On Wednesday, June 9 Grateful We're Not Dead entertained in the Panorama Room of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Ottawa. The captive audience consisted of attendees of the 2010 Psychogeriatric Team Exchange Welcome Wine and Cheese Party.

Don, Al, Gord, BruceGrateful We're Not Dead
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.

Grateful We're Not Dead
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.


Just A Little Bit Longer

Now it's not often that I'd comment online about something I've got that's a bit longer than I'm used to. But seeing as it has an impact on Grateful We're Not Dead I've just got to get a grip on it. However I'm finding that it's difficult to break old habits and teach my left hand to reach out just a bit further. But hopefully, the end is in site.

Of course, what I'm talking about is my new Fender Telecaster.

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.

My 45 Year Old Fender Mustang

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.