You know, that could be the best opening sentence I’ve ever written. I mean it’s not “Call me Ishmael” or “It was a dark stormy night” but there’s a lot packed into it. There’s intrigue, there’s drama, pretty much any possibility is open. The only thing that’s not really possible is that my Che Guevara moment was being killed in the wilds of Bolivia while leading a revolution. Because since I’m writing this I clearly wasn’t killed.
But then again, through the magic of delayed email delivery, it’s possible that the counter revolutionaries were approaching as I was writing this and that while I was not dead when I wrote it (obviously) I could have chosen to send it later so that it arrived in your email box after I was killed. Although if death was imminent, why would I spend my last moments promoting another appearance of Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room? Shouldn’t I have spent my time writing a stirring manifesto or a poem… or something grander.
The other problem with that opening sentence is that I think it might promise too much. I mean you’re probably already wondering what my Che Guevara moment could be, and you may well be investing this moment with the mythology and the youthful revolutionary fervor that is often associated with Che. Can my experience, whatever it was, live up to that opening sentence?I’m not sure.
Anyway, without further ado, here is my Che Guevara moment. It’s April 29 at 4:30 in the morning and I’m in Whitehorse in the Yukon. Pretty good so far. Perhaps I’m in the mountains, maybe I’m canoeing down a river, or I could be checking traps.
What I was doing, was standing in the security line at the Whitehorse Airport getting ready to board a flight to Vancouver because the only flight out that will allow for a connection that gets me Toronto at a decent hour (which ends up being about 4.30 in the afternoon so right in the middle of rush hour traffic) is at 5 am.
And, while I’m in the security line, my glasses fall off and break on the floor. I now have no glasses and I can’t see. This immediately brings to mind the story of Che Guevara’s last days in the mountains of Bolivia when he broke his glasses and was rendered pretty much incapable of doing any reading or writing.
And the reason this was my Che Gevara moment was that pretty soon after my glasses broke someone with some manual dexterity helped tape the frames together so I could muddle through my flights. The next day I got a crappy pair of reader glasses from the pharmacy and by the next Friday I had a new set of glasses. So when I refer to what happened to me as a Che Guevara moment, I mean that almost literally – it was about a moment when I shared something with Che Guevara and then just as suddenly I didn’t.
This then takes me, of course, to Gordon’s Acoustic Living Room, who will be playing its next gig on Sunday, May 15th at the Free Times Café (still on College just west of Spadina). The show will start at 8 and there will be lots to eat and drink. And there will be no cover because the music belongs to the people!!!!
Hope to see you there.
P.S. If you were wondering, after the revolution there will be no need for bagpipes.
May 15th Set List:
Pipe Set Five Days In May Sugar Mountain I’ll Be Back Two Of Us Girl One Day I Walk Cotton Jenny Lucky Enough I Go To Pieces Running Back To Saskatoon Glenora Ferry
Rocket Man People Are Crazy Famous Blue Raincoat Mary Said… Beer And Chip Ball Hank Williams Tonight Lay Down Sally Bruised Orange Night Rider’s Lament Have I The Right Stronger Beer Brandy