“Where The Kibbeling Roam”

Kibbeling: battered and fried cod, a true Dutch delight, a gift from on high.

By now, next year’s scheduled trip to The Netherlands is hardly a secret. An actual by-gawd tour, beginning with a house concert in The Hague on 24 May and ending in that same city on 29 June with the final evening of “THISSFest” – The Hague International Singer-Songwriter Festival which was organized by one Richard Morris, a Chicago native. Imagine that.
The tour was actually supposed to take place this year. I had a new CD – “Dreams Can Cost You Everything” – and even promotional buttons made up, blue on black, “Bill Parker – Dreams Can Cost You Everything – Tour 2013”. But in the predawn murk of 2 January I slipped on a patch of ice, breaking off a tiny piece of my (right) shoulder bone and trashing the rotator cuff. By the time I had surgery – 13 March – the newly-liberated piece of shoulder bone had shredded the muscles that were still attached to my shoulder. Ouch. Woe. Rats and double rats. After surgery, the follow-up physical therapy ran until early June, by which time I’d been laid off from my job (this last actually took place at the end of April). Because I’d had a world-class orthopedic surgeon and an equally stellar physical therapist, the shoulder and rotator cuff are fine. No, I won’t be throwing deep sideline routes with a football or the big overhand curve ball, but I could never do either of those things before the injury, so . . . I can, however, play guitar again. Hooray! and Huzzah!
But the notion of returning to The Land of Fine Chocolate, Windmills, and Wooden Shoes – among other civilized pleasures – was out for this year.

“Give out but don’t give up!”

Memphis Blues legend Furry Lewis said that to (Noted Author and Gentleman of The South) Stanley Booth, who included it in a fine magazine article, “Furry’s Blues”. I read the article in his book “Rythm Oil: A Journey Through The Music of The American South” in 1995 and have held by it ever since. It’s pretty much what I’d always done, and continue to do, but for all the words I’ve produced in several decades of songwriting, I’d never had the wherewithal to put it so eloquently.

Now. As I tap these words out, Tour 2014 is ten months away which may seem like a long time but it isn’t, really. The days will quickly become weeks which will just as quickly become months and the next thing you know, I’ll be sitting in the departure lounge at D/FW Airport, waiting to board a flight to Amsterdam. I know this because I had five months’ advance notice for last year’s trip and that was gone in the blink of an eye.
Even though this coming December will mark the 46th anniversary of my joining my first band, I don’t consider what I’m doing “following a dream”. No, The Dream was to get signed to Apple Records, re-locate to London for a while, hang out with The Beatles, record some 45’s and LP’s, get a few tours in, then return to The Calumet Region and purchase a particular house on south Hohman Avenue in Hammond, Indiana. After installing a baby grand piano to further facilitate the songwriting process, the cycle of recording and touring would begin again. All by the time I was oh, 22 or 23. That was The Dream.
Now, somewhat older and bearing the scars of experience – “honey, it ain’t the years it’s the miles” – I recall what my long-time friend and musical mentor Fred Keith once told me: “Being a musician isn’t what we do, it’s what we are. And for people like us, it’s the only game in town.”
And that, dear friends, is as close to a reason as I can give you for these things I do that no responsible adult would even consider. I mean, I’m unemployed at the moment. I’ll celebrate my 60th birthday 11 May, 2014. If I find a job in the days/weeks/months ahead, great. But on 22 May, 2014 I’ve got a plane to catch.
Would anyone who’s known me for any length of time expect anything else? I think not.

There are already dates confirmed, and I’m working on filling the remaining gaps in the itinerary as best I can. I’ll go into those a bit more “as time goes by”. I’ll also be posting them on my facebook pages as well as on my website, http://www.billparkermusic.com.

Thank you all for your continued support, those of you who read or hear of my adventures and misadventures and, rather than pass judgement, merely nod and say “Well, that’s Bill. He’s from Gold Coast, so . . .”

And, as always, thanks to David Lash for 1968. Be seeing you . . .

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