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Rick Fielding's influence

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Arnie Naiman 21 Feb 04 - 01:01 PM
Peter T. 21 Feb 04 - 02:38 PM
InOBU 21 Feb 04 - 02:47 PM
Big Mick 21 Feb 04 - 04:06 PM
Allan C. 21 Feb 04 - 04:56 PM
wysiwyg 21 Feb 04 - 05:32 PM
Walking Eagle 21 Feb 04 - 05:42 PM
Arnie Naiman 21 Feb 04 - 05:54 PM
Peter T. 21 Feb 04 - 06:04 PM
Arnie Naiman 21 Feb 04 - 06:19 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 21 Feb 04 - 07:43 PM
alanabit 22 Feb 04 - 05:22 AM
MMario 22 Feb 04 - 08:28 AM
kendall 22 Feb 04 - 08:53 AM
Annie 22 Feb 04 - 09:02 AM
Willie-O 22 Feb 04 - 09:56 AM
balladeer 22 Feb 04 - 10:03 AM
catspaw49 22 Feb 04 - 10:28 AM
Amos 22 Feb 04 - 10:32 AM
Jeri 22 Feb 04 - 10:40 AM
Roger in Baltimore 22 Feb 04 - 11:10 AM
Big Mick 22 Feb 04 - 12:35 PM
Willie-O 22 Feb 04 - 01:52 PM
SINSULL 22 Feb 04 - 02:25 PM
CarolC 22 Feb 04 - 03:13 PM
CarolC 22 Feb 04 - 03:28 PM
GUEST,chinmusic 22 Feb 04 - 04:27 PM
Bill D 22 Feb 04 - 10:14 PM
GUEST 22 Feb 04 - 10:44 PM
katlaughing 23 Feb 04 - 12:08 AM
Justa Picker 23 Feb 04 - 12:56 AM
Vixen 23 Feb 04 - 08:43 AM
Tinker 23 Feb 04 - 11:18 AM
MAG 23 Feb 04 - 05:30 PM
Big Mick 29 Feb 04 - 11:38 AM
JedMarum 01 Mar 04 - 11:55 AM
wysiwyg 09 Mar 04 - 04:04 PM
Willie-O 09 Mar 04 - 04:39 PM
Big Mick 09 Mar 04 - 04:57 PM
Steve Latimer 09 Mar 04 - 10:46 PM
Willie-O 10 Mar 04 - 06:16 AM
Glen Reid 10 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM
Lonesome EJ 10 Mar 04 - 02:47 PM
JenEllen 11 Mar 04 - 11:45 AM
Big Mick 11 Mar 04 - 06:33 PM
GUEST,Wavy Dave 12 Mar 04 - 02:28 PM
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Acme 17 Mar 04 - 09:32 PM
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Subject: Rick Fielding's musical influence
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 01:01 PM

On the heels of Rick's new CD I realised that He has musically and personally influenced many people in a lot of ways. I thought it would be nice to agknowledge some of these in public on the Mudcat. I hope we can all join in.
here are some of mine:
- I flunked a personal audition with him many years ago to be part of his traditional music band
- Later complimented me and Kathy Reid's performance of tradtional material at a "Ragged But Right" concert and we became reaquainted. Encouraged us to play traditional music in performance.
-Advised me and Chris Coole to make our first recording into a commercial CD intead of an informal banjo music tape - good advise. But He warned me that only extreme banjo nerds would care about it which turned out to be partially correct.
-Crafted a beautiful "Ragged But Right" sign in leather (which I should photograph and post) and came over and hung it up on the wall at one of our concerts as a surprise. Many hours of labour went into that piece of work.
-Conducted brilliant guitar extravaganza events with other local elite players at our weekly venue.
-Lent me "Truth is Stranger Than Publicity" Delmores autobiography after finding out we were both great fans of their music.
-Would pop in from time to time and sit in with us or do free guest spots because He cared about the music and the local folk music community.
-Gave us numerous spots on his radio program and used one of our CD cuts as his opening theme music for quite some time.
Thats starters- I'm sure there's more.
Arnie


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 02:38 PM

Totally transformed my life. Where to begin?

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 02:47 PM

A continuing influence and inspiration, Cheers Larry


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 04:06 PM

What a subject. I am glad you started this Arnie. One of the ways knowing Rick has influenced me was that it gave me a chance to sit next to you. What a man with the old clawhammer!! Anyway, this thread gives me a chance to communicate this in the way I know best. I saw Rick on Tuesday following the release, but it was a bit edgy. He didn't feel very well, and I was uncomfortable because I felt like I was making him uncomfortable .... one more reason to hate this feckin' disease. I love this man like a brother, so let me tell you why.

First off, he offered his friendship without reservation. This is a big one. You see, I have lots of acquaintances who are nice, we get along, I look forward to seeing them from time to time, they always compliment your music. But in one's life, if you meet a handful of folks that you have a mutual comfort level that is so profound, that happens so quickly, that they jump in with advice, comfort ... the whole thing. That is how Rick is. He took an interest in me. Here is this artist, widely respected for his playing, his judgement, knows all the best players/artists, and they respect his opinion ... and he freely offers it all up. His recordings inspire me, but his advice inspires me more. But most inspirational is his unqualified friendship. And that friendship causes him to give constructive criticism, and tips, that are invaluable.

His songs have influenced my performances and my mission in this leg of the trip. I am a Union Organizer and political activist. I have searched for my "voice" when it comes to singing about plain folks, the problems they face, the intractable nature of some of these problems, and solutions. Never had a problem singing the songs of my people, hell, I was raised with those. But finding my voice as it relates to my mission in this life ... let's just say I struggled to get outside of the usual Gutherie songs. Then I heard "Voices of Struggle" and "Pitman Blues". And I understood how it is that you craft a lyric designed to whet folks appetite to know more about problems, instead of trying to give them a lifetime of education in a four minute song. The more I listened to Rick's CD's, stories of Angus Frazier, Flat pickin' Jesus, etc. the more I understood some of his magic.

His singing style has influenced me in profound ways. His style taught me how to take a song, strip it of its pretensions, embrace what is left and then take the audience along for the ride. I always had a knack for turning a phrase, but Rick's style of singing gave me tips on how to let the audience in there with you. It's one thing to know where you are headed, quite another to present it so the audience (beyond the super perceptive) get it too. Rick's style, over the years, developed an authenticity that is scarey good. And it has influenced me in mighty ways. I expect this new CD will do more of the same. Could anyone arrange and perform a more perfect version of "High on a Mountain" than Rick and Paul did? I have listened to that whole CD several times a day since Monday, and am now into the dissection phase.   And what I am discovering about instrumentation and delivery could fill a book. Mighty influences, these.

