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Friends

My best friend is my son. I thought that life always centred on me until he was born. He became the centre of the universe after that. My best memories of my life are the ones of Michael. His first goal, birthdays, special events that he and I went to together, and 2 A.M. chats where we both tried to figure out where in life we were going. We talk openly with each other, he knows a lot of my secrets and I his, a really good relationship. I not only love my son, but I like him as well. I will leave you to figure out that one, it is meaningful. I discovered the meaning of unselfishness with Mike. If he is a better Hockey Player than me, if he is more successful than me, if he goes through life happier than me, then I will be fulfilled. As of April 2006, Mike and my grand daughter Ariyanna live across the street in their own home on the river. How nice for us all to have family so close.

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Let's see, my longest friend, sounds like Bob Dickson. Bob and I have known each other since I was 9 and he 12. We became friends when I was 15. At 16, I bought my first motorcycle and Bob had been riding Beezer's (inside nickname), for several years. We became close riding buddies in my early years. When he met his future wife Barbara, we all rented a house together around. (what parties). Over the years we have had so many common interests and not common interests. Bob loves his Hot Rods (1932 Chevy and 1934 Ford) whereas I owned Jaguars and now a Corvette, but we enjoy each other's love of our respective auto fascinations. Speaking of fascinations, Bob has a toy and model car collection that would be the envy around the world. A sample is seen in the picture. We are still fast friends after these 40 years. Pictured below are Barbara and Bob. Hi Barbara, I know you are dropping by, send me an E-Mail.

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Karl Shaw, (left) my friend from when I was about 20. Great person, Great acoustic guitar player. Taught me all I know about finger picking. If you happen to be in Mexico, (transplanted Canuck) drop by and say hi to Karl for me...

Karl has now moved to mailand Florida to be with his stepsons.

Update summer 2012, Karl has a website listed on my links page "Music Sloth" Drop by to support him and maybe buy one of his albums...

 

 

Phil Sayce, a wonderful young man that I have come to know it the last year. Phil has one extraordinary quality, he is one of the best young guitarist to come along in quite a number of years. Phil endeared himself to me by his quiet, polite, caring and humble personality, which, is a rare set of qualities considering his unbelievable music talent with the guitar. We hear of the "New Guns" of guitar such as Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Johnny Lang, but Phil stands at the top of the new wave of young men. Phil has the talent to be placed amongst the greats when he receives the acclaim that he will deserve in the coming years. When I go to hear Phil, I look amongst the audience and think, these people one day will say to themselves "saw him when". I love to look at their faces when Phil breaks into full stride on a solo, absolute rapture. Phil and his lady moved down to LA where he spent some time playing with Kid Rock and was Melissa Ethridges guitarist for a number of years. Phil now has gne on to his own bands, website and recordings.

 

 

MP3 of a jam at Encore 2004 with Phil and another friend Jan. This is just a jam, and they just decided to "roll tape" so bear this in mind. Hope the guys don't mind me putting it on my website...

Phil and Jan Jamming

 

Encore Music Exchange, the Guitar Store of choice. One of my closest friends owns this store ( and a darned good guitar player). I have met some of the most wonderful people here. It is run just like the Old General Store, we just need a pickle barrel. The regulars drop by all the time and hang. If you want to hear some great music drop by when there is an acoustic jam going. I tell Dave, he needs more paying customers and less friends, he doesn't see it my way. He is one of the last truly genuinely nice guys left in the world. As a guitarist I'm lucky enough to work here on Saturday's. (I stopped working at Encore Oct./98, so I am now a "regular") The saying around Encore is everything that a guitarist may dream about comes through here, I can vouch for that, I probably own half of it. Don't get paid for Saturday's. just take the pay off what I always owe Dave. We don't sell guitars, we sell dreams.

I am a lucky man to know all the friends of Encore Music Exchange. The other two participants at Encore are Rob, who is the famous and fabulous guitar tech., and Tortoise Blue, who is the Hammond, Leslie and Amp tech.

Some of the Motley Crue shown here is Dave himself (centre), Jim (who was editor of The Canadian Vintage Guitar Magazine) and the maker of the finest amp cabinets on the planet, including the new cabinet for my Matchless Chieftain, Sam (a regular and now Saturday employee) and his son. This shot was taken last spring at the first annual Encore Yard Day Sale. We were helped with the sale by quite a lot of Encore's friends. It was a scorcher and by the end of the day we were all totally beat, but happy.

 

I love this picture of Tortoise Blue, and had to have it here. Tortoise is the amp tech that Jeff Healey and Gordie of Big Sugar uses. Tortoise is also a World Class Harp (harmonica) and Hammond B3 organ player. I hear that in the 80's his band opened for Stevie Ray Vaughn. Under tortoise's gruff exterior lies a heart of gold and I love him.

 

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Here is a picture of the last Minor League hockey team I coached. I am on the right, Sean on the left and my son is the one with the C on his jersey. I have included these lads in my friends page because all 200 to 250 young men I coached over the 12 years I was with the Agincourt Canadians had very special meaning to me. As a coach I am supposed to guide, teach, dictate play, and be there for these young men, but, I got more from them than they got from me. So many memories of their achievements, happiness and overcoming adversity. Fun, camaraderie and the joy of watching them grow and learn. It is such a shame in juvenile team sports, so many people, administrators, coaches and parent, lose sight of the meaning of "the game". So many try to make up for the lack of meaning to their existence, through their children. There is still great meaning to "it is not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game". I was privileged to see so many have their "firsts", first goal, first time being successful at something they had worked so hard at, winning a playoff game, when they had been dropped off at the rink or came themselves on the transit and their own parents did not see the achievements. It was I that was approached for approval for something they succeeded at and their parents were not in attendance. And they got it, "great goal", "you are doing fantastic", "nice stop", "don't worry you will get it next time you try". All the phrases to build self esteem. I was lucky to be there and the memories will always be with me. I am not saying all parents weren't there for their children, just too many weren't. There was always the core of die hard. Parents that were always there. I saw them year after year, no matter what time of the day or night, would show up to support their child and team. I developed a number of parent friendships over all those the years, 6 or 7 folks drinking coffee after the game or discussing the opposing team before the game. Great people. As a coach I think I have   a pretty good philosophy, the team is not there to win me trophies, I am there to give them the help that they may be successful FOR THEMSELVES.

Thanks for sharing, will be adding to this page, so many great people !

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