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A Farewell For Now
By Mick Polich - 06/10/2010 - 12:12 PM EDT

A man once known for throwing a quip or two, as well as being a great catcher in pro baseball, Yogi Berra, once said, ”If you see a fork in the road, take it.” Well, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, kids of all ages – I have seen the fork in the road, and I am taking it. Our family has decided to move back to Iowa to come full circle, so to speak, and will hopefully be there later on this summer or fall. It’s exciting, scary, and liberating, but we feel it’s the right thing to do at this time.

With that, I will be taking a sabbatical from the blog for awhile – we’ve got a house to sell, possessions to move, and a new life to start. So things will be in transition for a bit.

First off, I want to thank Jodi Krangle for giving me the opportunity to bring my ideas forth, sometimes a couple of times per month (I think at last count, I may be close to 100 blog entries - 99, to be exact). We’ve never met, or talked person to person, but I consider her a musical ally for allowing me to bring some of my left-of-centeredness to the forefront. I’ll be back in the fold in the future, Jodi – thanks again.

Also, my little ‘e mail’ group consisting of friends, family, music students, amp/guitar repair customers, fellow performers – all past and present – as you all have helped form an audience, so to speak ( and Lord knows, there’s a lot of audiences out there in Webville, kids). You’ve hung with me thru a lot of soul searching, as well as the musical and life information that I try to get out of head onto the computer screen page. New adventures to follow soon!

Hey, it’s not a goodbye, but you gotta give your props out when ya can, youngsters – give the peeps their due.

When I started the column, being a writer was on my life list of things to do. I started as an artist, then a musician, electronic tech, music instructor, and a half – assed business dude. As a kid, I wondered what I was going to be when I got older. Now I wonder how can I fit it all in.

And it all relates to music, and the arts, because you can’t have one without the other. I remember an interview that the band I was in at the time twenty years ago, which would be Salmon Dave, gave to a local music newspaper. My buddy and musical inspiration, Don Myers, said that as a group, we were just trying to demystify the artistic process in our gigs for our audience. Sounds lofty to some, but this was pretty straight forward – hey, here’s the music we enjoy, and you can be part of the performance, too. You would think that would hold water with the average bar band, especially in the middle of Iowa trying to grind out a living, but a lot of bands held themselves up in Mount Olympus – hey, look at us, audience, feel our godly WILL!

In essence, that’s all I’ve been trying to do with my column – here’s what I enjoy, or have learned, so hopefully, you can get the same experience. Do I get cranky about things? Oh sure, but I am several years into E. Pluribus Rock Codgervis, so give me that, will ya? In my youth, I was a real lap dog about certain things – don’t rock the boat, all that bull hockey. Now, I’m just trying to be a more balanced individual, as well as a balanced musician.

So, what up with DAT? Balance, huh? Yeah – life is short, so enjoy the process. I used to figure I would always be satisfied when I got my playing to the NEXT level, my songwriting to the NEXT level, art, writing, electronics and recording skills, blah - dee, blah blah. It’s the NEXT level, folks – NOW. I’ve learned to give music lessons while feeding a baby or changing diapers. I’ve learned to give a good solo music performance to a crowd of 15 people in a backyard BBQ. I’ve worked on music gear on my kitchen table (and who has done THAT?). And, I’m now learning how to write a novel while preparing to sell a house, buy one, move, and get jobs all in the same brushstroke.

Also, I have met many fantastic musicians up to this point – some who just play Sunday mass, some who are still booked pretty regular with their bands on the weekends, and some who just play music for fun. From Columbus, Ohio, to Atlanta, now Dallas/Fort Worth - pretty solid group of great artists that I’ve had the pleasure to have met. As always, another misconception – the cream of the crop of great musicians get the most press in the world. Not even close – check you local eatery or outdoor promo event at the grocery store. You’re missing out, Hoss, if ya don’t…….

And now back full circle to Iowa – I would be remiss not to say that I haven’t missed all the lads and lassies that I used to play in bands with back in the motherland. It will be fun to get hooked up with them from time to time – been 16 years since we’ve been away. You can take the boy away from the John Deere tractor, but you can’t take the John Deere away from the boy….

I’ve used this quote before, but Miles Davis used to say that sometimes it takes awhile to find ‘you’ in the music. I feel I’m just now beginning to find ‘me’ – there’s a little bit of everything from 35 years of playing music. Country, r n’ b, rock, blues, metal, jazz, world music, folk, classical, and experimental – bits and pieces come out when they can. I’m definitely no purist, or hold allegiance to the idea that it takes great technique to make great music, although it is pretty amazing to experience a great technician on an instrument or voice. To me, the Clash made music as valid as John Coltrane did – can’t explain it, you don’t have to agree - it just works for me.

I want to thank all the guest columnists over the time period – you all really brought the knowledge, and some class, to the proceedings. It was a nice break in the flow – a change-up on the mound to throw the ball differently. We’ll keep on keepin’ on when I get back at it!

MB, here we go again - a new adventure! I love you.

Andrew – excuse Dad when he needs to write something down, or pick up a guitar to get a thought out. I’ll be out to play football or swim as soon I can…….

To wrap it up, let’s quote the great man, Yogi, again, who once stated,”You can learn a lot by watching.” And I have learned a lot from that observation, and will continue to do so to report my findings back to you, gentle readers.

Thanks, and we’ll see you all again soon on the new journey!

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