Rick really is responsible for introducing me to the influences of the Canadian singer-songwriters, and Canadian culture. And that is a major influence. These folkies, East, West, and middle, are a revelation to me. On this last ramble, someone asked me what it was about this community and its music that I love so much. Aside from the nature of the Canadians, their lifestyle, sensibilities, mosaic, and the talent I see, I love the way much of Canadian music is tied to the place and the history. I think of Glen Reid and his wonderful music. Bill Gallaher and his tales of the West. And on and on. Rick's influence introduced me to Arnie Naiman, Ken Whitely, Jason Fowler. Rick introduced me to Paul & Bev Mills, Grit Laskin, Mose Scarlett, and indirectly to Bill Garrett. And this is only the start, I have so many more to get into, that it may end up a lifes work. Through his introduction I have met so many of the folkies in Toronto that it is hard to remember them all. And I have been able to sing with them and soak up as much knowledge as I could in their presence. And as it concerns Paul and Bev, become good friends. How could one have more influence on anothers life than that.

I remember watching Rick and Michael Kay flatpick together, and being absolutely inspired by that.

I could go on and on, but it is enough to say that if I lived another 100 years, I could never repay Rick for all the influences he has had on me, or had a hand in influencing me with. But if I had to try and sum it up, I would say that Rick's biggest influence on all of us that know and love him and Heather, it is in his absolute desire to bring us all together. Rick is an example of absolute and pure love of friends. He is an example of true caring for others. He calls himself an agnostic, but I know better. I know many Christians, and other "Godly people" whose lives don't reflect true Christian values anywhere near as well as Rick's. He can call himself what he wants, I know him to be a Godly man. Not in language, not in showy "going to church" ways, but in the only real way one can be Godly. He simply lives it, walks it, does it by example. He simply cares enough about others to influence them, and introduce them to influences. It is one of the blessings of my life that he has decided to influence it. I will spend a long time trying to emulate the example.

Now .... I wish he would sit down with me on "Pitman Blues" and teach those feckin' runs..........

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 04:56 PM

I have had the good fortune to cross paths with Rick twice. At some point between those two times, I consulted with him about a chord pattern I was trying to decipher from an Arlo Guthrie recording. I guess that since Rick had already seen me play guitar, he knew it was not something he could explain to me by way of an email or on the phone. Thus, it was not until he attended the Getaway that he took a few moments to show me how to play the progression and to explain how it fit into the overall scheme of music. I now feel certain that Rick knew in that moment that I had only the slightest grasp of what he tried to impart. I also think he knew that he had planted the seeds for further learning.

Now, I'm not going to tell you that I have since learned to zip through that progression. It just isn't so. But what I learned in that moment with Rick was that not only is there plenty more for me to discover about playing guitar, but also, (and much more importantly,) that one of the very best guitarists anywhere believes that I have what it takes to learn some of it. I cannot explain to you how empowering that is for me. I can only tell you that echoes of the few moments Rick spent with me will continue to resonate throughout whatever guitar playing I do.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 05:32 PM

Rick's been a terrible influence on me-- for one thing, the honesty. Rick has a taste for it, in fact to the point of tasteless truth. The hell of it is, he keeps on loving ya while being truthful.... it's an awful model, and I fear to say I have picked up the habit from him.

But the worst thing his influence has caused is this ridiculaous and expensive idea that I can try to learn any instrument I fancy, and that no question (about music) is too small to answer clearly. On my every merest whim he has provided a concise and devilishly simple, brief (couple of paragraphs at most) method of starting out on every instrument I have mentioned to him. Not only is this playing hell with our budget, but I've seemed to pass this attitude along to others, until there are all kinds of things littering people's living rooms.

Because of Rick's influence-- and yes, I will blame him for it entirely-- there's now so much music in these wretched hills, you can hardly find a place to sit and have a moment's quiet, even at the dump.

Damn him!

~Susan

PS, did I mention his infectiously twisted sense of humor? Yeah, that's caused me a mite o' trouble, too.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Walking Eagle
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 05:42 PM

I feel I haven't paid the dues yet to chime in here so early, but oh well.

His threads give me humor. Something that I sometimes don't have enough of. What he and I fight will claim us, this I know, but I have a feeling that he will be far more at peace with death through his humor than I will. I'll try to be a better student of your humor Rick!

I've always said that I haven't met a Canadian that I didn't like and Rick has kept my batting average at 100. We down here don't know enough of our friends to the north. What we Americans could learn from you Canadians would probably humble us.

Mostly, Rick has taught me what it is like to love music and ALL who play it.

WaDo DoNaDo,
Julie


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 05:54 PM

Peter,
I know you were there many Monday evenings for his radio show. Why don't you let us in on how He transformed your life.
Arnie


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Peter T.
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 06:04 PM

I promised myself not to contribute further to this thread, for I would not know where to stop, but WYSIWYG reminded me that one of Rick's great contributions to those who are learners is a kind of courage to try anything, to make a fool of oneself in the pursuit of music for the hell of it, to abandon the purist pursuit and the fear -- oh, I could never do that, or as well as X, or be part of this..... It is the trying that matters -- one symbol of this is the many instruments of varying kinds that people end up tackling, even just once, thanks to him. What the hell am I doing with this accordion/dulcimer/harmonica/guitar/in my hands? It is his giving of that courage to students tentatively hovering at the wings that is one of his great qualities as a teacher, a quality worth reflecting on, at such a time.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 06:19 PM

Talking about the pursuit of music - Rick visited my place a few years back and was going through my record collection and came across a recording of Tenessee fiddler Ralph Blizzard. Rick had never heard of him , and I immediately said you gotta hear him, and we played a few cuts off the record. I knew He'd like him because his playing is similar to Arthur Smith's - real bluesy and raggy. He plays fiddle like Rick plays guitar. Rick knew He discovered something good. A short time later Rick called Ralph Blizzard up on the phone, and then went down to visit and play music with him in Tenessee. I was certainly impressed.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 21 Feb 04 - 07:43 PM

I've never had the good fortune to meet you, Rick, but have been blessed with your kindness over the years. There have been a few instances when I posted a problem- often non-music-related, sometimes quite trivial, and you made one of the truly kindest and most sincere posts. As little as we know one another, I think of you as one of my "Mudcat friends"!
I'm rooting for you- and hope to see you here again sometime soon!

