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You can probably live without reading it, but I’m not sure I can live without writing it. Thanks for taking a look!

02.12.21
The Chick Corea Elektric Band

On Monday, October 20, 1986, I arrived at the Airport Music Hall with ticket in hand to see one of my keyboard idols, Chick Corea, perform live. I was inside as soon as the doors opened, and immediately ran into a long-time friend. Turns out that “Pete” was the local promoter for the concert – who knew? Prior to that moment, I had only known him as an insurance agent who went to my church.

I looked up at the stage and commented to Pete how much equipment the opening act had – and then asked where Chick’s stuff was. Pete looked at me incredulously and said, “…that IS Chick’s stuff, there is no opening act”.

Now keep in mind, this was 1986 – there was no interwebs, just newspapers and other “periodicals” (magazines). I was there to see Chick Corea play, period. The fact that this show was supporting a brand new ALBUM – The Chick Corea Elektric Band – and wasn’t just a live show that he was playing electric instruments was missed by everyone, including the local newspaper article promoting the show.

So when the show finally began, the assembled audience had their minds BLOWN. This was not going to be a night of “Spain” played on a synthesizer, it was a first hearing – live – of a completley new chapter of Chick Corea’s creative career. And those of us in the 18109 zip code got to hear its very first live public performance on the planet Earth.

02.04.21
I Was A Late Night TV Star

My buddy “PeeWee” wanted to be a comedian. No, seriously. In the late 80s/early 90s he was finishing up law school, working his butt off as a bartender in the Poconos, and made plans to chase his dream, bust out, and be the next big funny thing 🙂

Knowing there were already at least 400,000 amateur newbie comedians with agents nationwide, he devised a clever plan to jump past all of them. He picked up the phone, and called the FOX affiliate in Wilkes-Barre – WOLF TV – and asked if he could BUY a time slot and a crew to produce a 30-minute “show”.

Of course, we call those time slots “infomercials”. PeeWee just wanted to buy ONE time slot, so he could put on his resume’ that he had appeared on TV, and of course he’d set his VCR and make copies of the tape to prove it to anybody and everybody who might hire him for his new career. He even convinced (a/k/a PAID) the Ramada Inn on the square in Wilkes-Barre (it’s part of Kings College now) to let him rent their bar for the “taping”.

As the big day came closer and closer, PeeWee asked me to be master of ceremonies. Dear God, I hope I didn’t tell any jokes – I honestly don’t remember. I do remember that the show started with a closeup of me, decked out in a tapered burgundy suit (it was the late 80s/early 90s, RELAX). Sooner than later I introduced the star of the show, and PeeWee came out to a raucous (a/k/a PAID) applause from the assembled (a/k/a PAID) standing room only crowd.

I was not “in” on what was to happen next. PeeWee’s first joke was something along the lines of, “thanks Dave, it looks like that AIDS you have is just about all cleared up”, referencing my svelte, six-foot, buck-40 starving musician physique at the time. NOW at least I knew why he asked me to be master of ceremonies: he needed a joke to get rolling. I don’t remember anything between that and the finale – PeeWee was prematurely bald and had someone come up and paint his head red as his final bit. Of course, I got back up on the stage and sent him off to a thunderous (a/k/a PAID) applause. The “show” ran in its one time slot, immediately following Joan Rivers or Arsenio Hall – whatever the last FOX show of late night was back then.

What happened next was the best part. It turns out that “time slot” was tough for the local station to sell and they decided to RE-RUN PeeWee’s comedy show for no charge. OFTEN. So there I’d be, sitting in a bar on a random weeknight at 1:30am and everybody would go, “Look, Dave’s show is on!” Of course, nobody actually LISTENED – they all figured it was a regularly scheduled show and I clearly only owned one red suit.

It became a thing. “Hey Dave, I LOVE your show”, like I was Ed McMahon taping a show at a TV studio every day. To me, it was an exercise in public perception. Nobody was actually paying attention, they never heard me talk, they never heard the AIDS joke or any of PeeWee’s act – they just saw me on TV on a stage with a mic in my hand and figured I was working hard. By the time PeeWee got his head painted red, it was past last call and past 2:00am on bar clocks  and nobody was still there to realize it was the same damn show getting replayed. I should have asked for residuals 🙂

In a way, I got them. Out of nowhere I started getting gigs all over the region. In the days of having to go to bars and leave a demo CD, I was now a commodity because… I was regularly appearing on TV! That damn show led to me trading off Billy Joel and Elton John songs at Market Street Square (what everyone now calls “dueling pianos”) as well all sorts of other cool gigs.

