Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Meniscus Band 30 year Reunion

Meniscus performs live in Bethel, Ohio
(NEW!!! click on the pic for a slideshow)

As many of you know, I travelled to Cincy a couple weeks ago to perform in a reunion concert in memory of our keyboard player Wayne Lancaster who passed away back in 1992. The lead singer Debbie Jordan put the whole thing together - she is pictured in front. I am on the far left side over the shoulder of the bass player. I will eventually have pics when I get them from Dorii.

I received this email from Debbie Sunday night. It is a long email, but it is important to me that I include it in its entirety. Also, this is the reason I went back to play with the band, although at the time I said "yes" I didn't realize it. Here goes:

I was having lunch with Daisy (My Granddaughter) and the group of people, sitting at a table behind me started talking about the show. They were all saying how great it was and what an awesome time they had. Mind you they didn't know I was sitting there. There was a young girl at the table (17 to 21 years old I am guessing) and she was saying that she couldn't get the music we played out of her head. (Sound Familiar!) She said all week she's been singing songs we did. They all then proceeded to tell about which part of the show they liked best.

Gary was mentioned and praised for the job he did on Jumping Jack Flash. The guy said I couldn't keep still! It brought me up out of my seat! They all thought Tye must have been a famous Sax player they had heard on records before. The girls in the Blue Dresses sang like Angels and the drummer was the best damn drummer they had ever seen play. The young girl also said the guitar player was so good she wanted to ask for his autograph but was too embarrassed. The keyboard player with the glittery hat and voice like Elton John blew them all away when he turned around and did Live and Let Die and Wayward Son which they all agreed was phenomenal. One of them must have known Jesse on a personal level and said they always thought he was a good musician but had no idea he could play and sing like that. Daisy leaned over the table and said wow you guys are all stars now! I just looked at her and smiled.

Since the show I have had little opportunity to tell you all how terrific you really are. Everyone of you have called or emailed me with great words of appreciation for what I accomplished. I want you all to know that while I am flattered by your compliments and words of encouragement I am also humbled. To think that this group of the most talented people I have ever known would work this hard to do a small show in Bethel Ohio speaks volumes about your character. The reason I wanted you guys to know about this conversation I overheard was so you could know in your hearts and believe that this show was just as much about you and your talents as it was mine. What started as an idea only came to be because of your willingness to participate in something bigger than us all.

Dan Henning made great sacrifices to do this show. Hours and hours of rehearsal and thought went into it. He came to my rescue when Greg Sandlin pulled out. I thought it was over before it had begun but he assured me that he and his Son could handle it and did they ever! He endured all the show changes and my inability to make lasting decisions with patience and respect. Thank you Dan for your patience!

Lets not ever forget his last 2 weeks of dedication, his love for music and for us all as individuals. He made it happen for us all! Dan is a super talent and without Dan there would not have been a show!Lets not ever forget that Jesse Jordan put his heart and soul into this project and did it with a grace and musical maturity unmatched! He put together raffles for me, sold tickets and got people there to support us too. When the chips were down Jesse was always there to pick them up and get me on the right track and he did this all with great personal sacrifice to himself. Thank you Jesse! He got us a good sound guy and the things we needed to pull it off. He worked with Tye and had it not been for Jesse there would not have been a show!

Let us never forget that Gary Bates came into this not real sure if he still had his "rock n roll wings" or even if he wanted too. Most of you guys were not there for our first rehearsal and heard Gary say he was nervous about doing this, I just smiled at him! For him it was a personal decision of faith and a desire to reconnect with people he had long ago said goodbye too. Gary called me when the stage funding fell through and reminded me that this was not about a stage it was about seeing something through to the end no matter what stood in the way. It was about honoring the memory of what we had started 30 years ago. He traveled from Mainville Ohio without complaint for every rehearsal. He was never late and always always came with a smile and a good word. His prayers before practice and at Wayne's Memorial were an encouragement to us all. His talent and his faith in God gave me the strength to go on when I most wanted to give up, I love you Gary! Had it not been for Gary there would not have been a show! Thank you Gary!

Aaron Henning, I think we all agree, was the light in the darkness for us all. He embodied everything we all were at his age. I was proud to have him on that stage and his talent will only grow from here! In 30 years I hope he looks back and remembers us all with fondness. Please Please never forget him! What a talent! We could not have done the show without him. What a great guitarist!