Love,
Allison


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: alanabit
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 05:22 AM

I only know Rick from the threads here and a very fine album which he kindly sent me. I have always enjoyed that waspish sense of humour. It doesn't spare anything - but there is not an iota of spite in it. It can make you laugh at yourself and the craziness of this world. I hope we have Rick back here soon starting more daft threads. I hope we don't embabrrass him too much here, but here's to a talented, intelligent and generous man.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: MMario
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 08:28 AM

I've met Rick - face to face and here at the 'cat. I don't think I can claim him as "friend" - in anything other then a "we know each other and aren't antagonistic" manner - but wow, has he had an influence on my life.

Some is direct - because his posting are ALWAYS worth reading - much is indirect - as he has had such an influence over so many people I respect and admire.

And the respect and admiration he draws from people is in itself a lesson in living and how to present oneself to the world.

And just watching him practice for one of the mini concerts at a Getaway weekend was an incredible experience.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: kendall
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 08:53 AM

I was impressed the first time I met Rick, and every other time I have seen him. An outstanding musician, and a friendly modest one to boot.Well, it's to be expected, after all, he's Canadian, eh?


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Annie
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 09:02 AM

I had only a few words with Rick at the Getaway, but was a moth around his musical flame. I was irrevocably attracted by his example as a musician and his service-through-sharing-and-honesty, which I thought was damn-near spiritual in nature (I respect the agnostic - it takes humility admitting you cannot understand the inexplicable.....and I think they make great teachers.)

The first Getaway I attended, he played a small bodied, old Martin - I'm going to guess it was a 00-18. I marched right out and bought the best 00 I could afford. It's size fit me perfectly and made me love playing the guitar every time I picked it up. He helped lead a workshop on song writing and I learned the value of the bridge in holding your audience's interest in your song. He also helped lead a workshop on jamming during which he explained the importance of variety. This was all new to me and I'm grateful he passed it on.

Like Mick said, we can never repay the teacher.....but we can Pay It Forward.

Thanks for starting this thread. I cried when I read it ... I think because it tries to put feelings into words with dignity, which is very hard.

Love to Rick, Heather and all, Annie


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Willie-O
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 09:56 AM

(Annie, Rick would immediately let you know that the guitar you mention is a single-ought O-18, late 40's vintage).

Well for starters, he sold me one of his all-time favourite guitars, on easy credit terms and at a kind of ridiculous price, after knowing me for one day. Mostly I think because he knew that I would play it a lot.

When I met Rick, it was weird because we had a lot of parallel influences and preferences. (Although I don't claim to approach his depth of knowledge of musical styles, technique, or ability to impart these to others). We were both Ontario roots-style players, with Martin O-18's, an affinity for Wade Hemsworth and some of the no-longer-well-known Canadian folk revivalists like Tom Kines and Alan Mills. He has a Glen Reid octave mandolin; I have an old Regal Octophone, which was the model Glen patterned that instrument after. (These instrumental coincidences came in handy when I booked Rick for a concert and needed a poster; my in-house graphic artist just took pictures of my instruments and made a collage with an actual Rick pic!)

Peter T, who was there, noted of that first meeting "Willie-O arrives, and he and Rick are deep into a discussion of Martin-eana within about 1/33rd of a second." Chuckle. Guilty.

But to get back to Rick, as a radio-show guy he was straightforward enough to tell me, "I like your music but it deserves better than that CD of yours. All the level changes drive me crazy." This kind of information is what you need to hear; my relatives and friends like the CD anyway, but the next one will be better (i.e. professionally mastered) thanks to Rick.

Rick, I'm glad to know you, Heather, and the wonderful musical community around you. You have enriched my life.

love
Bill


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: balladeer
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 10:03 AM

Hello,Mudcat:

I haven't checked in for a long time, but the Rick threads have brought me back. I was visiting with Rick the day he decided to get involved with the Mudcat, and I have been aware that it has given him much in the way of friends and fun in the years since.

About 1980, after a long time away from music, I asked Chick Roberts who was a good guitar teacher. He said there was no one better than Rick. So I went to Rick, but he didn't teach me. He said,"You've been playing that way all these years, why change now?" And it wasn't teaching I needed, but mental stimulation re the music, and that I got from Rick in a big way. He read to me from his wonderful notebooks, his highly detailed (and wryly funny) reminiscences of the Toronto folk scene in the sixties, and that plunged me into my own memories of working in those same clubs and hanging with those same people of whom Rick wrote with such loving acuity.

It was Rick who pointed me towards the Toronto song circle and the Woods music and dance camp, and later encouraged me to brave the recording studio. "Making a CD isn't as hard as you think," he said.
He was right.

Rick's new CD, Acoustic Workshop, is a brilliant addition to a remarkable musical legacy. Of course, so much of his musical legacy lives in the people he has taught and encouraged and befriended.

Happy trails to him.

Joanne Crabtree


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 10:28 AM

That release party had an influence on me to the point that I have yet to write anything about it and I'm not sure when I will. I think I will have some testing done first to check for residue and trace amounts of pharmaceuticals left over from my younger "daze" that may be interacting today.

As far as Rick's influence goes though, I will gladly say a few things if for no other reason than to balance out some of the crappola already mentioned. Most of you seem to be off on tangents already extolling the virtues of the man and you have skipped what is the core, the center, the very heart of Rick Fielding and without acknowledging the base, all your wonderful flights of fancy have no root, no foundation in bedrock.

Stripped of all else and left with nothing but the central cortex, Rick is a weirdo. He's an experienced weirdo, an Admiral of Weirdocity, a real weirdo's weirdo......a weirdo for all seasons. We came to the 'Cat at about the same time in '98 and soon were PMing each other. Probably because we were both so inexperienced on the net we began sharing a lot of intimate details and soon realized that the other was a damn weirdo. Regardless of what each wrote on the threads, the other would often point out in a PM what he knew he meant! Weirdos all share a common trait. They are and can be very passionate about one or a hundred subjects but in 3D are often pleasant enough folks happy to share. It's only when through questions or additional expressed interest that they "go off" and all of a sudden you realize just how in-depth their knowledge is and you question why the hell anyone would invest so much time in the pursuit of "whatever." There are many factors that make up the weirdo. Rick has them all.

