Al Makes It Onto The Sidebar

Last year, in an article, we listed some of the Friends of Grateful We're Not Dead. One of those, 'young' Al Owler was sitting in with the band on a regular basis and becoming quite familiar with our repertoire. Being the youngest and the strongest, Al was also extremely helpful during the 'load out' at the end of the evening seeing as he was the only one really capable of lifting the equipment, and the older members of the group, into the van.

Since then, at Bruce's suggestion, Al has taken up playing bass guitar and is providing a fuller sound to the performance. Because of his on-going interest, assistance and full participation, Al has become an honourary member of Grateful We're Not Dead. He's even allowed to wear a black hat and silver tie. So it's with great pleasure that we announce the addition of Al's photo to the side bar with the old farts.

Welcome aboard, 'young' Al.

Gord Goes Electric

As we indicate in the Over Sixty Blues, advancing age brings with it a variety of physical problems. For the past few months, Gord has not been able to play his full sized acoustic guitar because of discomfort in his right shoulder. Hoping that the problem would right itself he has been playing a Martin Back-Packer in the interim. Although the Martin is great for carrying with you on trips it doesn't provide a full sound. At the last Grateful We're Not Dead jam session we set Gord up with Al's solid body electric. Needless to say, this provided the fullness that we were looking for. Gord was so thrilled with the sound that the next week he went out and purchased a Fender Telecaster and a Fender amp and is now merrily whiling away the hours getting used to the action of his new toy. Way to go Gord. Ah, the sacrifices we make for Grateful We're Not Dead.

Bruce Goes Under The Knife

One of the hazards of a career in computing is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). Unfortunately, over the last year Bruce started to show the symptoms. These developed until he did not have any feeling in the end of his fingers on both hands. Now this is both bad news and good news for a finger-picking guitarist: he couldn't feel the strings when he played, but if he played too long he didn't feel the pain in the end of his fingers. After a bit of procrastinating, Bruce finally decided to have the required surgery, starting with his left hand. On July 22nd he went under the knife and is now waiting patiently to see if the surgery was successful. Once the left hand is healed he will have the right hand done as well. Needless to say, this has put Grateful We're Not Dead on the sidelines for the summer, but we're looking forward to getting back into the fray come the Fall.

Update 1: I talked to Bruce on July 29th and his only complaint was that he was having trouble forming the B7 chord. Now it was supposed to take six weeks for to heal after this surgery, but what can you expect from a guy who was out entertaining at a Christmas party a few years ago, ten days after a triple bypass!

Update 2: August 8 was the monthly Music Night at Gord's. Bruce was out and in fine form - pickin' and grinnin' like he'd never had his hand cut open. In fact, after Music Night finished at about 11PM we stayed around and played until after 1AM.