28 August 15
I know looking at this entry and the few after it,I appear "out of it" in my writing. Well you would be right,I was. Looking at this now,I see I was truly deep in the fog that was Lori's passing. One just can't fathom the sense of loss and pain when something like cancer steals into your life and takes half of you away,the far better half.
Please know that I was just trying to stay upright while getting Lori's funeral together,taking care of so many things all at once with very little help. But one thing I will say,this song and the singer who sings it....they are both amazing!
Its 12:51 am
As some of you may know,I was working as a talent buyer in Palo Alto,California when I first met Lori.
I worked at two clubs for my friend Jacek Rosicki,he had me book the Tuesday nights at the Agenda Lounge. It was my 2nd time working for Jacek,he had hired me at the Club Oasis in San Jose which at one time was a hot club but had slowly fallen out of favor with fickle club goers.
What once was a great live venue was eroded away by the old owners booking the same six local bands over and over. This destroyed the local bands fanbase and kept away the average music fan.
Jacek hired me to book the Oasis,a 1,000 person,21+ club. I walked into a hornet's nest and despite my best efforts,I failed to turn the live music scene around despite booking some great bands. This led me into ripping into a local music journalist named Carla Hay,who wrote for BAM magazine. She was a terrible writer who had zero interest in the San Jose music scene and was very,very unpopular. Our little tussle in a middle of a show led Jacek and me into a meeting where we both agreed I needed a break. I left the Oasis and pondered my next move. I was feeling shaken by the Oasis because I knew I had let Jacek down. This was the only time in my entire career that I ever lost my temper in regarding a band/media writer. Not to say I didn't get upset but I never lost control like I did that night.
I did a summer series for Pam Kelly at the Cameras that did pretty well (thank you Lisa Dewey!) before I moved to Mountain View for the next 18 months. While there,I got a job at Tower Records and continued to book small shows for local bands and booked another great summer series at a local coffee shop that got some decent press.
During this time,Jacek had bought the old Marsugi's building in San Jose...the same building where I had gotten my start thanks to Joe Kelly,who was the buyer at the time. Jacek invested a ton of cash into making his new venture into a great restaurant downstairs and a upscale club upstairs.
The Tower Records store was just down the street from his main venue in Palo Alto called The EDGE. Jacek had brought aboard Jimmy Arceneaux to book both EDGE and also some shows at the Oasis. Jacek used to come back and drop off fliers for his upcoming shows at Tower. It was on 2 straight Friday night shows at the coffee house where I had a great crowds that Jacek dropped off fliers. He and I begin to talk about the Agenda and what he thought might be a good idea,a live acoustic night. He asked me what I thought and I said it could work if we had a budget to book with. He agreed and gave me a 8 week trial period to see what I could do. I had a lot to prove and I hit the ground running..after a show that Jacek himself booked with singer/actress Mare Winningham,the stage was mine.
The shows were awesome...and not always acoustic either. Mixing both good strong local bands along with kick ass national acts,I regained the trust of Jacek. I knew I had come all the way back when he asked me to come to the EDGE as Jimmy's office assistant. Jimmy and I were a great team,he knows more about rock and roll,metal,glam rock then anyone I know. We had some amazing shows under Jimmy,including a crazy night with UFO where we had to break up a fight between famed guitarist Michael Schenker and UFO's drummer,a awesome show with Cheap Trick in which I had to run for most of the night because Jimmy was doing the famous Cheap Trick high step! I never saw anyone get more stuff signed then Jimmy did that night.
I was still doing shows at the Agenda....and one afternoon,I booked a band called Save Ferris. I had caught the name in a few underground zines at Streetlight Records. It was a ska band fronted by a beautiful vocalist named Monique Powell. I got a press kit and put on the CD demo....and was blown away. Monique was indeed as beautiful and had powerhouse vocals as I had heard. I told Jimmy I had found the next big thing and showed him the press kit.
The night of show came and we had a killer crowd because college radio plus Todd Inoue from the Metro helped give the show a big push. Our room quickly filled up with local bands,hipsters,college kids..my sound man,Rees Roberts,worked with a miracle getting a large band on such a small stage,at the time they played,they had 7 band members...it was very crowded.
As soon as Monique started singing,you knew it was something very special...she was singing pop/ska but her voice was beyond that. Save Ferris was a tight knit band and it showed in their performance,the club was jumping and the crowd was alive with excitement.
Afterwards Monique and I had a chance to talk downstairs,we were standing outside so she could cool off. I remember looking at her and saying they wouldn't be back at the Agenda again,they were a band that was going to get signed to a deal,her vocals were just that strong. And I was right,we saw Save Ferris again,but at the EDGE as a part of a packaged tour.
When Save Ferris was signed,I was sent a copy of their debut CD "It Means Everything" which I still own. But the 2nd album which was called "Modified" in where Monique's true vocal power shines most brightly on a beautiful song and one of my all time favorites "Let Me In".
I connected with Monique on FB and while I don't think she remembers our shows (out of thousands played) I sent her a message a while ago asking about the origins of that song. I never got an answer until yesterday....
Below are the lyrics to that song....
"Let Me In"
written by Brian Mashburn
And this is how it sounds with Monique singing it....
Lori and I loved listening to music together,while our tastes were a wee bit different,it was one of our favorite things to do,especially on some of our exploring trips. The rule was simple,whoever was driving got to pick the CD. John Denver,The Rolling Stones,Dan Fogelberg and James Taylor were some of Lori's favorites. She also wasn't afraid to listen to someone new and that how she also became a fan of Monique's voice.
This song has never meant more to me then tonight....while I have always enjoyed it and it moves me to tears,its tonight that I UNDERSTAND it. Here in my darkest hour,my heart grieves but is comforted that love never really dies. I'm heading to bed know,my soul feeling a bit better today...music is a great healer and I will sleep easy tonight.
Thank you Monique.