On the other hand, the taping was PeeWee’s first and LAST “live” comedy show. But don’t feel bad for him, he’s happily ever after these days as a commercial real estate mogul down here in Florida. And here I am, playing piano before and after a comedy show every Wednesday night at the 88Live Piano Bar in Bradenton 🙂

02.03.21
Sticks And Stones Can Break Your Bones
But A Word Can End Your Career

 

“What a charming Negress. Oh, forgive me, my dear.
I know that in my time some used that term as a description of property.

But why should I object to that term, sir? You see, in our century we’ve learned not to fear words.

The above is dialog from a Star Trek: The Original Series episode entitled “The Savage Curtain“, which first aired on NBC on March 2, 1969. The first line came from Abraham Lincoln, and the reply came from Lieutenant Uhura

The “century” Uhura refers to is the 23rd, so we basically have about 180 years (nine-score for those of you scoring at home) to get our global “act” together here in 2021.

My “learning” experience in this area came in 1988. I was about to be hired to work for a musical instrument company, which was awesome because I was at the time unemployed, married, and we had a baby on the way. I turned to my future never boss and offhandedly used a hyphenated term that was commonly said in my hometown area. I can’t use it here, but the word in front of the hyphen is along the lines of what Honest Abe said on Star Trek, with “rigged” following the hypen. My awesome new job never was, and anyone that’s heard me use that word before the hyphen since that day is lying.

So when I heard that country music artist Morgan Wallen spoke inappropriately, I was not shocked to find out his career was quickly coming to a screeching halt. Doesn’t matter how or where it was said, the lesson for everyone to learn is to remember that wherever you go someone is listening. Alexa, iPhones, and other such listening/recording devices are everywhere, so we are all best served to engage brain before mouth 24/7/366. No matter how liquored up one is.

To me, the connection between Uhura’s words in 1969 and the ramification of using offensive words in 2021, is this: we’ve started to separate people from their livelihoods for using offensive language of any type. If this is the plan, let’s hope that it’s not just limited to a handful of people. Entertainers, politicians, professional athletes, lawyers, accountants, doctors, nurses, mechanics, parents, students, people of privilege, people below the poverty line – anyone and everyone should be treated equally in this regard from this moment forward. Whatever it takes to get us closer to a world where words are not something to “fear”, but simply a method used to express ideas.

02.02.21
Rickey Who?

Many many many moons ago, I was playing a gig at The Superior in beautiful tree-lined Emmaus, PA. Although I played many Fridays and Saturdays there with Maize, this was perhaps a Thursday – and it was with another band, Ramajam.

It wasn’t a particularly busy summer night, until this huge crowd walked in. Apparently, they got booted from the disco across the street and we were their next (only) close-by option. The rounds started flowing and it was clear they were NOT locals.

We went on break and I started chatting one of them up. Turns out they were in town filming John Waters‘ movie Hairspray and they had just wrapped up shooting at Dorney Park. Since I didn’t recognize anyone, I figured they were all part of the crew.

"Tilted Acres" better known to the world as Dorney ParkI brought over the rest of the band and we all started talking – we probably had a shot or two as well. They were all happy to be heading back to Maryland in the morning and they had cabbed down Emaus Avenue (yes the town and the street are spelled differently) from their hotel to party hard on their final night “on location”.

Somebody asked who were the stars of the movie. The crew went down the list (Sonny Bono, Divine, Debbie Harry, Jerry Stiller) until someone said, “Rickey Lake”. Without dropping a beat, the band said in unison, “Who’s HE?”

 

 

In the middle of the table, this pudgy girl picked her head up and wobbled her way to stand. Before anyone could say another word, she stammered,

“I AM!”

Everyone started laughing for all of the obvious reasons, but the joke was on all of US: RICKI Lake was really good in her movie debut and it would be the start of a pretty great career on camera. And the moment would never have happened had she not agreed to go party with the crew that night – because the real reason they all ended up with us was because she got carded by the bouncer across the street 🙂

01.25.21
The Mythical City

On September 28th, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup (that’s a hockey thing).
On October 17th, the Tampa Bay Rays won the American League Championship (that’s a baseball thing).
Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the NFC Championship and will be the first team to ever play the Super Bowl in their home stadium (those are Tom Brady things).

