Al Di Meola’s Elegant Gypsy & More ~ Final Return to Electric Guitar Tour 2015

I am grateful to be able to see one of my all-time favorite guitarists Al Di Meola play at the Plaza Live theater in Orlando. I first saw him play 39 years ago with Chick Corea’s Return to Forever in Santa Barbara, California. Since I have seen him play with The Rites of Strings (Al, Stanley Clarke & Jean-Luc Ponty), the Return to Forever ‘Returns’ concert in 2008 and in 2010 with his own band.

After suffering from tinnitus from exposure to loud music (which we have in common), Al shifted away from the electric guitar to acoustic in the 1980s. He now enjoys playing electric music again but takes care to protect his hearing using ear plugs and sound barriers that you can in the photos above. Certainly the fastest guitar player I have ever seen – he has a unique sound and style that is all his own. He also seems to be a really great guy and had a blast playing – engaging the audience and expressing his gratitude for his fans that have stayed loyal over the past 40+ years.

Dark Star – 42 Years Later

My childhood friend Robin and I had a band in high school with our friend Marc Baldini. We were known by several names (mostly to us) but the one that stuck was Dark Star. In our senior year the three of us also formed the rhythm section of the high school stage band.

Eddie & Robin - Rhythm Section of our high school band Dark star and the 1972-1973 high school jazz band - 42 years later!
Eddie & Robin – Rhythm Section of our high school band Dark star and the 1972-1973 high school jazz band – 42 years later!

Fast forward 42 years later! When I moved back to Florida last summer Robin and I started practicing again with our eye to reform the band. We have been having fun playing songs by Yes, Allman Brothers, Steven Wilson, Alice Cooper and Black Sabbath!

Steamboat – February 2015

I am grateful that I was able to go to Steamboat Springs and Steamboat ski resort this year! I went with Myhra Tubridy and the NASA ski club. We spent 7 days at the Boat with 5 incredible days of skiing. After the driest January in history, it started to snow on the bus ride from the airport. It kept skiing through mid-week and the last two days were sunny and warm. The snow was perfect and I got many fresh tracks and freshly groomed cruizers. Other highlight including spending time with Myhra (my brother Rick’s wife), a trip to Strawberry Park – a natural hot springs in the woods outside of Steamboat Springs – and a western BBQ dinner & dance at Thunderhead Lodge at the top of the Gondola. I used to ski Steamboat regularly when I lived in Colorado in the 1990s – it was good to be back after 14 years!

Cruise to the Edge

I made reservations with my good friends Robin and Laura to ‘Cruise to the Edge‘ this November. We will leave out of Miami on a four night cruise listening to old and new progressive rock bands featuring my all-time favorite Yes.

I last saw them just last summer with Robin in Orlando. It’s a shame that lead singer Jon Anderson has left the band but the singer that they replaced him with Jon Davidson does a a great job as well as having the same first name!

 

Sammy’s 11th Birthday

My best buddy Sammy is 11 today! Happy birthday to my best fur-friend and constant companion.

Sammy at 11 years old
Sammy at 11 years old

Sammy (Songsten’s Loyal Companion Samwise) was born 11 years ago in Fort Meyers, Florida. Both mother and father were champions so he’s quite the specimen. He’s a Dhoki Apso – commonly called a Tibetan Terrier.  There’s actually nothing at all Terrier about the breed and they were unknown outside of Tibet until a little over 100 years ago. As an ancient breed they live a good lifespan and I hope I’ll be fortunate enough to be with him for many years to come.

Sammy and I had a big year in 2014 moving to Florida after many years away (39 for me – 10 for him). He was previously with other dogs who tended to dominate the household for attention so Sammy was always a bit shortchanged in the attention area. Since moving here his personality has really blossomed which has been a delight to see.

He’s my constant companion and loves more than anything (other than eating) to ride in his car. He even sits in in when it’s parked in the garage hoping that I’ll take him somewhere. We get a couple of good long walks a day either to the beach or at our favorite park nearby where I swim in the mornings. I always take him on a long walk after my swim.

Happy birthday buddy!

Holidays 2014

Sammy & I spent nearly two weeks at Dave & Lisa’s house in Panama City. Mom has been staying with them since early 2014. Rick came up for New Years. I got to spend two days in the ER with kidney stones – no fun there. Other than that we had a great time!

Here we go again..

XPS8700SE - WP_20140821_17_59_20_Pro

the journey continues….

Sammy and I wish you a wondrous and magical 2015 as we travel approximately 1.3 million miles per hour (the Milky Way – as shown – relative to the rest of the universe) towards our destiny.

We leave you with this prayer and our wishes for you for 2015:


Creator, keep me from the habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from the craving to straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details – give me the wings to get to the point.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally it is possible that I might be mistaken.

I ask for grace enough to listen to the tales of other’s pains.

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places, and talents in unexpected people and give me the grace to tell them so.


Peace be with you – live everyday as it is a miracle – tell someone you love them – if someone does something for you and you know their name thank them by name.

Treat everyone you meet with courtesy, compassion, respect and dignity as is their worth as a child of creation.

Love, Sammy (woof!) and Eddie

North Carolina Thanksgiving 2014

I visited my brother Dave, his wife Lisa, their son Adam and my mother Betty at Dave & Lisa’s mountain in Scaly Mountain North Carolina. We woke to a white Thanksgiving and the next morning it was 19 degrees!

 

Cars & Coffee in Celebration Florida

Earlier this year I happened to meet up with a local BMW owner. He turned me onto Space Coast BMW – a Facebook page run by one of the club members. Yesterday I met up with some of the members and we caravanned to Celebration for the monthly Cars & Coffee event.

I was impressed at the turn out of some of the very cool cars there including a Ferrari Enzo – the hit of the morning. Sammy had a great time too!