Allowing for that made me realize that I was very susceptible to his nutso ideas even when they intruded. The best example of this comes from the Reg Boys. I had been trying to explain Cletus, Paw, and Buford, to the denizens of Mudcat and hoping to get some help in taking them off my hands as my life had been hell ever since they showed up. Rick had never mentioned them at all and one day did the true weirdo thing to do. He deftly and briefly told of his three half brothers, all named Reg and then immediately sent them my way where they have been ever since, refusing to leave. I now have 6 dimbulb motherfuckers instead of 3 hanging around most of the time and this has been going on for 4 years. It takes a real weirdo to screw up another weirdo's weirdness to such a degree.

So before you go off singing and picking his praises, remember this fucker is a weirdo......a real weirdo......I know......I'm not lying about this.........he's friggin' weird..........Got it?

Oh yeah........A real weirdo always needs an extremely sweet and pleasant companion capable of ignoring the weirdo completely if needed

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Amos
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 10:32 AM

Spaw, that is truly touching, and rings true. But he's OUR weirdo. One of them, anyway! :>)


A


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 10:40 AM

Willie-O, it was a 00-18 named 'Woody'.

For me, there's just too much. I may find the words eventually. I think if Rick reads this, he won't know whether to be embarrassed or honored. He's the best friend I have and probably ever will have; the brother of my spirit. He knows this, but you, perhaps, do not.

Here's the short version. I guess I have to look at this with a very wide lens. He made certain predictions about where my life would lead and who I'd become. I knew at the time some of these weren't likely to happen, but Rick doesn't care much for being right. Those 'predictions' made me see possibilities and they made me believe in myself. It's as if he looked at me and saw this long shimmering road leading from where I stood into the distant land of 'could be'. What's really remarkable was that he made me believe that road was there too.

He once told me that if I was gonna make a mistake, I should make it LOUD! Every time the wimp part of me starts whispering "you're on unfamiliar ground - try to hide in the background," the Rick part of me, the true conscience, just gives me one of those looks.

Now, ask me if I'm talking about music.

Oh yeah - I also combine Bad Words. I'm working on some variations, but they don't work as well as Rick's favorite. I figure if I make frequent loud mistakes and travel enough, this ought to be a standard American phrase in 5 years or so. Perhaps one day, it will make it into Webster's.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 11:10 AM

One measure that keeps coming through is Rick's generosity with his music. I remember Rick stumbling onto the Mudcat as eager to seek information as to offer it.

I met Rick at his FSGW Concert at the Washington Ethical Society. I introduced myself before the concert. In the middle of the concert, Rick asked me to come up and accompany his autoharp tune with some chords on his Larrivee. Now, Rick had never seen me with a guitar in my hands and only knew that I claimed to play, yet he invited me into his performance.

This was incredibly generous and trusting.

I am proud to say I played in the correct key.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 12:35 PM

Thank God that Spaw turned up. I know we are all busy laying about, but we needed a dose of razor sharp analysis. Pat always provides it.

BBBRRRRRAAAAAAWWWWWWWWUUUUUUMMMMMPPPPHHHH.

I feel much better, anyone got some t paper??

Mick
Founding Partner
Lane, Fielding, Patterson, and Swan
Layabouts at Large and for hire


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Willie-O
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 01:52 PM

OK, OK, DOUBLE-oh 18.

I know better than to argue with Jeri. (And my apologies to Annie for doubting her word. Might as well eat all the crow at once)

Another thing about Rick, he's owned more Martins then anyone else who ain't the heir to a bluegrass fortune....


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: SINSULL
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 02:25 PM

My favorite picture of Rick is at the Getaway helping a young woman who had just started playing guitar. The two of them got such pleasure out of her ability to get it right. A beautiful, gentle, talented and wonderful man. Sorry Spaw.

Next is watching him sing his own song about quitting school. A riot!


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 03:13 PM

My experience of Rick (and Heather, too) in the context of my six week stay in Ontario a few years ago was so vivid, every time I hear Rick sing and play, I feel like I'm back in Ontario, if only for a little while. This is important to me because that six week experience was one of the better ones of my life (prior to meeting JtS, that is). Beyond that, when I reflect on Rick and Heather, I experience the warmth that comes with knowing good people and counting them as friends.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: CarolC
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 03:28 PM

Here are some of my entries from the Mudcat diary I kept of my experiences on that trip:

Rick plays the Corner Coffee House

Rick and Little Hawk on stage

Rick's radio show


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: GUEST,chinmusic
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 04:27 PM

Besides music, Rick and I also share a great passion for baseball. When we've been in each other's company over the years, some of the time has been spent playing and talking about music, but usually, we wind up in a baseball trivia contest. I have always respected the fact that, on his radio show, he's welcomed both professional and amateur musicians as his guests. Not many radio hosts, in any market, are this daring or generous to do so. I find his opinions on various topics to always be refreshingly candid, even when I do not agree with some of them. In short, he's one of the most honest people that I know. Rick is blunt and straightforward, but without having a mean bone in his body. As Howard Cosell used to say, "he tells it like it is." You run with Rick's compliments, but also take heed of his constructive critism and advice, on what he thinks will make you a better musician. One of the qualities that I most admire in a person, is a great sense of humour. His wit, and quickness of mind is legendary, and right up there with the likes of Grit Laskin and Tam Kearney, two of my favourite people. Finally, his influence in our community, such as husband, musician, teacher, and all around great guy, who continues to have such a positive effect on all of us who are lucky enough to have not only made his acquaintance, but better yet, call him friend.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Bill D
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 10:14 PM

do a search on Rick's name, and see the amazing variety of threads he has started...and contributed to. And the man is 'almost' as fine a leather worker as he is a guitar player! He has one guitar case he made for himself that just blows me away! Anyone have a picture of it? I somehow missed it.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Feb 04 - 10:44 PM

Some pics of Rick's leather work


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: katlaughing
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 12:08 AM

Rick is one of the original Knights in Shining Armour on whom I called through PM and email when I first came to Mudcat and needed help. It is difficult for me to put into words how much his "virtual" friendship has meant to me, as well as its influence. Maybe I will be able to later. For now, I have to say it is one of my deepest regrets that I have never made it to Toronto or the Getaway to meet him and Heather.

