The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #68124   Message #1146784
Posted By: Eve Goldberg
26-Mar-04 - 11:52 AM
Thread Name: An Open Letter to Rick Fielding
Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Rick Fielding
Dear Rick,

I've been holding off on writing you because so many people have said it so much better than I ever could. What would there be to add?

But I do want you to know how much your teaching, your support, and your friendship has meant to me over the years. You had a wonderful, quirky, unorthodox way of bringing out the best in people. I will never forget the experience of being invited onto the stage or onto your radio show and being asked to play along with something I'd never heard before. OK, to be honest, that drove me crazy, but I love you anyway. So there.

And you were always trying to bring people together. How many times during my lessons did a friend or another student drop by and presto-- a new connection. How many people came to The Woods Music and Dance Camp or the Toronto song circle because you sent them?

And I always wanted to thank you for sending me off one day from a lesson with the homework of writing a tune on my guitar. I went off and came back the next week with something terribly unremarkable and derivative. I didn't do much with it for a couple of years -- in fact, I forgot all about it. And then one day I remembered it and I started fooling around with it again. That tune turned into "Watermelon Sorbet," the tune that now opens Richardson's Roundup on CBC Radio One every day. If it hadn't been for your prodding, that tune never would have been written. Thanks for that.

I'm sure it's been a little bit overwhelming to read all the incredible stories people are telling about your influence, how you helped them in some way or another. I don't think you ever realized how much you were doing for people when you did those little things. This week, reading all the things people have written, I realized that I needed to go back to the source and re-dedicate myself to learning some of those guitar things that I'm always saying I'll get to someday. So now every day when I pick up my guitar I try to work on something new, in your honour.

I will miss our long rambling conversations about folk music, classic blues, capos, guitar picks, politics, people, and sometimes baseball. Who else had so many interesting stories about so many people? Who else could I call up to discuss obscure blues records or long-forgotten folk history or who dated who in 1963? I will miss your advice, your provocation, your cynical sense of humour, and your way with a song.

But when it's all said and done, when I look around at what you left me with, I think the thing that sums it up the best is the fart machine which you lent Ellen and I a couple of months ago. It's sure come in handy. How do you think we managed to keep smiling for the four hours it took to take the photographs for our wedding invitation? We will never look at those photos without thinking of you, my friend.

Thanks for everything,