You may say to yourself, “Hey, that city of Tampa Bay is clearly the center of the sporting universe!” Only one problem:

“Tampa Bay” is a body of water, NOT a place. Seriously. Unless you’re fishing or water skiing, it’s unlikely you are playing any “sport” IN Tampa Bay.

In reality:
The Lightning play at Amalie Arena, located in downtown TAMPA.
The Rays play at Tropicana Field, located in downtown ST. PETERSBURG.
The Buccaneers and this year’s Super Bowl will be played at Raymond James Stadium, also located in TAMPA. 

So St. Petersburg and Tampa are like sister cities – you know – like Minneapolis and St. Paul?

NO, not really.

If you were traveling between Amalie Arena and Tropicana Field, you’d be in for a 23-mile highway journey. Not as far as The Chunnel  in distance, but the travel time is much more than 25 minutes. Other than travelling at midnight, you should count on it being a one hour road trip – by car – since there isn’t any public transportation linking the two places. Of course if you had a boat, the distance would be shorter. And you’d even get to use the Tampa Bay 🙂

So “Tampa Bay” is a generalized term for a 1,600 square mile region of land that surrounds some water. But that mythical city also does a lot more winning these days than say New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago 🙂

 

01.24.21
Read All About It

Once upon a time, there was no social media or cable news networks. Yes, this is a true story. People bought things called “newspapers” in order to find out what was going on. In fact, you could have people (usually teenagers) DELIVER these newspapers to your house so you could read them as soon as you opened your front door in the morning, or when came home from work.

That was a VERY long time ago.

Here in 2021 there is no shortage of ways people find stuff out – but rarely if ever is it from a newspaper. The last generations of people who bought newspapers, spread them out across a table, and paged through them while eating breakfast or drinking coffee are fading from view. And the people that were really good at writing stuff now have their own blogs or cable television shows that you can access without opening your front door.

The good news is that there are still newspapers around! Not surprising, the ones that are still in business have a presence on the world wide web, since that’s much cheaper than creating things for people to throw into their recycle bins. Of course, once you actually find something you want to read… the words blur away until you whip out your credit card for the privilege to read the rest. BLAH.

And here’s more bad news: most of the newspapers that are still around actually think they are the primary source of information for people. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

No offense, but if I want to know what’s going on in Washington, DC – I don’t need to smudge ink on my hands by reading a day old account written from 800 miles away. If I want updates on my favorite band, I can turn on any number of devices I already own and don’t have to find on my front porch. And there’s at least a couple of cable stations that can give me up-to-date scores on my favorite sportsballers. And there’s always the Twittah.

What amazes me the most is that these newspaper people COULD make their efforts relevent again if they wanted to. You see, there’s one type of news that is missed by the “world wide leaders”, and that’s LOCAL NEWS. You know, the stuff that happens close to where you live – or where you use to live. Things that happen to every day people, reported on by people who live there also.

One successful example is The Times News. The smart people that run that business don’t bother trying to lure you in with pictures of Nancy Pelosi’s new hairdo. Nope, they make use of every square inch to tell you things you can’t find out anywhere else about what’s going on in their corner of the universe. If more “print media” would follow the Times News’ lead, I might actually get my credit card out when they want me to clickety click.

01.22.21
It’s The Weekend!

Hell yeah – Happy Friday!

Going to be a fun night in Bradenton at the 88Live Piano Bar – the incomparable Patrick Ray Walsh will be doing his thing starting at 6pm, and I’ll try to keep the ball rolling from 9pm-midnight. With four million solo guitarists doing their thing in Florida tonight, us piano players could use your support 🙂

Saturday night I’ll be performing at The Lazy Lizard in Hernando Beach from 5-9pm. Great food, great canal-side view of the Weeki Wachee Preserve, and the unique dining experience of reptiles of all shapes and sizes swimming alongside the dining deck. Of course all of your favorite songs! 

And don’t forget to tune in Sunday to The Beach Bar Piano Show at Noon!.

 

01.20.21
Let’s Twitch Again

It’s been a CRAZY busy start to 2021. I definitely feel the optimism and energy of getting back to “normal” sooner than later, and I’m trying my best to be ready. Especially since a few new opportunities have made their way into my life and I am NOT going to screw them up – not if I can help it anyway!