One thing I do know, every time I look at a picture of Banjo Bonnie aka Little Neophyte playing her banjo and singing on stage, by herself, for the first time, I remember it was Rick who taught her how and who helped her bring forth the person she was longing to be. Watching that happen for one friend, through the help of another friend, is something which sticks with one for a lifetime. It fills the heart and makes one feel blessed. (When she gets back from trekking the tip of Chile, or wherever she is now, I hope she gets to come in here to say so, too.:-)

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Justa Picker
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 12:56 AM

I'm mildly fond of him. :-)


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Vixen
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 08:43 AM

Well, you all know the saying:

Teachers touch infinity.

Rick is an excellent teacher, in the truest sense of the word, and his influence will surely reach the infinite.

V


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Tinker
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 11:18 AM

Okay, I came to mudcat as a 40 something campfire guitar player, and although my skill level has slowly improved some,it's clearly due to Rick that I've now got callouses on my pinkie...
And it's all because of threads like this What the F is going on at Mudcat

There's another story that deserves telling here. A few months after 9/11 I found myself doing a workshop on Everyday Spirituality here in Northern New Jersey. I knew that my previous outlines needed to reflect and pay heed to a new reality, but I wasn't very comfortable and even the clergy I had talked to were still struggling. I finally pulled two songs off of Rick's CD's and worked them into the presentation. ( Handful of Songs and Sing with the Angels) He and Jerry Rasmusssen graciously gave me permission to hand out lyric sheets and with very little discussion, we simply sang together.

Afterward, several people came up to me with tear shining eyes to say thank you, and one woman looked down at her song sheet and said,
"Does Rick Fielding do a lot of Christian music?"

I began to laugh( all I could do was picture an appalled expression on Rick's face)but without thinking I replied " Rick's my favorite Agnostic Theologian, he often opens a window or sets you down on a new road, but he'd never presume to tell you where you should be going." His new CD does the same thing.

Kathy


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: MAG
Date: 23 Feb 04 - 05:30 PM

I will second re. the above "What the F..." thread, and the other similar threads, besides that Rick is a consummate musician of the kind we like, and a helluva nice guy.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 29 Feb 04 - 11:38 AM

Want to see a wonderful picture? THIS PICTURE is from the trip that started it all with Rick, myself, p.j. and Dave Swann. I came to know my wonderful friend Peter T. at this, Banjo Bonnie, Tony Burns, and Willie O. And of course, our Rick and Heather. I was introduced to the wonders of that wonderful Eden of Heather's creation known as the backyard. It was here that I (a card carrying journeyman carpenter) saw the very first structure that I had ever seen that had been built with a Dremel tool. And it was here that I managed to sink into the lush loam of the backyard which caused Peter T to wax poetic about falling "gracefully as only a big man can". LOL. This was a magical beginning to a magical friendship. It has led me, musically, down many paths. It has caused me to become friends with some astounding musicians.

The thread that tells of the events leading up to and including the day is HERE


Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: JedMarum
Date: 01 Mar 04 - 11:55 AM

This is a very personal subject for me. When I first met Rick, he took his time to study, made some analysis (as he always does) and then he set aside some time to deliver a message to me that I believed right away. Not only did I believe it, but I acted on it. It was a life changing moment, and a gift to me.

While Rick's influence to all of us, may be the kind of thing he would do for anyone, and in fact it may be that Rick is simply doing what he thinks is right, and what he would do for anyone - his influence is deeply personal to each of us. It is more then I can say.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 04:04 PM

... well, I guess I learned this from Rick... when you have a choice whether to look at shit or listen to (or make) good music-- go with the music.... when you have a choice whether to sit around all sunk inside yourself, and feel bad, or to jump out and do what you you know you are made to do-- get moving and do it. Not only is life itself short-- so is each and every moment IN it, and you can only really use each moment one way, so you must choose.

Each year as Lent comes around, someone's need seems to move into my heart somehow for that season. I never know who it is going to be; I just accept it as a sacred use of my spirit.

So... I've let a lot of less important things slide this last month. But I am archiving every song I've ever saved, and as the CDs pile up like good fruit stowed down cellar, each one is a thought and a prayer for Rick and Heather.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Willie-O
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 04:39 PM

Thanks for posting that pic, Mick! Wonderful memory. You can see how blissed-out we all are. I had forgotten that was the first time you and Rick met???

And y'know, just as an afterthought, when I picked up the guitar, Rick gave me a leather tote-bag he had made, claiming he was trying to "clean out the shed". Fine tool-carrier it is, both artistic and sturdy.


Bill


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 04:57 PM

yeah, Bill, it does bring back memories of that wonderful trip, eh? I think Tony Burns took the picture. Too bad he wasn't in the picture as well.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 09 Mar 04 - 10:46 PM

FWIW, I spoke to Rick today and he was having a pretty good day.

Having said that, Rick has done nothng but cost me money. I tune into his radio show and hear something great by someone like The Lonesome Chicken Farmin' Cowboys from the 1870's, it's great and I end up buying the CD. Having said that, I enjoy every one of them.

My ears have always been opn, Rick has just pointed me in the right direction many times.

There have been some life lessons too. I'll get back to them.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Willie-O
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 06:16 AM

Hey, when The Lonesome Chicken Farmin' Cowboys get around to puttin out a new wax cylinder, it's worth yer hard earned shekels.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Glen Reid
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM

I was just a kid, fresh off the farm in 68 when I first felt his influence.To a hayseed from the wilds of North Ontario, he seemed so "big city hip" and musically I knew I had met my mentor.
He even arranged my first gig on Young St. (Steels Tavern)
Through out the years we remained close and he never hesitated to share his gift and knowledge with me.
Even after my battle with the bottle,he was there to help me pick up the pieces and try again.
We havent always agreed on everything, but musically he's still my mentor, emotionally, my big brother and best of all, I'm proud to call him friend.
Glen


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 10 Mar 04 - 02:47 PM

Taught me just how effective inserting a super-glue coated quarter can be in silencing an annoying jukebox in an otherwise folk-friendly venue.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: JenEllen
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 11:45 AM

Rick? If I had to choose, I'd say he's somewhere between "the big brother I never wanted" and "the nicest guy I've never met".

Musically, he's introduced me to a lot of new sounds and interesting folks like Creaking Tree, Arnie, Chris, Susan (list could go on forever), as well as always being available to listen to my 'screaming fit of the day' and help out with any technical problems. It's a godsend, but I don't think that is his true gift.

