I'd like to take a minute to thank some people who will never read this. Like my family's friends the Harveys, who gave us the little Hammond that lived in the basement. I'd like to thank my old friend Dan's parents, who took us to a Dave Brubeck concert when I was in 7th grade and had no idea... I'd like to thank my patient teacher, former women's olympic cross-country coach Brooks Johnson, who ran a Jazz Club every other Wednesday night at my high school, where we spun discs and argued about music; who took us on a field trip to a Sun Ra gig in a downtown DC club. We were asked to leave by the manager, who was nervous about our being underage; but not before we had our minds blown to pieces. (I told my parents jazz club met every Wednesday night, which left me free to run around town with my friends the other Wednesdays!). Thank you, American University, for hosting those free outdoor concerts when I was at my most impressionable age: Mahavishnu Orchestra, the Grateful Dead, Chicago (and many more, but the memories are... hazy). And thank you always, my dear departed parents, for paying for the piano lessons and for not making me practice. And for my first mandolin, which went on my rambles with me as a piano never could: cross-country hitch-hikes, mountain climbs, late night jams by the firepit, busking; until I lost it back when I was living in Brooklyn. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I am a lucky son of a bitch.
Yes, that's me: in 11th grade history class.