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I Am Skooter
So here's us, on the raggedy edge.
One left her sweater sitting on the train / and the other lost three fingers at the Cannery
— Neko Case, Margaret vs. Pauline
August 27, 2014

Major Depression on Vimeo

THE INSIDE STORY : Major Depression from mental health channel on Vimeo.

The death of Robin Williams has drawn a lot of attention to the topic of depression, again. The video above was posted by Spencer Tweedy to twitter and it’s worth watching—even if it doesn’t star a major Hollywood star. Millions of people live with depression in their lives: this tells one man’s story.

Posted by skooter at 6:15 AM This entry is filed under Music, Politics.
Tags: Depression, Robin Williams

August 24, 2014

“It goes on forever. It’s almost all over.” George Martin on A Day in the Life


I was never really a Beatles fan in the way that many people are. My aunt and uncle were—they had a complete collection of the albums on 8-track to play in their Plymouth Duster—and that may have led to some overexposure. Who knows.

I do remember one of the first records I found and played on the portable record player I kept in my bedroom being my mother’s copy of Meet the Beatles and it was in Grade Five when I bought a copy of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for myself. Holy cow, that record was a revelation. I may not have been a fan but I sure liked what I’d heard there.

Watching and hearing George Martin talk about the creation of that album’s unique and distinctive closing track A Day in the Life reminds me of talking to other restless musical collaborators I’ve known. The creative process is a group effort and that music does not, as Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno explain, simply burst forth fully formed.

I’ve actually had A Day in the Life on repeat quite a bit this week, though I’m not sure why. It’s the kind of song that gets into your head and stays there for a while. It’s a rich sonic trip from the acoustic beginning through that disjointed middle part to that glorious orchestral conclusion.

Songs like this don’t come every day, and it’s a reminder of the level of creative genius that resided in that foursome—along with their producer.

Posted by skooter at 5:47 PM This entry is filed under Music.
Tags: George Martin, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles

August 17, 2014

Gerry Lobb: 1947 - 2014

Gerry and his mother Anne Lobb - my grandmother Gerry and his mother Anne Lobb - my grandmother

My uncle Gerry died a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday—August 16th, 2014—would have been his 67th birthday. Gerry was one of those really solid, great guys that you were lucky to have in your life. Even tempered and quick to smile his quiet laugh was an undercurrent to every conversation he ever had.

Gerry became a golfer later in life, but his first love was always baseball. When we were kids he had seasons tickets to the Jays and it was alway a treat to go to a game with him. My brother and I would usually go together—one of us would sit with Gerry, the other one with someone else (often my Grandfather) and we’d switch seats partway through the game. Gerry was a catcher as a kid, and he never lost the love for that game that runs through our family. On the wall in his house he had a map with a a ticket for a game from every single major league stadium in North America. He managed to get to them all, and the last time I saw him he talked about having to redo that adventure now that new teams and stadiums are in the league.

He loved music, that guy. His taste centered on Willie Nelson and what would now be considered classic country and western. The last time I saw him was about a year ago when I was in Hamilton for the Greenbelt Harvest Picnic. I had been lucky enough to attend a dinner the night before with the Harvest Picnic crowd including Emmylou Harris and Daniel Lanois. It was a pretty special night for me—my birthday, actually—and Gerry and I got together before I headed to the show the next day. He was proud of me that day: he always enjoyed the success I’ve had in the music industry, and our tastes sort of converged in later years. He gave me a short message for Emmylou and I passed it along later that day in the backstage area. It was, no doubt, one of thousands of such messages she’s received in her lifetime and quickly forgotten but I’m glad I got to pass it along anyway. I wish Gerry could have been there.

I never went to a show with him, and that’s a chance that’s slipped into the impossible now. I’m lucky though, and have some very good and talented friends and a couple of weeks ago Reid Jamieson was playing a show just down the road from where I live. Reid’s got a beautiful voice, a gift for songwriting and taste in music that overlaps with Gerry’s quite a bit. I chatted with him briefly before the show and asked him if he could play some Elvis for me—Gerry loved Elvis, and it wasn’t lost on him that his birthday was the anniversary of Elvis’ death as well. Reid got up on stage and played a beautiful set of music and just before launching into the Elvis tune he was planning on playing looked out into the audience, pointed and said “This one’s for your uncle.”

And so it was. I sat there on the shore of the pacific ocean where I live sipping a beer and crying behind my sunglasses, while Reid sang. It meant a lot, and Gerry would have loved it. I only wish he could have been there with me.

So long Gerry. Your friends and family miss you. Don’t worry though: I’ll keep playing records for you, and if I ever get the chance again I’ll make sure to tell Emmylou you said goodbye.

Posted by skooter at 4:17 PM This entry is filed under Family.
Tags: Emmylou Harris, Family, Gerry Lobb, Grandma Lobb, Grandpa Lobb, Reid Jamieson