I think Rick's true gift is that he can play people just as well as he can play any instrument. I don't mean it to sound catty, it is simply that Rick can coax good things and sweet sounds out of damn near anybody. The strangest things, and the strangest people, come off with a charm that is all their own. Over the past few years, I can remember a lot of unnecessary (from his perspective at least!) phone calls and PMs about everything from baseball, to boys, to bar chords, to bad jobs (I still tip my hat to Professor Banjo), to bad 'pauvre nous' chemo days, and always ending with the same: "Hang tough you, Love, Rick".

Whenever two curse words fight to escape my mouth at the same time, I think of Rick.
~JE (la Troyienne)

An example of that bad influence ...sheesh....


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 11 Mar 04 - 06:33 PM

RAOTFLMAO ....... GAWDAMN, JenEllen, I needed that. I am whipped already, just came in from two day gigs, and two more tonight, and you hit me with this. I will be chuckling all night. Folks, hit the link and read the thread. It is a HOOT, if you will excuse the pun.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: GUEST,Wavy Dave
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 02:28 PM

Rick Fielding's influence...well, he taught me not to swing at an inside pitch unless I was looking to pull the ball. He showed me how to play titanic in C, then in D, and, I think, A.

He proved to me that you can still get good food after midnight while heading west, not east, on Danforth. He encouraged me to listen to a dozen musicians who I had never heard of, who have become huge influences, and he encouraged me to listen to ideas and arguments before forming opinions (I'm still working on that one.) He encouraged me to play music for the love of it, rather than for the acceptance of any audience, either real or imagined. He personally showed me how to play the Easy F. Oh, and he introduced me to my wife, so I guess there's some influence there as well.

Sounds like a fair piece, but a personal regret of mine is how much of the last 15 years or so I've spent not being influenced by Rick.


David Haines


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: katlaughing
Date: 12 Mar 04 - 02:47 PM

LOL, LeeJ, I'll rmeember that!

Jendarlin'...you hit the nail on the head!**bg**

luvya'llkat


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Acme
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 09:32 PM


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 02:57 PM

He's had no influence on me whatsoever. I've never met the man.
But having spoken to him on the phone a few times, I wish to God I had.
So he's a baseball trivia expert, eh? (That's my little tip of the cap to his Canadianness)
OK, Mr Rick Baseball Trivia Fielding...
Did you know that Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner and Aaron Boone have the same middle name?












Fucking!

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: el ted
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 09:14 AM

never heard of him!


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Acme
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:17 PM

You don't spend much time around Mudcat then, el ted?


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Ben Dover
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:19 PM

Who?


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Acme
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:42 PM

In addition to his musical skills, Rick has started some truly spectacular food and recipe threads. HELP: A SIMPLE Cornbread recipe please is a personal favorite.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Allan C.
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 10:56 PM

In another thread Dave Swan reminded me that it was Rick who first coined blue clicky here on the Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Allan C.
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 12:18 PM


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: bbc
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 01:10 PM

I didn't post earlier, because I didn't have a great musical story to share. I "met" Rick by reading his Mudcat posts & threads a matter of years ago. He expressed himself so well & was such an interesting person that I was hooked immediately! I was so pleased that I had the opportunity, a few times, to meet him in person. As has been the case w/ other Mudcatters I met after getting to know them online, it felt just like a reunion w/ a friend, not a first meeting. He was a great person & I will never forget him.

with my respect & love to Rick,

Barbara


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 05:19 PM

Go gently, good friend.

There are some fine musicians waiting to jam with you!

Love,

Allison


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 06:58 PM

If you change your mind, Rick, we'll understand. God bless, and may you find thebest of new horizons.


A


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:34 AM

Yeah .... now is the better time to talk about Rick's influence. There are several area's, but I think I will start with the one that is most important.

My dear friend Rick had a sneaky way of getting you to see things. Unlike me, he rarely came at it directly. Like all good teachers, he would use the tactic of using something unrelated to get you to think so you would arrive at "the bridge beyond the fog" by yourself. In the wake of his passing, I have been thinking about our conversations and it hits me that where he was steering me was back to a more thoughtful time in my Mudcat experience. Right ... this isn't about music, rather about Mudcat. I remember conversations in the car on the way to eat chinese or something else, and he would raise a question about this Mudcatter or that Mudcatter, and wait for a response. Those responses were varied. Then we would talk about something else, and later, he would make a comment about how nice that person was, or how the Mudcat (for some) was their only outlet to a larger community. And much later he would talk about my early postings to the Mudcat. As I sit in reflection, I know what he was telling me. He wanted me to lighten up. I think Rick knew that the last few years have been particularly intense for me, and they have altered my thinking and response. I have become much more attack oriented from being so constantly in the trenches. Thanks, buddy. If you wonder, in your passing, "Did he get it?", yeah... I did. I promise you that I will endeavor to make this place as you once described it, "the town I always wanted to live in". And to my friends here, and those who I have made enemies of, I am sorry. Let us do what we once did, and share good times. Let us make this the meeting place it once was, and let us honor our friend Rick in the doing so. Doesn't mean we can't debate, at times fiercely so, just that we do so without being so disagreeable in our dissent. I miss the days when Rick first came here, and will do my best to assist their return.

In the last conversation I had with Rick on this side of the veil (yes, I will be having more with him from the other side of the veil..hahaha), he told me that I have to quit playing it safe with my music. To put it in context, he indicated that I need to get out there, find the wonderful songs written by folks that most have never heard of, and that is what I need to perform and record. There was a whole conversation about wonderful songwriters that I needed to become familiar with(YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) and perform that music. He wanted me (as my friend Paul Mills does) to hook up with writers and co write some music about my experiences. Good sauce. In short, the mantra he gave me was "Quit playing it safe". I know I can sing well known ballads as well as anyone, but it is time to move on to another place. Rick ... my friend ... I understand. I want you to know that this scares the hell out of me, but it is for that reason that I am going to do it. You are right, and ... for better or worse ... here I go.

Finally, he told me once when he saw me finger a three finger C, that I needed to use the four finger "bluegrass" C so "you don't look like an amateur". The real message, of course, was to quit using the "I am an amateur" crutch for my own laziness with regard to the instruments. I have always relied on my voice and personality. Time to make a committment to the instrument. Time to avail myself of the talents of those wonderful players that I have come to know, and make serious efforts to emulate them and yet develope a style of my own.So Jed, Bob Clayton, Paul, Glen, and others, you may count on being the ones that teaches me that damn run in "Pitman Blues". Marion gave me her version, and between the lot of you, I might just be able to get it.

