I'm currently writing this from my bedroom balcony in Taormina, Sicily . . . . . It's cloudy but fairly warm.
I have many fond memories of Sicily, I know it well, and surprisingly enough, my Italian lingo is still reasonably OK?
It's fair to say I could share many a story from this little Mediterranean Island. (supposedly controlled by the Mafia) To which I bore witness many years ago in a restaurant bar I used to frequent.
Anyways; I have done many a gig here, I have feeling for Sicily that is hard to explain? . . . . This place also very nearly killed me.
In 1989, I was involved in a most horrendous car crash. To cut the story short, my buddy Tom hired a convertible car. Jim Mooney decided he wanted to drive, but we knew he had been drinking and basically Jim drove the car, full head on, into a concrete lamp post.
He was an F14 Pilot. You'd have thought he'd have had more sense? and so much to lose. These we're my younger years though and I was fearless for most part. That day though, very nearly brought an end to my playing career . . . . yes that split second of misjudgement on all our parts!
Here's a photo of of the condition I was in, when I left Sicily in the summer of 1989.
I don't know why, but I'm genuinely surprised as to how many shows Smokie play that "Sell Out" . . . . . . As musicians we generally strive to be at the top of our game, and there is no better feeling of when the promoter informs you, that you show is sold out!
However; It seems to be the case, that these concerts are selling out weeks, and in some cases months in advance. . . . . . Maybe we've got plenty of life in us for a good bit longer?
I recently read the Steve Lukather book "The Gospel According To Luke" . . . . and what a great read!
Steve Lukather is one of my favourite guitarists. He has tirelessly worked at his craft, highlighting to me, that perhaps I haven't worked hard enough at times? Being a top draw musician is not just bestowed upon you, but you have to put that effort in!
His thoughts about the music business are incredibly close to mine and I found some of his stories about his life, uncannily similar to mine. It's a great read if you want to accept my recommendation?
To be honest, I don't listen to much music, but through the summer I tend to do so a little bit more.
I have discovered an artist called Brian Culbertson. In fact it was the guitar solo on a track that caught my attention (Steve Lukather) I bought the rest of the album and several others since. He's a wonderful all round musician, composer and producer. His music is based around his piano talent. Check him out, he's seriously good!
So, for the next few weeks ahead I'm out on the road with Smokie, we have some Scandinavia dates planned as well as the second leg of our German Tour. We then go out on the Symphony Tour with a 40 piece orchestra behind us. I've never been keen on this, which is the exact opposite feeling to the other members in Smokie, but hey! . . . . I can't have it all my own way.
That will take us up to what will be, almost Christmas.
Jeez . . . . where did that year go?