Let us never forget that Dorii Jordan spent hours of her time putting together practice cd's and was never put off about the show changes. She gracefully went with the flow and uplifted my heart when she willingly spent her time and money to put it together for us all. She paid her own way to be there and her Family came from Florida and Milwaukee just to see there wife and Mother live a life long dream. Behind the scenes she never wavered, As usual she was my rock! She added a grace and beauty to our show that only Dorii could pull off. Her hours and hours of vocal practice and dedication honored us all in a big way! When she landed that high note in "the Long and Winding Road" I almost lost my breath, it was that beautiful! I love you girl! The show could never have happened without her!

Karen Patterson is one of the most wonderful people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Did you guys know she gave up a well deserved vacation to do that show with us? When the catering fell through she stepped up and bought what we needed to feed everyone and spent hours downloading music for the DJ. What would have our vocals been like without her? She too traveled a great distance every night to realize this dream. How do you thank someone for that kind of friendship and dedication? I do know that when she did her solo in "I Just Wanna Thank you" I had the biggest smile on my face! I turned around and said wow! Later she said,"I don't even know where that came from!" Well I do. Straight from the heart girl, straight from the heart! The show could never have happened with out her. Let us all never forget that!

Tye Male was a 17 year old kid [actually, I was 15) with a big talent the last time I saw him and, man o man does that cat still blow! WOW! Tye was not very sure that he could fit in or even add anything worth while to our show in the beginning and it wasn't until he was actually in rehearsal with us that first night that he was quickly reminded of what he had been a big part of long long ago. I can't imagine doing this without him. Everybody agrees he was the icing on a very big cake. Tye has a very busy life and on complete faith and a willingness to be put on the spot he traveled half way across the country to do this for us! His smile and enthusiasm was contagious and at the last moment he pulled off what I would call a miracle born of pure guts and talent! His wife and daughter father and family were there to cheer him on! There would not have been a show of this caliber without him! I love ya man! So again let us never forget!

I saved Greg Emerson for last because I wanted to tell you all something about him you may not know. For all these years he has held on to the idea we could all get together and play again someday. Did you know that on a regular basis since 1977 he has ask me to contact everyone and try to get us all together again? So really this was all his idea! When I found out Wayne had passed away I waited to tell Greg in person. We both were devastated but his desire to see everyone on the same stage never wavered. Greg took his vacation time, spent his own money to travel, and poised himself to play the best set I have ever heard him play! His wife and mother family and friends traveled from all the United States to see him do this show and show there support! How proud they must all be of him! I know I am! He pulled us out of the fire at the very end with his knowledge of electricity and "for real" there would not have been a show without him! LITERALLY! I love you Greg! When he did his solo I turned around and knew he and I had come full circle. We both had realized our dream and I could never ever have done it without him. Thank you my friend, from that place in my heart reserved only for you, THANK YOU! We all love you and will never forget!

In the end Gary was right, it wasn't about a stage or food or even people coming to hear us. It wasn't about who could ever replace Wayne or even what music we played, it was about each other and the beautiful noise we make when we all get together and how that makes us feel! When we all look back on this show in years to come I hope we remember it proudly and with a smile. We all had a part play, not only in the music but also in each others lives, the people we have not forgotten through out these 30 years. I truly believe things like this are not random. God saw in his great wisdom to allow us to relive a beautiful time and now we can go on knowing we were not just thrown together by chance, we really were and still are some pretty special people. The love and respect we have shown to one another in the last few weeks is most definitely a :"GOD THING" AMEN!

In closing I want you all to know you have made me proud to have known you and I am humbled to have had the pleasure of performing with you once again. You are all so very awesome! I can't possibly say all that needs to be said here and I hope I haven't left anyone out. I do however know that The answer to the age old question of "Were we really as good as we remembered we were," has finally been answered with a GREAT BIG RESOUNDING YES!The long and winding road that leads to your door will never disappear.

I love you all, Debbie Jordan

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great follow up to a not so fun Monday. God has blessed you thru you reunion as well as blessed us with a great man of God. Thanks for being you.

Jeff Huegel