Greetings all -
This is my first post from the road (I am struggling with this inexplicable French keyboard, so it will be the last...) Tried to put it out on Blog but it didn't work.
I needed to get this out as I am beyond words but need to find some.
It seems weirdly fitting that it is in Paris where I just recently arrived (my first time) where I heard the news (from Frank D.) that Bob Brozman just died.
If I had to name my top musical idols, Bob would have to be in the top 10. (presumbly you can hear his inimitable influence in my Hawaiian steel guitar parts on my Xmas collection)
I was extra fortunate to get to know him personally – and for Bob to accept me as a peer collector and musician both will always mean the world to me.
He was only a year older than I (and I knew nothing of his health problems). I only knew he was one of the most energetic, passionate and prolific workaholic (no...PLAYaholic) musicians – and human beings – Ive known.
I saw him just this January at NAMM, and we actually found some time for some meaningful chat. I also met his utterly charming wife Haley for the first time. She was excited to finally get Bob to stop by on their drive home to see the Miner Museum (he only saw it at the old house some 150 instruments ago...).
Alas, they couldn't stop, as NAMM and LA traffic rarely allows it.
We followed up with some stuff tho...(did you know he's had a Dyer Style 3 all this time?...neither did Hartman or I! Label with surprise ser # and everything...)
Back to Paris...I understand the French love Bob even more than Jerry Lewis. He once told me he could get gigs here easier than the States. That's our shame and our loss. So he loved this place as a second home – I can just SEE him here.
Me – not so much yet. Nothing personal, just the usual clusterf*** (pardon my French...yes, that's about my ONLY French) at the Paris airport, as I struggled to get to Genoa. I had plenty of time, but THREE different agents – including one who looked up my flight on the system – sent me to 2 wrong terminals (opposite ends of course) before a fourth told me I had to actually take a shuttle to an outskirts terminal. Missed flight by a mile and all flights overbooked for the rest of the weekend. Could NOT get to Genoa to see my dear friend Franco, his family and friends. Beyond frustrating and sad. So here I sit in my sad hotel room, eating nothing but the Sees candy I brought for their gifts. OK, last part not really. Trying (and failing) to laugh and enjoy myself... a bit better now. Was laid up in room for some 18 hours trying to sleep and forcing back my stress tension headache.
Had to just get out and walk it off...managed to figure out the Metro to get to Antique area – a veritable endless warren of you-name-it. When depressed, like Jaci, I shop. Believe it or not, I somehow scored – a cute little espinette des voges (it looks identical to this one: http://www.gs.kunitachi.ac.jp/collectiondb/dbpc/ppc0928.jpg ) and a great old Gabon pluriarc (harp) and Cameroon trumpet (pics later). LOTS of Africana dealers, and deals. TOO many. Once they spotted me carrying that damn trumpet (crap, how am I gonna get that thing home?!), they'd follow me like lemmings for blocks trying to get me back to their stalls. It would actually have been pretty comical had I been in the mood. I wasn't. Still, it was a musical adventure, and I think Bob would have been proud.
OK, this has taken well over an hour of internet time and you're probaly as tired as I. I think it's good tho to have these adventures, and also share these adventures – even if it is no small effort and time to bring them to you. I think of Bob who had more life and musical adventures than I could ever dream of. His life was way too short. But he lived it well, and let's face it - he brought more talent and music and joy than most could ever hope to accomplish in ANY lifetime.
Buy his records. Listen to his music. Buy my favorite - Lumiere: The Bob Brozman Orchestra, which makes my Christmas Collection look like kid's stuff.
We will miss you, Bob.