For every action there is a reaction (look at me talking Physics!), and sadly the “reaction” to all of my new “action” has been not livestreaming. When I took a pause right after my raucous New Year’s Eve stream, I never thought 20+ days would go by before I did it again.

That being said, this coming Tuesday is the DAY. I’m going to jump on Twitch at 6:00pm. It’s going to be fun, and I hope you can join me!

 

01.19.21
KeyHOARD Warrior

I do make a living playing keyboards – it’s not a hobby. I’ve used the same model to play solo gigs since about 1992, and I own two of them. I also found another keyboard that I love to livestream with. Since I am a MIDIdiot (my keyboards sounds actually come from “modules” not the actual keyboard I’m playing) a normal person could ascertain that the three keyboards I’ve mentioned above might be all I own.

HAHAHAHAHA! I own FOURTEEN more (14) 🙁

I know, I know, admitting you have a problem is the first step. Except that I did that in late 2019. What’s even worse is that I sold quite a few, but somehow I’ve “acquired” a few new ones since the initial purge. And as I put the list together, I actually FORGOT the model numbers of some of them. “Hi, my name is dave and I’m a keyhoarder.”

“HI DAVE”

I’m ready to make most of them go away. Again. Today starts a weekly goal of doing what I need to to make at least one go away each week. But it’s not as easy as it was a while back. Since my previous purge, selling stuff online has become tremendously unprofitable. Buyers can ignore your rules, not look at the pictures, and then file a complaint for any reason and the website refunds their money. Now YOU have to eat the shipping costs to/from in order to get it back for the privilege of trying to sell it again. Not going to do it.

I have another action plan. I’ll keep you posted.

The Asia 1983 Tour – Geoff Downes playing: Yamaha CS80, Prophet 5, Hammond J-122 organ, Yamaha CP-70B electric grand, two Moog Minimoogs, Fairlight master and slave keyboards, Memorymoog, Mellotron, Prophet 10, Solina String Ensemble, Clavinet D6, Rhodes electric piano, Hammond B-3 organ, PPG Wave 2.2, Moog Liberation, and SCI remote keyboard controller. He “needed” lots of keyboards – I do NOT.

 

01.16.21
Results Not Excuses

Those of you that were “bandos” at my high school have seen these words before. They were prominently printed on a sign next to the door that led from our band room to our school auditorium’s stage. Walking by that sign as a junior high school fourteen year-old, I thought it was funny. A year later it became a serious phrase that I still consider almost every day.

For me (your mileage may vary), those three words amounted to a pretty good life lesson: go do what you aim to do instead of idly talking about it. A lesson, by the way, that was reinforced by the teacher who stood next to that sign and did exactly that during all aspects of his musical and teaching career. And for the record, the results show at least one kid read that sign enough times to still remember it decades later 🙂

It’s always been interesting to me that the sign was placed in a band room. Not a locker room, a math class, or a science lab. And yet, year after year, Music Education becomes less and less important in our schools. I’m not smart enough to know why, and since there’s no room for “excuses”, all one can do is find a way to create “results”.

My buddy Allan Cook learned this lesson well. He became actively involved in helping getting musical instruments into the hands of local school children through F.A.M.E. (Friends for the Advancement of Music Education) . Looks like a clear path to create results. Now if only I could figure out a way to encourage others to do the same…

 

 

01.15.21
The Price Of FAME
Is Less Than You Think

It’s going to be a busy weekend. I’m grateful and blessed to live where live music is alive and well.

Tomorrow night I’m “opening” for The Emojis once again at the 88Live Piano Bar. I play from 6-9pm, and they play until midnight. It’s a fun night out, especially since you’ll get to listen and dance to a LOT of songs way off the beaten trail of the overplayed live music top 100.

Sunday is going to be a BUSY day! First off, it’s my monthly journey to Tampa to bring Trop Rock to Rick’s On The River from 3-7pm. The food is great, the service is even better and the music won’t suck. Hopefully 🙂

I’ll be heading back to the 88Live Piano Bar on Sunday night for a very special event. Sax player extraordinaire Allan Cook played with MANY bands, including the butt-kicking original band Brake Fail. They’re hosting a tribute for Allan, with all proceeds being donated to Allan’s favorite charity – F.A.M.E. (Friends for the Advancement of Music Education). Click on the link to learn more about this incredibly important mission, and if you can donate – thank you.

The price of F.A.M.E. is less than you think.

