Segarini: The Sound of Breaking Hearts Redux
Cam is still swamped with his work (and passion) for this year’s Indie Week, so I thought I would search the DBAWIS Archives to see what we were doing during this week in past years.
This column originally appeared on October 12th, 2013. Like 2016, a lot of great musicians and friends alike took their leave of this life, unexpectedly and far too soon, and left many of us to remember them with fondness and see to it that they are not forgotten. This article is reprinted here as a reminder to do everything you can to remember those who go forth before us, and to value the friendships you are currently blessed with….
I am one of those people who tends to think we are here for a reason. I do not know why I believe that, but believe it, I do.
When I was a kid, (and being raised Roman Catholic) everything used to make a lot more sense than it does today. Now, very little makes sense to me. I find more and more people have turned to atheism, whose practitioners , (like those of the Jewish faith), believe that when we venture forth to the wrong side of the lawn, that is the end of the “Long, Strange, Trip.” The only difference is that the Jewish faith includes God, while the Atheists just hold to the belief that life is a fluke of chemistry and random happenstance, and that when your ticket gets punched you are shuttled off this Mortal Coil and dumped on the side of the road and taken off the ‘Active’ list without so much as a handshake and a gold watch.
When I first read Cam’s column as I was editing it yesterday, I was touched by two things; one, his affection for the people he had recently lost, and two, his poignant yet direct way of expressing his sadness while at the same time recalling with fondness and clarity WHY these people impacted on him and will be missed. Cam, like many of us, will keep those people who meant a lot to him in life alive in a very real way…by the memories he has of them. We all carry memories of those we have lost around with us throughout our whole lives, which, as a side note, also means we are never, ever, truly alone.
And that is a good thing.
My mom, a woman so devout she adopted and provided for her own Nun for the last 2 decades of her life, never missed a mass on Sundays, and for years also attended the Nun’s mass at the Saint Joseph’s Hospital Chapel in Stockton three times a week. If the ‘Heaven’ my mother envisioned isreal, I am sure she is in a fine residence with a great kitchen to cook in, an herb garden out back, and my dad is there in the living room asleep in his favourite chair, his feet up on an ottoman, his favourite cat asleep in his lap, and the Wall Street Journal opened and laying across his face. If the power of faith is ONLY the comfort of believing that there is a reward for a life well lived, then I fully support those who believe absolutely.
I tend to believe there is a “Higher Being” at work in all of this. “Being” may not be the proper description, though. I have arrived at more of a belief in a “Force” rather than a tall,bearded, white guyin a robe and a pair of sandals. I think George Lucas may have been onto something…or…maybe…just ‘on’ something when he came up with that.
The thing is, things are no better or worse than they have ever been, but the amount, (and the speed with which we receive it), of information and news, can be (and is) overwhelming.
Sadly, in this world, ‘Good’ news isn’t regarded as news. You would, for example, be hard pressed to find a newspaper containing headlines like “Plane lands!”, “Boat floats”, “Man lives”, or “War averted!” on the front page, even though those things happen in large numbers every day.
We fret over the “Gun” problem, when in fact, with almost 100 million guns in the U.S, and a population of over 315 million, if guns were the problem, there would be 100s of thousands or more gun related deaths per year, instead of under 10,000 .
We are inundated with rumour, conjecture, and opinion, couched as truth, and we are subjected to a never ending stream of horrible images, and angry, hate filled screeds against this, that, or the other.
People are frightened, nervous, anxious, and overwhelmed, not by bad news, but the amount of it they are bombarded with.
And then something happens that directly affects you.
Someone you love is no more.
…and suddenly all this bad news, all this hate, all these screeds and opinions, and images, fade from view…because someone close you has left this mudball, and the pain and sadness are totally…completely…real and without hope of ever being fixed, or changed, or repaired. For those of us left behind…it is heartbreakingly, irreparably…final.
Unless you have faith.
Hope that you will see them again. Hope that you will hear their voice, feel their touch, share some more good times.
Hope that they are somewhere safe…free from the harsh realities of this life, but still sentient, happy, and at peace somewhere better, but just as beautiful, without the pain and grief inflicted on us by hateful, violent, angry, and lost individuals, misguided groups, or misinformed movements.
