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A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert

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Rick Fielding 26 Mar 00 - 01:50 AM
The Beanster 26 Mar 00 - 02:06 AM
Dave Swan 26 Mar 00 - 02:06 AM
Banjer 26 Mar 00 - 07:35 AM
Peter T. 26 Mar 00 - 10:35 AM
Rick Fielding 26 Mar 00 - 12:02 PM
Banjer 26 Mar 00 - 12:22 PM
Dave Swan 26 Mar 00 - 12:30 PM
WyoWoman 26 Mar 00 - 01:07 PM
Big Mick 26 Mar 00 - 01:09 PM
catspaw49 26 Mar 00 - 04:07 PM
Art Thieme 27 Mar 00 - 11:33 AM
Rick Fielding 27 Mar 00 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,Bill Hahn 27 Mar 00 - 07:54 PM
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Subject: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 01:50 AM

Just got home from a wonderful evening and thought I might share it with my friends here.

Ronnie Gilbert, who sang with the Weavers, during the fifties and early sixties was in Toronto doing some concerts and workshops. She's done a lot of acting over the years and has been an inspiration to countless younger women singers like Holly Near and Ani Di Franco in recent times. Just to meet this wonderful outgoing and totally engaging woman would have been a treat, but to get to sing with her was an unexpected bonus. After a duet on "Kisses Sweeter than Wine", I have to say I was in "Folky Hog Heaven"!

A thought occurred to me as Duckboots and I were leaving our friend's house where Ronnie is staying; If you ever wake up and think "Gee there's so much I haven't done, and I'll probably never get a chance to do it". Think again. You CAN make many of your dreams come true. Re-invent yourself...even it it means risks. Twelve years ago I decided I couldn't play "commercial" music in bars one night longer. It was literally driving me into a nervous breakdown. I wanted so much to get back to the music and the community that made me happy...and that's "Folk". Getting to know Grit Laskin and Sandy and Caroline Paton helped imeasurably, and I had to go through a year earning virtually NO money. It meant auditioning for tiny folk clubs and festivals and doing countless "opening acts". (For a twenty year pro with good skills, it was at times a bit humiliating) Finding that I loved to teach music helped in two ways; one, it gave me at least part of the "bar" income that I'd lost, and two, it allowed me to only accept gigs that I really wanted to play, and that gave me back my enthusiasm for music. Yup, re-inventing yourself can be scary, but it's worth the effort. The rewards have been astonishing for me over the last few years (the money still sucks, but I wouldn't trade the "folk community" for anything.

Rick


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: The Beanster
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 02:06 AM

Rick,

Thank you for sharing that story--not only about Ronnie Gilbert, who sounds wonderful, but about your re-invention. I love to hear things like that, where someone is not happy with what they're doing and instead of moping and whining and getting stuck in the "Poor Me" syndrome, they actually get up and make a change. Not easy. It is scary and people have a tendency to think you're nuts, although they may or may not say it. So, again, thanks for the inspiration.


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Dave Swan
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 02:06 AM

Brother Fielding,

Thanks for the news. Singing with Ronnie Gilbert!!! I've got goosebumps for you. Thanks also for the encouragement to re-invent. It comes at a good time from a trusted source. I can't imagine my experience of the 'cat without you.

Cheers, D


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Banjer
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 07:35 AM

Well Rick, those of us that have followed you and your exploits for the past couple of years here on the 'Cat don't have the tendency to think you're nuts. Hell no, we KNOW you are!!
But all that aside, like El Swanno I too have goosebumps for you. I just can't imagine what it would be like to actually SEE Ronnie Gilbert up close and personal in SOMEONE'S home AND as if that weren't enough being able to sing with her!! Hell, I'd probably get awestruck and tongue tied and sit in the corner babbling to myself and drooling the rest of the night!!
As for your 'reinventing' yourself, isn't that ability and courage to do so the mark of a TRUE Folky? Isn't it the tradition of the folk community to change things that needed changing?