01.14.21
Colossal News

My buddy (and radio boss) Doc has been cranking up Colossal Radio for over two years. Prior to that, he created one of the coolest “cable tv” music stations on the planet. Those are stories to re-tell another day, but if you know Doc, you already know he’s a one-of-kind character who knows how to get “stuff” done with a smile on his face and a glass of rum in his hand.

Earlier today, Doc announced he will be teaming up with his cousin Dustin Rehrig and family to share space and combine forces in order to grow Colossal Radio to the next level. Dustin is a rock and roll veteran, and the founder of “Off The Charts Music School” in Palmerton. Family Rehrig (Dustin’s wife Beth and daughter April are also onboard) has been busy creating a one-stop shop for teaching all aspects of the music industry craft, from a location that has the potential to rival any recording studio or soundstage located in one of those big bad cities a hundred or so miles away from Carbon County, PA. And the new home base on Delaware Avenue in downtown Palmerton is a location that can host live events and broadcasts that would never have been possible where the Colossal studio is now. Especially when you consider it’s being built from the ground up with real people – no phantom corporate officers reaching down to pull the strings.

I have to admit, Palmerton has always had a special place in my heart. I absolutely loved living there back in the day. And the good news is that Doc and Dustin aren’t the only people I know who are actively involved and currently committed to investing in Palmerton’s future. It’s a growing community that holds opportunity for many. WOO HOO!

01.13.21
Grab Your Credit Card

For the third year in a row, Don Middlebrook is hosting the Florida Panhandle Hurricane Relief Benefit at Lucy Buffett’s Lulu’s Restaurant in Destin, FL today and tomorrow.

After all the fun we had in 2020, thinking back to October 2018 seems like decades ago for most of us. But for those in the Florida Panhandle who survived Cat5 Hurricane Michael, the rebuilding continues over two years later. Don’t forget that Michael’s little sisters Laura and Sally left their impact there last summer as well. Although they might not have been as strong, for those still rebuilding they were strong enough.

Don has once again assembled an all-star lineup of performers that include veteran country music songwriter Darrell Clanton and Trop Rock breakout artist Joe Downing. Of course you never know what surprises may be in store or who might show up unannounced!

For those of you who can’t be there in person, click HERE to go straight to the donation page.

Florida Panhandle Hurricane Relief Benefit

01.12.21
Phlocking

Many moons ago, I got hired for a brand new steady gig at the second coolest bar in Tannersville, PA. The owner had just gotten back from vacationing in the Keys and wanted to create a destination for people he called “Parrot Heads” who apparently touristed from New York and New Jersey and needed a place to “go”. I was completely unaware that we HAD Parrot Heads in the Poconos – vacationing, touristing, or otherwise – but I dutifully got busy learning Jimmy Buffett songs to accomodate the wishes of my brand new boss.

I was far from convincing, and the gig might have lasted part of one summer season. Looking back, I think it would have been more “believable” if I had instead put on a sombrero and blew into a trumpet on May 5th at Chi-Chi’s, but hey – You Only Live Once.

Thirty years later, I am now one of those people – and I finally understand what I failed to comprehend so many years ago. Parrot Heads have never been the same socially awkward people who brought toilet paper to their local movie theater to watch the Rocky Horror Picture Show on weekends. Parrot Heads volunteer their time. They donate their resources. They support live music, not just people who play Jimmy Buffett songs. They know how to party AND save the world at the same time.

We are the people your parents warned you about.

01.11.21
You Can Get There From Here

I got to spend some time with Trop Rock legend Don Middlebrook yesterday. I missed his gig up the street at Gil Dawg on Saturday night, so the plan was to hear him perform down the street on Sunday afternoon instead. Unfortunately, the adverse, near-freezing temperatures yesterday in Tarpon Springs (mid 50s), caused his gig to be cancelled. Public safety is public safety, afterall.

As we were making fun of Floridians like the two northern boys we are (Don is a Michigander), the subject moved to Pennsylvania. Turns out Don has family living in Yardley – a place I spent a great deal of time as a child. My grandparents lived there (my Mom graduated from Pennsbury HS), and I was born across the river (another story for another day). I spent many an adventure with my grandfather up and down River Road, including Washington Crossing State Park and New Hope, places Don also knows well from hanging out there. Man, would it be fun to head north for a Delaware Valley “mini” Trop Rock tour!