It is difficult for me to believe that we do not move on after we leave here. After a lifetime of learning, of hopefully acquiring some wisdom, or skills, or the talent to amuse, soothe, educate, heal, or entertain, it just doesn’t make any sense to believe that this is the end of the line.
At least to me.
And I will continue to go through this life with hope, rather than despair, humour, rather than seriousness, and wonder, rather than dismissive disbelief. I will carry my lost loved ones with me, talk to them and hear their voices in my head and my heart every day, and look forward to the future instead of pine for the past.
None of us are living just for ourselves.
We are living for those who can no longer do it without our help…without keeping them alive within us
…and THAT is a good feeling.
Like Cam, I felt the loss of some good friends recently, including one we both had a great deal of history with.
I attended the wake and celebration for Reggie at the ElMo last Sunday. He was one of the good ones, and as interesting a character as you can imagine. Here are a few pictures, of some of us who were there to celebrate Reggie’s life, courtesy of the amazing eye of musician/mentor/photographer Bill King…
…and a personal remberance…
From DBAWIS, January 20th, 2012….
The El Mocambo
At the time, The ElMo was the crown jewel of the Toronto clubs. You actually had to earn the right to play there, and why wouldn’t you? Everyone from Meatloaf, to Elvis Costello, to The Rolling Stones played this venerable institution and for a local act to headline upstairs, you had to prove yourself to be afforded the privilege. My band was blessed with being able to do the upstairs show room many times, but my history with the bar was, shall we say, ‘spotted’.
When I was still living in Montreal and The Wackers and All the Young Dudes were behind me, I put together the first version of The Segarini Band and booked a week in the downstairs pub at the ElMo. It was a disaster. The band was dynamite, but we were all original, dabbled in jazz and other softer areas of music and the rock crowd in the downstairs bar were more interested in getting shit faced and hearing something they recognized. Still, we managed to finish out the week and made some fine music. I was more determined than ever to do something along these lines instead of repeating myself.
After the move to Toronto, I went to the venue quite often because the entertainment upstairs was always first rate. I was also heavily invested in spreading the word about the brand new punk scene and would talk about it passionately with whomever wanted to discuss it. One night, the discourse turned to argument and I was escorted out of the club by a bouncer named Reggie. He literally tossed ne down the stairs and out the door. Several months go by and Gotta Have Pop (and my band) became very popular in Toronto. I was offered the upstairs venue and was thrilled beyond belief. After all, the closest I had come to playing there was when April Wine played two songs I had written when they opened for The Rolling Stones at The ElMo.
My only concern was with the bouncer who had thrown me out months earlier. Was he going to be a problem? Would he even let me in the club? I hadn’t been back since. Was this going to be a train wreck?
I get to the club and there, standing on the sidewalk, is Reggie the bouncer. He glares at me. Here we go, I think, wondering how fast I’ll have to be to outrun him.
Reg walks up to me, picks me up off my feet and carries me up two flights of stairs to the showroom. He walks me over to the stage and puts me down right in front of it.
“No problem”, says Reggie, “Really like the album. Have a great show”, and turns to walk away.
“So why the hell did you carry me up here”, I ask.
He looked back over his shoulder at me as he walked away, “I threw you down the stairs the last time you were here. The least I could do was carry you back up”, and disappeared around the corner. We became good friends.
From my Facebook status, September, 29th, 2013…
Johnny V. A genuine, caring, talented friend that I and many others lost way too young earlier this year. A short, 4 minute film that speaks from the heart and, Like V, hits all the right notes.
The DiNiro of the Blues, and a much missed friend, both for his presence and his music. Hear why he rates higher than Clapton, Beck, and Hendrix in my book.
He was a sweetheart of a guy. Always smiling, always cool, always ready to get up and play. You may not be too familiar with Joe, but you are familiar with some of his music, including this song he wrote, which would become a classic in the hands of this woman.
…and Joe onstage….
…and on record….
Also…a fond farewell to singer/entertainer Bobby DuPont and wonderful music industry insider, Brian Chater. Like all of these people, too young, and too soon. They will all be missed by many.
Watch and listen to this if you have some time. Originally written about my mother’s funeral, it applies to much more.
The Sound of Breaking Hearts
Segarini’s regular column appears here every Friday
Contact us at email@example.com
Bob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, osts The Bobcast every Monday night at Cherry Cola’s, and continues to write music, make music, and record.