Thursday, November 20, 2008
I came of age in the 1970's with the backdrop of Rock and Roll music that still dominates FM radio. My political infancy was the Vietnam War and Watergate.
In 1999 I moved with my family to Canada. I had put in for, and gotten, a transfer from the U.S.-Mexico border to the airport at Calgary, Alberta. It was there, among the classic rock songs of the seventies blaring out of the car stereo, that I heard the music of the Matthew Good Band.
Everything Is Automatic was the first song I remember hearing and Symbolistic White Walls was the song that made me say wow. Soon after Hello Time Bomb stormed the radio and the CD Beautiful Midnight was released. I became a big fan and first saw Matt live at the Calgary Stampede. Speed up to the release of The Audio Of Being and my panic to hear the the band was splitting up. Then my joy when I heard the news that a solo project was ongoing. I bought Avalanche the day it was released and listened to it through headphones as I walked through the house. As I would later tell Matt, when it was finished I took off my headphones, looked at my wife, and said "wow".
In 2003 we transferred to Vancouver where Matt lives. By this time I was casually aware of Matt's blog and had used his site to email him, telling him how much I enjoyed his music.
One day I was in my booth processing travelers and looked up to see Matt standing, with his then wife, in front of me. I told him I was a huge fan and chatted him up a bit on politics and his latest release, White Light Rock and Roll Review. When he left I closed my line and went down the concourse where we talked until he boarded his flight to Las Vegas.
I followed along as he wrote in his blog and discovered another blogger named Tony Pierce, and they are why I started blogging. So now my children and grandchildren know who to thank because this is the only record of my life that exists.
Matthew has also opened my eyes to the political reality of my country and has gotten me out of the mainstream media and into the internet where I look for different takes on discussions of the day. Every time Matt flies to the States he lets me know so I can ease his way through and then we talk while he waits for his flight.
One time he told me that he was going into the studio to record and invited me down to take pictures. He told me to come down all I wanted and shoot all I wanted. Saying that this was the thrill of a music fan's lifetime still falls a little short. The stories, the meals, the jokes, and sometimes the tension that went into recording Hospital Music will stay with me the rest of my days.
Matt and I don't see each other face to face very often because he is pretty reclusive and deals with mental health issues that he has openly discussed on his blog. And I'm pretty antisocial as well but I am happy to call Matt my friend and I value that friendship very much.
Matt goes back into the studio after the first of the year to record his next CD which will be titled, Vancouver. I have been invited down again but I leave Canada on February 1st so I will only get to drop by a few times. But it will be a great way to say goodbye to a man who has changed the way I think about many things.
Goodbye that is, until he tours and I fly into Calgary or maybe Toronto to see him perform again. Everybody who knows me knows that I don't need much of a reason to travel.
I have seen him live more times than I can count now, as you've said, he's kind of a Canadian mainstay.
So happy for you that you got to meet him and maintain a friendship... real friendships speak louder than words and can be kept over long distances...
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