Off To The Island: Living On St John, USVI
There were a number of acoustic console pianos in various locations at Caneel Bay. A nice little Yamaha sat in a restaurant that was eventually to be my dinner time home, three evenings a week for a very cool and hip solo piano gig. With his acoustic guitar in tow he asked me what I would like to play. I said I was really “digging” his James Taylor tunes from last night’s gig at mongoose Junction. He suggested Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight. I always was and still am a huge James Taylor fan and loved that song. Although I had never played this tune, it was easy for me to play it by ear since none of the chord changes are that tricky in terms of harmonic progression. We played and I dug deep into my heart. When we finished, there were some moments of precarious silence. It was broken by him shaking his head slowly from side to side, chuckling, and saying - “can you do a gig Sunday night?” I laughed a humble laugh and said,
“S U R E ! !” He followed by asking, “tell me again - what are doing here??”. I responded, “hanging out, man!” He had been living on St John for the past ten years and was the “music guy” hub for connecting with most everybody and everything I would need to get working as a piano/keyboard player. I was dreaming the dream!
My new musical acquaintance became a good friend and shared two very essential and pivotal books with me not too long after coming to meet one another. The profundities of Autobiography Of A Yogi and Black Elk Speaks live within me as a primordial wisdom and have shaped a great deal of my path in life. I thank him for this too.