Notes and Reflections by feoMike


i am so amazed by my uncle. my uncle paul, a stalwart in boulder colorado, has recently had a rebirth of music. a friend took him to see la boheme, which so moved him, that he has decided to bestow an endowment on the university of colorado opera program. he is an amazing man, and this gift is just a minor attribution of his character. i am in awe of my uncle, from the time i took him kayaking in the pacific northwest to celebrate personal milestones, to crashing at his house multiple times, or walking with him down pearl street, he personifies what it is to be human. there will be an event at the university of colorado in a week or so highlighting this gift from my uncle, and i am sorry to say i cannot make the event. however, my wife and i will honor my uncle’s gift by going to see la boheme at the kennedy center here in dc next week.

uncle, your gift of music for generations to come is awe inspiring. i hope to affect my 3 with an appreciation of art, talent, expression and emotion that live music gives, you have endowed an opportunity to impress, guide and inspire generations.

in a recent letter to family, paul has asked us to share musical influences that we recall. below is mine. thank you sincerely uncle paul, for this wonderful opportunity to reflect.

  • Age 6 - 8 - my mom took me to providence rhode island to see a performance of ‘godspell’

  • Age 10 - first concert, harry chappin, warrwick r.i.

  • Age 13 - 17 - commuting 40 minutes (ish) to high school and listening to music on the drive. highlights including my older brother playing the talking heads’ ‘love->building on fire’ sticks out to me, trying to make it all the way to school in a single ‘scarlet->fire’, and lofty coming of age dray dreaming with any music in the background …

  • Age 16 - 18 - several large venue rock concerts including u2, the kinks, pink floyd etc

  • Age 17 - 25 - forty (40) sober grateful dead shows. it was about the music for me. key memories include the very first show i saw where they opened with w/ ‘cold rain and snow’, seeing a ‘the race is on’ on derby day, the last shows at the greek in berkeley, the last shows at the kaiser in oakland, taking my little brother to his first, seeing a version of ‘la bamba’ providence ri, and anticipating any next song. thank you jerry.

  • Age 25 - 35 - too numerous punk rock and other shows to name, but highlights include any of the several times i saw fugazi, any of the numerous times i saw the throwing muses, that night at slims when firehose played in maybe 1994 (seriously best show ever), and without a doubt the night less claypool played in sacramento and covered pink floyd’s animals, and with kevin for superchunk

  • Age 25 - 45 - many main stage musicals performances including les mis in london on our honeymoon, hair at the kennedy center, rent in san francisco, and chicago in sacramento.

  • Age 33 - 45 introducing my kids to music. we have taken the boys to the kennedy center to see they might be giants, musicals including hairspary and the wizard of oz (soon to be rent) and ballet’s including their cousins in the nutcracker.

  • Age 40 - 45 - i have lived in the dc metro area for nearly 5 years now, metro riding is a mainstay of commuting. i am likely to have ear phones in and every once in a while an anthem plays so resoundingly that i am transformed back to the coming of age dray dreamer or the flanel flying crowd-surfer, or even the spinner. i can distinctly remember several times the clash or peter gabriel have moved me to tears on metro.