The good news is that as Don’s song says, “You Can Get There From Here”.

 

01.10.21
Sub-Tropical State

I grew up in a place that fashions itself a “Christmas City”. I moved north of there after high school and lived in the Pocono Mountains where snow and sub-freezing temps can start before and last after the months usually associated with winter.  Heck, I even lived through Bloomberg’s Blizzard – when 27″ of snow fell on NYC, snow kidding! 

So I can understand why citizens from the north laugh out loud when people in Florida complain about how cold it is as soon as the temperatures fall terribly close to freezing (a/k/a 50 degrees). I’m here to report from the frozen tundra of Pasco County that our current sub-tropical state is a real-world problem.

Sure, I learned to ice skate at my town’s outdoor skating rink when I was kid, but that was a LONG time ago in a land 900 miles north of here. When we want to ice skate in Florida, WE GO TO THE MALL. Not only do I “rent” my ice skates these days, here are a few other items I no longer own: gloves, a scarf, ski caps, boots, a winter jacket, a house with a fireplace or baseboard heat. During the summer, when I go to work at Tropicana Field I dress warmly because the air conditioning there is set to 72 degrees – which can be 25 degrees colder than the temperature outside. My “dress warmly work attire” includes sneakers, socks, pants, and what I call “layers” – y’all call this an undershirt/long sleeve shirt combo.

So when the temps drop below 60, we struggle. Temperature challenged, we have to “find” whatever items are accidently left over from before our Florida life started. Flipping the thermostat off of “auto/air conditioner” to “heat” for the first time means a few minutes of burning dust bunnies out of the air ducts. We actually have to MOVE the dials in our cars from the blue side to the red side – THE HORROR!

But when we get a stretch where it’s in the 50s at sundown and dips into the 40s after dark… please, pray for us. Frozen orange juice is for you people, not US.

 

01.09.21
This Lizard LOVES The Chill

Once you’ve done the “Shoal Line Shuffle” – a/k/a hanging out in Hernando Beach, FL – it’s tough to have as much fun anywhere else. The libations are lively, the (sea)food is to die for, the servers are super helpful, and the live music rarely (if ever) sucks. The only time it’s NOT all that is when the temperature starts to fall, and tonight we’re going to scrape the bottom of the 50s. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Well fear not. Our buddy Louie (pictured at right) has solved the chill problem at The Lazy Lizard. Stop in tonight and you can stay warm in your shorts and tank tops, because the entire outdoor tiki bar has been completely “winterized”. No, Louie didn’t just go and buy all the plastic, string, and kerosene he could find. Louie actually figured out a way to keep the wind and cold out but STILL let you see across into the  Weeki Wachee Preserve , and keep you warm while you watch the canaligators and turtles frolicking in the canal below the deck.

Join the fun tonight and leave your long sleeviness at home! Enjoy your favorite drinks, an amazing meal, be taken care of by the best servers around, and starting at 5pm you can listen to music that doesn’t suck! Louie Louie, me gotta go!

01.08.21
Friday Night Fun In Bradenton

Tonight begins my every other Friday night at The 88Live Piano Bar in Bradenton. I can’t say how lucky I am to have found this place, and grateful that they’ve made me a part of what’s going to be a destination nightspot when we’re all back to normal. All of the servers are amazing, in fact one of them (Grace) is a Poconos girl! It’s like a 1980s night club, without the smoke or bad clothing/hair decisions, AND… piano music. If “dress to impress” is no longer a thing, the clientele at The 88Live  didn’t get the memo. 

Hey, I like solo guitarists as much as anyone else, but The 88Live is the sanctuary for those that don’t want to hear another dude/dudette looping “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” or the Pink Floyd catalog – it may be 4:20 somewhere, but NOT at The 88Live. People come here to listen and dance. The Emojis played last Saturday and set the bar high for me to get everybody out on the huge dancefloor like they do. Don’t bet against me.

01.07.21
Anda Rum Anda Rum Anda Rum…

Many many moons ago, my buddy Harpo and The Second Hand Band used to rehearse in an unused factory located on “The Bypass” in Lehighton, PA. I used to join in and jam with them, so thinking about those times in that space are always fond memories for me.

That old factory is now the home of Insurrection Distillery. Although music is still played there from time to time, the factory’s primary use is to manufacture alcohol goodness: wine, beer, and now… RUM!