Your influence, Rick? Well, old buddy, you have just managed to screw up the rest of my life as I attempt to do justice to the faith you have expressed in me. Thanks, my friend. Safe journey, well done on this leg, and I will talk to you soon.

With all the love of a brother,
Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:49 AM

Let's not make it too soon Mick........I'm already going to miss out on having Rick around to do his part in the Mudcat Retirement Village. Do you remember?..........................

Scene from the play "Golden Gaffers With Guitars" by R.Fielding. From the original first draft by K. Laughing.

Rick:(to Peter T.)
"Well, old timer, whaddya wanna do today?
Peter T.
"Well, I've still got to do some work on that double thumb roll, Rick. You did promise I'd be able to play "Eve of Destruction" before I died - and I'm almost 87, so time's running out. We could go for a visit down the street though. Hold on while I get my walker.
Rick:
"If you'd taken my advice and bought that Furannablaster -28, with the 25 1/2" scale and 2 3/4" width fingerboard, you'd have learned it 31 years ago, but don't worry, there's still time, and I don't wanna put pressure on you. How 'bout we drop in on Catspaw 91?
"They hobble down the street".
Rick:
"Hey Paw, are you up yet? Put your teeth in, we're here for a visit."
Catspaw:(from behind door)
"Fawkin' eh! Damn possum asses! (cough, hack) Get offa my property, or I'll sic my imaginary brothers on ya! Now git!"
Peter T: "Poor ol fart, hasn't had a good night's sleep since '98. Hey, let's visit old Mick."
"they knock on Mick's door"
Rapidly Shrinking Mick:
"Faith and Begorrah! Is that you Ulstermen at my door? I'll mop the floor with yez, I'll hit yez on the head with my box of Wolftones records! Jayzus, you've got my blood boilin' now...Arghhhhh!"
Rick:
"Oops, now we've done it! He's had another coronary. I think that's number 23. We better ring old Father Offer to give him the last rites again. I think he's still sitting in that abandoned 56 Chevy, down by the lighthouse looking for Russian subs."
Peter T:,
"This is getting depressing. I was at AnnaP's gathering last week, and all she served was mush. After dinner, everyone fell asleep while Sandy was singing "Tam Lin", and he'd only gotten to the 82nd verse! Even 'ol Max was startin' all his blues songs off with "Woke up this Afternoon..."
Rick:
"I know, let's go see 'ol Aunt Katlaughing. She's always got a positive outlook on life!"
They knock on a gaily painted door festooned with astrological signs and uplifting "thoughts for the day"
Katlaughing:
"C'mon in boys, there's a big pot of Camomile, Exlax, and Viagara tea waitin' for you! Find a place to set a spell. You'll have to move a few of the cats first. Saffo just had kittens, so that makes 265 of the little cuties now!"

Whoops..play ends abruptly as Duckboots yells: "Richard put that garbage out!!"


Remembered in love and laughter from another brother........

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:54 AM

Well done, Spaw ....... you old bastard!!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 03:22 PM

Well, you two bastards made me.
I remember how terrified I was the first time I met Rick -- we had bantered back and forth on the Mudcat, and then one day he revealed both that he lived in Toronto and that he had students. And here I was, thinking, maybe it is time to get serious about this music thing before I die. I phoned him up in terror, and he very straightforwardly invited me over -- and I thought, how bad could it be, he is a nice guy on Mudcat. I had a Seagull guitar I could not play, and that of course meant I would never be able to play guitar or do anything really in life. I had been on the outside of music all my life, been involved with really snooty people who would not look at you unless you knew how to play like a god. I took the streetcar over to his house, all the time thinking, turn back you idiot, stop doing this. I was an hour early, and walked the streets thinking, run you idiot. But I went in, and sat down, and he said, so what do you want to learn, and I said, well I can't really play though I have tried for years, and a couple of years ago I decided I would try, and I bought this really nice guitar, and I tried and I tried and I can't play. And he said, "Give me that," and I gave it to him, and he said: "Shit, this guitar is a fucking piece of shit. I have never seen anything like it, the frets are all off, I couldn't play anything on it. Maybe I can fix it, or you could use it for a flower pot. This has nothing to do with you. Any kind of music interest you? I remember that we talked on the Mudcat about X and this is how it goes" -- and that was day one, moment one. An hour later I left, having played 3 tunes poorly but played, talked folk and blues and the Beatles and Pete Seeger and a million other things, and I was in this, whatever "this" was, and I got about 100 yards away from his house, sat down on the curb in the street and cried.

Just like now, only different.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 03:39 PM

Peter, you have demonstrated your ability with the written word many times here on the 'Cat. None more eloquently than that last post. I appreciate great writing, but I adore expressions of love. And it came through, straight from the heart. We will miss him, eh lads?

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 04:02 PM

Peter:

My heart goes out to you.

A


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 04:14 PM

I never sat down with him - heard him at Paltalk a couple of times. He, Big Mick, and Justa Picker were the influences for me to finally get off my tail and learn to finger pick. I think Rick said to "Just do it."

Thanks to all three of you -

Steve -


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: GUEST,Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 05:18 PM

That was beautiful Peter.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: balladeer
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 06:01 PM

I knew Rick for forty years, mostly as an irreverent rascal. For the larger part of the past twenty years, he was sometimes my critic and sometimes my advisor, but always my loyal friend. Today, as I read Peter's post, I realized all over again the intuitive caring and wisdom that were the hallmarks of Rick's teaching years. He enriched many lives with those gifts. He once told me he wished he had been a psychotherapist, so he could have helped people, but oh, how many people he helped by helping them locate and develop their talents. Rick was a great musician, a solid singer, a wonderful crafter of songs and leather pieces, but he was also a master teacher, and I'm not sure what the term is for this, but he was fabulous at helping people look really good on stage. I so loved him for that. Joanne


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 06:36 PM

So PT.....Have you got the thumb roll yet?

