“The Strolling Bones”

It’s hard to believe that Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones will be 78 years old this July (2021).

The thought that most seniors grew up to the soundtrack of The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, CCR, and The Doors to name but a few, kind of makes you realize that we Baby Boomers really are a unique bunch.

We pushed the status quo of the times, marched in the streets for civil rights, rebelled against war and tyranny and stood up for the environment and the less fortunate.

I was too young to take part in the Vietnam War Protests or march against the injustices of segregation by joining The Civil Rights Movement. But I was old enough to know that something very special was happening between the grooves of the records I was bringing home with the cash I was saving from my weekly allowance.

Bob Dylan, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, Barry McGuire, “Eve of Destruction”, Country Joe & the Fish, “Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die”, CCR’s Fortunate Son, Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” or Mavis Staples “We Shall Not Be Moved”, oh, what a soundtrack we had!

 

People were fighting for a better world back then, taking chances, standing up and demanding to be heard.

I wanted so much to be involved in any way I could, a guitar sounded like a good start at my age. I was about 11 when my first guitar arrived by sleigh one cold Christmas morning in Montreal.

Like any budding musician I tried to mimic the music I was hearing at the time. Playing Bob Dylan, The Beatles and The Stones, dreaming of one day being up on a stage myself.

I remember trying to learn a guitar piece by The Rolling Stones, their lead guitar player at the time was “Mick Taylor”, someone I was fascinated with and wanted to learn everything I could from.

Months rolled into years, as they tend to do.

The Vietnam War ended but sadly the injustices to people of colour still persisted, and still do to this day.

It’s true that we did win some battles but we lost some as well, including the push to try to protect our environment, or our fight to lift the poor out of poverty.

Still, I continued on playing guitar and writing songs about what was happening in the world.

In these past years, the 99% became a big slogan of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and Black Lives Matter took over the streets to protest against the injustices indoctrinated into the police forces.

It seemed like nothing had really changed after all, it looked like the 60’s all over again.

What was the point?

It seemed like nothing had changed and nothing would change, much like the dream of me being a rock star, that’s all it was, a dream.

My wife and I at a Crash Test Dummies Show

As time went on, my guitar gathered dust. But it was a happy time for me. I was about to marry the love of my life.  We had a son about 12 years later and life was, and still is, great.

I was lucky to find my wife at such a young age and we’ll celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary this year.

When I reflect back I realize that a lot of good did happen, even though change seems slow. But I did learn something from the peace movements and civil rights marches of the 60’s, I learned about how important it is to take chances in life.

After our son was born in 1999 and I had made an innocent inquiry about my once upon a time rock n’ roll idol Mick Taylor, the guitarist for The Rolling Stones.

Little did I know that by making this innocent inquiry, my life was going to change in a very special way.

For some strange reason, a back and forth dialogue began with his management and myself that is surreal to even think about to this day.

It would take me forever to explain every twist and turn that transpired into the events that would take place but the long and the short of it was that Mick Taylor happen to be looking for a band in North America at the exact time that I contacted him.

I told them that I in fact played in a band (which I did) and one thing led to another, before I knew it I was picking up Mick Taylor up at the airport and about to do a tour as a member of The Mick Taylor band across the country.

Mick and I
Mick and my boy at our house

I took a chance, even though I was worried as hell that I’d fail, embarrass myself, embarrass my family.

Nothing I did was brave or admirable, it was just a simple moment of chance.

It ended up being the most exciting time of my life, just like marrying my wife and having our son. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be on stage with my rock idol, playing to thousands of people. I’ll have that memory forever and it was something that I’ll never forget.

Sometimes when you take a chance, amazing things can happen.

Our generation took chances too, chances that made huge differences in the world as we know it. They took braves chances, even dangerous. Chances that pushed the envelope by trying to make this a better world.

Change comes when people take chances, like marching on Selma, boarding Greenpeace dingy’s to take on an oil tankers, to stand up for justice, or chain themselves to tree’s to protect an endangered forest.

Taking a chance is like taking a shot. As Wayne Gretzky once said:

‘You Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don’t Take”

And sometimes when you take a chance in life, amazing things do happen.

Wars coming to an end, polluters are brought to justice, tyrants are sent to jail, people get along.

And sometime’s you even get to play onstage with one of “The Rolling Stones”.

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