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Peter T.
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 10:35 AM

Deep envy (but I did shake her hand!). yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 12:02 PM

As much as "re-inventing" yourself can be seen as "courageous", I gotta say that "desperation" can often be the deciding factor. I used to be in therapy (now I'm on Mudcat, which is cheaper) and as much as I would chuckle about having dreams in which I was strangling members of the "bar" audience, at the time it really concerned me. Objectively, it seems silly not to think that compliments and good reviews are legit and meant honestly, but when you're down on yourself, you just think yer "foolin' people and don't "really" have anything valid to offer. We're a funny species!

'Course being seen as "nuts" is not a bad state to be in. By the way Swanno, my host for the evening said she was instructed to give me a "big wet kiss". Keerist, I hope you weren't the sender!!

Rick


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Banjer
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 12:22 PM

Re-inventing anything, especially one's self takes much courage. To break away from what you consider the norm and risk the unknown, to my thinking takes as more courage than desperation. Many sit wallowing in self pity, but few have what it takes to do something about it....Don't shortchange yourself, Rick! (and you're right, we are a funny species, but looks ain't everything!)


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Dave Swan
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 12:30 PM

Of course I was Rick. I'd even kiss you if it meant I got to kiss her to send it!

E.S.


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: WyoWoman
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 01:07 PM

Oh, Rick, thank you for this posting. It couldn't come at a better time, as I'm in the middle of some serious re-invention myself.

And what you say about not feeling that you have anything to offer -- it still amazes me that I've let that keep me from singing for so much of my life. And from doing the kind of writing I really want to do. Maybe it's because we're perfectionists, which is why we're good, but also why we're our harshest critics -- sometimes to the point of complete paralysis.

I have a short list of people I would dearly love to harmonize with, and Ronnie Gilbert is way high on the list, as is Holly Near, and now, YOU! Your getting to spend an evening like this sounds like Heaven on Earth to me. One of those nights after which you say, "Ok, Lord, you could take me now and it'd be just fine..."

I also have been involved in theater all my life and Ronnie inspires me in that regard as well.

Thanks again, WW


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 01:09 PM

I envy you this experience, my friend. Hers is such an amazing story. I think she is such a great role model for us all. Thanks for sharing this with us.

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: catspaw49
Date: 26 Mar 00 - 04:07 PM

Rick budddy, I can only echo the remarks of others and I too am envious of your evening. As I said over in another thread, one of the great things about the 'Cat is the ability to live vicariously through each other as no one can ever be all the places and do all the things the world over. Sharing on the 'Cat is a special thing.

Re-invention? The only problem is that as we age, our potentialities become less and some of our "past reinventions" are trailing behind us. Some of those you can shake, some you can't. I think I'm ready for some work in other directions right now.....We'll see what comes.......I'm certain no one is going to call me to drive their sprinter, crew their BOC boat, or catch for the Indians, but lots of other ops might be just around the bend........This place makes life a lot more entertaining when I know there are other irresponsible loonies around to share the stuff!!!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Art Thieme
Date: 27 Mar 00 - 11:33 AM

Folks,

Please check out my last posting to the "Ed McCurdy has passed away" thread.

It relates strongly to this thread.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 27 Mar 00 - 04:35 PM

I was letting another Mudcat friend know a little more about Ronnie, and I thought i might share it here. She's 73 now and sings WONDERFULLY. For many years she was out of the national spotlight and from what I can gather, did quite a bit of re-inventing herself. She struck me as being one of the happiest people I've met in many a moon. I believe she was on her way to Washington for a concert with Holly Near.

Rick

P.S. She hadn't heard of Ed's passing, and had kind words for him. She was certainly aware of his "eccentric" ways.


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Subject: RE: A Memorable evening with Ronnie Gilbert
From: GUEST,Bill Hahn
Date: 27 Mar 00 - 07:54 PM

All I can say is that I wish I could have seen it.

I have admired her most of my life. A few years ago I had the honor and delight of interviewing her for a show I co host with Ron Olesko TRADITIONS on WFDU in Teaneck NJ. We spent about 30 minutes in conversation. Her frankness, her youth (at age 70 then), her enthusiasm for new and young people, and the emotion in her voice when speaking of her daughter was electric. To me. And, I hope to our audience.

What a person is she!!

Bill Hahn


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Mudcat time: 26 September 10:43 AM EDT

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