February 26, 2011

The other day after getting the new PC up and running I was going through the final QA and wanted to make sure the DVD player was working (after all, since our disc array crash on the old machine you couldn’t play any DVDs), so I popped into the player a DVD of The Sandals that I got during our visit to Carmel Valley and Georis Winery during our “treasure hunt” last fall. Watching the video was so cool – for that brief time I was back in Carmel Valley and Carmel, meeting the Georis brothers and living the dream of a lifetime.

You have to understand, I’m a pretty humble guy – I came into this world with nary an impact and I’m OK with going out the same way. While there are those heroes I worship when it comes to music (Phil Spector, Brian Wilson, The Beatles, Scott Joplin, Luigi Boccherini), I’m no autograph hound, nor am I even a professed devotee of them (or anything) beyond the walls of my home or this blog. That being said, I do admit to being a tad on the obsessive/compulsive side (I’m ashamed to say, like my sister-in-law Tammy), so when, upon receiving my “The Endless Summer” poster with surfer Mike Hynson’s autograph missing, it surprised even me to concoct a scheme to get not only his autograph, but those of the active members of The Sandals (Walter Georis, Gaston Georis, and John Blakeley) as well.

Listening to that video I could only think of how audacious it was to even think of undertaking such a thing. But the memories Tracey and I will always have of that time made it more than worth the effort. The cost? Well, that’s a whole ‘nutha thing, but it was fairly substantial when you figure in the rental car, the flights, the hotels, etc. But I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world – it was the absolute best thing I ever did in my life. I think of our weekend stay in San Diego at the beautiful Hyatt Regency on the waterfront and meeting Milke Hynson at the ASR convention; then, just a few weeks later, traveling to beautiful Carmel Valley for an unforgettable Saturday meeting the Georis brothers. Then, to top it all off, that “chew-and-screw” visit to chilly San Francisco just before Thanksgiving to spend an equally unforgettable afternoon in the home studio of John Blakeley.

Tracey and I were just talking about this the other night. Want to know what a dream sounds like? To hear your phone ring on an early Wednesday night and have the recorded voice saying, “Call from Blakeley, John.” “Call from Blakeley, John…” And then, thirty minutes later, say to Tracey, “I’ve just been on the phone with John Blakeley, he’s invited me up to his studio in San Francisco to meet him!” I mean, how cool is that?

You have to realize, I know The Sandals are not, nor have they ever been, the biggest thing in music by any stretch of the matter; we’re not talking about meeting Sir Paul McCartney or chatting with Phil Spector from the other side of his prison cell. But for me, The Sandals were, and still are, an important part of my life, and their music occupies a not-so-insignificant part of my soul. And to be able to meet them and talk music with them as just one guy to another is, as the MasterCard commercials say, priceless.

The poster with the signatures of Mike Hynson, Walter Georis, Gaston Georis, and John Blakeley remains safely rolled up inside its container on the other side of the door in my office / prayer room. It’s gonna cost some $ to frame it right, after which it will go into the office / bunny room. And I’ll select a few pictures and their business cards and create a nice montage for the same room. From time to time, I’ll take the poster out of its container and just gaze at the signatures for kicks, still unable to truly comprehend the fact I had the guts to pursure the dream and getting their signatures.

Every now and then, we’ll get an e-mail from Georis Winery inviting us up for Friday night tapas and wine tasting, or one from John Blakeley just to say “hi”, or answer a question about what instrumentation was on a particular Sandals track, and I still have a hard time believing the connections that have been made. It all seems like an incredible dream, the absolute best experience of my life. That might tell you what kind of a life I’ve had, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Filed in: Treasure Hunt by The Great White Shank at 00:49 | Comment (1)
1 Comment
  1. To those who question “manifesting a dream” I say, HA!!!” I am so tickled that you manifested this dream and that it still continues. It’s kinda like me and Rod McKuen…who knew I’d ever be considered his friend, receive emails and condolences on my father’s death, or have his home phone number and address and can actually call him???? Non-believers, to you I say, 84,000 Ha’s!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by Jana — February 26, 2011 @ 5:45 am

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