Today was the big announcement that our buddy Doc from Colossal Radio has been honored with his very own “Doc’s Spiced Rum”, distilled from 100% Virgin Island Molasses with natural spice. The bad news is the official release party date – because I can’t go.

01.06.21
The Beach Bar Piano Show – episode 11

The maiden voyage of 2021! This week’s show features new music by The Jonas Lorence Band and Wayne Sinclair, as well some of our faves from Aaron Scherz, Bob Schiele (aka The Trop Rock Elvis), Dave Signs, and Tropix. Of course after my surprise encounter with Mike Nash, it seems like a good idea to play a few of his great tunes from his “Stay Thirsty” album. And we re-play last week’s discussion about The Little Key West.  

01.05.21
A Funny Thing Happened In Cocoa Beach

Once a month, Nolan’s Irish Pub in Cocoa Beach hosts Writer’s Night. Although it’s on the “other” Florida coast – 160 miles away AND requires a journey across I-4ever – I try to go whenever I’m able to get a spot. This month, I opened the show. As I prepared to debut my new song “Beach Bar Piano”, the one and only Mike Nash walked in the door.

Mike is Trop Rock Royalty. He has one of the best “voices” in the genre, writes great songs, not to mention he almost always performs barefoot. I knew he was a Nashville native, but what I found out last night was that his songwriting career began in Cocoa Beach as a newbie named “Nashville Mike” playing at the Nolan’s Writer’s Night many many moons ago. He’s back “at the beach” this winter where he plans on writing and fishing for the next few months.

01.04.21
Rest In Peace, Allan Cook

I was saddened to hear over the weekend that we have lost Allan Cook. I don’t remember exactly when we first met, but it was likely the late 80s or early 90s when he was playing around the Lehigh Valley in “Pizzazz”. What’s crazy is how often our paths have crossed. When I returned from the big bad city to the Poconos, Allan was there. When I started gigging around the Tampa Bay, Allan was there. In fact, I pretty much called him out as a stalker when we surprisingly found ourselves on two stages 900 miles apart over the course of ten days. 

I will fondly remember Allan for always being on the cutting edge of music technology, an accolade not normally associated with a sax player. It was decades ago when I heard him play his sax into a harmony machine in order to sound like an entire Big Band saxophone section. He recently made fun of me for not going after the mailbox money YouTube was paying him. Allan was a wonderful human being at a time when the world needs more of them, not less.

01.03.21
Key West

Today at Noon is the replay of our year-end episode of The Beach Bar Piano Show. Ten shows later I have to say this is one of the most fun projects I have ever worked on! It’s not just an hour-long playlist. We’ve come to know the artists that have written and recorded these songs, and one my favorite interactions so far has been with Godiva and her song, “Key West”.

It’s the only Trop Rock song she’s recorded, but it’s easily one of our favorites written in 2020. It’s one thing to write a great song, another thing to have the chops to sing a great song, but it’s rare in our day and age to hear someone completely nail both of these on their first attempt. As we prepared for this week’s show, Godiva told me she has a pop song being released next week called “Burn”. It’s not Trop Rock at ALL, and it sounds really good! It just makes you wonder how much higher this immensely talented songbird can fly in this crazy music business.

 

day2dave – the live blog of dave-LIVE Beach Bar Piano Music

01.02.21
Me And The Emojis

Tonight is the beginning of my once a week performances at The 88Live Piano Bar in Bradenton. Every other Saturday I’ll be on from 6:00pm-9:00pm, and tonight I’m “opening” for The Emojis. I’ve heard a lot of good things about this piano/drum duo who get everyone dancing – tonight will be my first time hearing them and I’m pretty excited about it. Next week begins my every other Friday as the “closer” from 9:00pm – midnight.

 

01.01.21
Everything Is Coming Up Roses

January 1st is always a fun day for me: 38 years ago today, I marched in the Tournament Of Roses Parade in Pasadena, CA along with about 200 of my pals from the Freedom High School Patriot Band. Don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you about band camp.

This five-mile parade is challenging enough, and us kids from Pennsylvania wore WOOL uniforms just to make it interesting. In my case, I was just a couple of days off of crutches after breaking my ankle playing basketball. The first thing I did as we marched into the television camera “box” was to step in horse poop – so I had the added fear of embarassing my hometown with every step I took. Freeman never went down. Always celebrate the victories!

day2dave – the live blog of dave-LIVE Beach Bar Piano Music