with the comedy troupe Something's Missing to present another Comedy Night at the Perth Civitan Club. This was a fund raising dinner for local charities. Late March found us back at Lanark Lodge for another enjoyable evening with the seniors.
April turned out to be a busy month. Mid-April we entertained at St. Brigid's Church for their annual Spring Fling. The following Saturday evening we performed for the Annual Ottawa Valley Aid for Chernobyl Children Spaghetti Supper. The next morning saw us set up and playing at 8AM in a chilly, stiff breeze beside the Rideau Canal in front of the Canal Ritz for the participants in the Minto Run For REACH. Finally, in late May we provided the music for a sing-along at a reception following a memorial service for the late Helga Voigt.
I think that brings you up to date on what Grateful We're Not Dead have been up to over the last few months and the calendar is starting to fill up with events for 2010. If the fates co-operate I should be able to keep this blog updated more frequently than has been possible in the last year.
So here's looking forward to a busy, comical, peaceful and happy year. And just be Grateful We're Not Dead!
P.S. If anyone has digital photos of the band from any of the above events, we'd appreciate if you would forward copies to the email address you'll find in the column on the right.
Bruce, Gord, Don and Al wielding the instruments they play best.
Bruce,Gord, Don and Al with their new found friend, Silverado.
Bruce, Don, Gord and Al in front of the old maple sugar shack.
Maple sap is still boiled down into Maple Syrup
for the family in this building each Spring.
Don emerges from the Think Tank with a new
Grateful We're Not Dead song
after many, many hours of meditation.
Bruce and the Grateful We're Not Dead guitar
which he built himself shortly after he retired.
Notice the inlay on the headstock, fingerboard and pick guard.
Beautiful work. And this is an impressive sounding guitar
which gets even better as it ages and is played.
Finally, I should mention that the refreshments at the party were fantastic. Pork, beef, beer, baked beans, corn on the cob, beer, salads, cheese, beer, rolls, desserts, etc. Did I mention the keg of beer? John and Tracy, please feel free to invite us to entertain anytime you decide to throw another party like that one. We'll be there in the shake a lamb's tail.
If any of you would like a closer look at the photos, you can find them on the Grateful We're Not Dead Flickr account.
See y'all later.