Two years. Two years! Two years? Wow! Was this what we had in mind?
On November 14, 2010, Don “Jet Blue” Bazinet, Paul the Pyronaut, Glenn Kohlmeister, and I gathered at the Doghouse to go through the eight songs that became Into the Flow. We began work on that project to check “record a CD” off my bucket list.
In November 2010, it was more a conceptual art project than a music project. Write songs. Do the artwork. Record. Release. Play the CD once for friends and family. And it would be finished. Viewers and listeners would attend the “opening,” maybe take a few pictures, and the tangible work would be gone. Everything would be left to imagination and memory.
The conceptual art project, however, morphed into some live performances, a set list of "traditional" songs as well as some of the originals on the CD, and the Lava Pups moving forward like a band. “Regular practices.” Rejecting gigs. Being rejected for gigs. Promoting shows. Feelings of exhilaration, inadequacy, anxiety, and accomplishment. Flights of fantasy. Facing realities.
The Pups changed too. Paul and Cheri moved to Ferndale -- 5 hours away -- to live in their dream house and pursue his dream of his own music store. Don had acres to mow and clear at his home in Cool -- 40 miles from the Doghouse. And Robert “Kool Kat” Kuhlmann and my sister, Sue, joined the Pups.
We were off and running again. Learning new songs. Rearranging old songs. Establishing a new musical identity. Adjusting to each other’s personalities and musicality. Developing a sound of our own.
Over these two years, our wives, families, and friends have given us amazing support. They attended gigs even if they were not particularly moved by our music. They hawked our wares. Promoted the Pups. Helped schlep equipment. Listened patiently to “how did we sound?” Shared our elation and enthusiasm when we performed. Provided needed reality checks.
So, on this two-year anniversary, I want to thank my fellow Pups again for sharing some rock ‘n roll fantasy moments with me and making what we do fun. To thank our wives, families, and friends for putting up with us and supporting our endeavors. To thank those who shared ideas, looked at our website, bought our CD, came to see us, and understood that we play to have fun. To thank those who let us play even though we had little or no experience under our belts.
Finally, as the Holidays approach, I want to thank our Dads who gave us the freedom and inspiration to find our own ways and do whatever we wanted to do. Who would have thought we would have done what we have done over the last two years? I didn’t. But maybe my Dad is looking down and saying, “See what you can do if you just put your mind to it. Dreams should be lived.”