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Allan C.
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 07:20 PM

Bill Sables and I knocked on the door of Rick and Heather's house one morning. We were there because we were going to need to rely on Rick to guide us to a gathering Tony Burns was having at his house. The door opened and there stood Rick, eyes squinted in an attempt to block out the mid-morning sun. Rick was dressed in nothing more than his "tighty whities". He mumbled something about Heather which Bill and I took to mean that she wasn't awake yet. Once Rick was a little more awake and a lot more dressed, Bill and I offered the Mudcat Adventure Guitar to Rick for him to add his signature to what would eventually be a total of 75 signatures of 'Catters we met on our journey. Rick took the black, indelible marker I gave him and paused for just a moment before he began. Seconds later he handed the guitar to me. When I looked for his signature, what I found was that he had drawn a caricature of himself just as we had seen him when he opened the door and signed, "Thank God for underwear! Rick Fielding" How could I not love this guy? I can never look upon his "signature" without smiling and remembering.

Thanks, Rick!


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 07:31 PM

Absolutely priceless, Allan!!! Rick gave me a leather carving he had done of what he called "a piper". It is a medieval figure playing a flute. I love it and the companion still hangs in his basement. Because of Rick, I am just beginning to learn leather carving. The man continues to ruin my life by making sure I have no free time ...... or money ......hahahaha. I love him more than I can say.

And yeah, ..... PT .... how did you do on that thumb roll.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Jeri
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 08:55 PM

Mick, as for Rick coming at things from angles...
I thought he knew me well, I thought he was smart and intuitive. And then he started saying things like "In a year, I see you playing at festivals. Not as a 'star' or anything, but doing workshops." I thought he had a screw loose. I have far less ambition than he had. Well, there went my impression of his intuition. I didn't argue with him. I tried harder, and I got better and stronger and I'm not afraid to sing no matter who's listening. A couple of months ago, he explained he didn't really know if I'd ever want to be doing that sort of thing. It didn't really matter - he simply wanted me to believe that I could.

I received a PM from him a few months ago entitled simply "Nope." Those who knew his love of dark humor may be able to imagine what the never-asked question was.

Underwear, for Rick, was modest clothing at home. That's the thing though - it was his home, his life, his music. I guess I learned timidity is fine if one wants to live a half-life in the shadows, but it doesn't do anyone's life justice. He used to say that if I made a mistake playing, that I should make it good and loud. He taught me to love my friends with all my heart, trust my instincts, laugh at adversity, abandon complacency, and play it LOUD.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 11:42 PM

Jeri:

Somehow you really captured the flavor of the guy in those little anecdotes of yours. Thanks. A big grin and a little bitty tear.


A


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 02:39 AM

God, this is hard.
I spoke to him briefly last week on the phone. He was weak, and I knew.....I just knew...And now..
As well as sitting and picking with him, I would dearly have loved to have gone to a ballgame with Rick.
I share his love of baseball, and to have gone to a Blue Jays game with him, to sit in the stands with a couple of cold ones and a couple of hot dogs, and to discuss the game would have been one of the highlights of my life.
So when I'm at a game this summer, I'll have a couple in his honor and his memory.
Play ball, Rick.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 08:22 AM

I learned the thumb roll. just.

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Arnie Naiman
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 11:39 PM

Whenever I met Rick he had this way of making me feel that he immediately knew that what I was doing, thinking , yearning for in my musical interests, and even in my daily life, and he was somehow affirmatively validating it all. His manner of doing so made me feel that he had a profound connection as we might have with an old friend. This was his great gift!
Rick was an occasional aquaintance in my life, but whenever we saw each other it became a special experience for me in some way. I'd often think of Rick and wonder if He'd really like something I've heard, played, or an instrument I've seen, or tinkered with, or bought, or a musician He should meet, and sometimes we'd chat about these things as if nothing else in the world was of any greater importance. I will really miss not having that occasional experience with him again.
We never really clicked well playing music together even though our tastes were similar in a few areas, and I attribute that to my set style and lvery imited musical abilities compared to that of Rick's. He'd put me on the spot sometimes in public by suddenly making me back him up on something I'd never heard before in some unplayable key (for me)and I'd get kind of embarrassed and have an anxiety attack, and then later I'd laugh about it. That was Rick - get you involved and task you to the max so that you'd have something to work on for later. His joy in making music and giving to others is his mark.
I admire him greatly, and I'll try inspire a few people in my life as Rick has done to so many in his.
I'm getting another new banjo soon - I'll play "Heartbeat" just for you.
Arnie


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 01:05 AM

He was a psychoanalyst, in his own way, as well as a sleuth extraordinaire, raconteur, writer, etc. A Renaissance Man Folker and a bit of him carries on in each of us in whose lives he played it LOUD...:-)

He would've loved the book I just read Lying on the Couch. Absolutely didn't want to read "Tuesdays with Morrie." I like to think the CD release party was, for him, what the "still alive" wake was for Morrie. It was a wonderful night full of our love for him and his incredible gift of music.

luvyakat


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Marion
Date: 30 Jul 04 - 03:03 AM

Since this thread was started, I've made three starts at answering Arnie's question, then erased them. But I think this one will take.

Part of the difficulty is as Peter T. said: there's so much to say in answer to this question, it's hard to know how to begin. The other part is how disproportionate his influence on me feels, in relation to the bare reality of how little we knew each other. A couple of years of acquaintance on Mudcat, then about a year and a half in real life: 7 or 8 guitar lessons, and a handful of social visits. In other words, not very much at all. (I know some of you may wish you had had the same opportunity - and you'd be right to - I'm just trying to point out that I wasn't nearly as close to him as I am to my other favourite friends.)

And yet with Rick's gifts and personality, he played as much of a role in my life as friends and relatives I've known many years and spent many hours with. He was in one of my dreams, and I was in one of his. And I too am a member of the Seen-Rick-In-His-Tighty-Whities Club (see Allan and Jeri's posts above).

I learned a lot about music from him, both online and in person, but the biggest influence he had on my musical life was a matter of vision. I can identify with what Jeri and Jed said above about how Rick would liberally tell you his vision for your future in a way that made it seem both exciting and possible. Within the first fifteen minutes of meeting him for the first time, he was telling me that I could and should become a pro musician. This was a life-changing conversation for me; and I spent the next year nursing the idea, seeing everything in a new light. And when I did quit the day job a year later, I'd estimate that 95% of the confidence that powered that decision came from Rick telling me I could do it. I'm not one to toss around the word "empowered" a lot - but it really fits my experience of having Rick as a teacher. I have memories of walking home from lessons buzzed and talking to myself, because of the thrill of a renewed vision. Also, I liked the way that he didn't seem at all fazed the times that I rejected his advice or questioned his sincerity.

When Rick told me (about a year before the fact) that he was expecting to die, he immediately went on to say that he was proud of me for committing myself and doing the work of building a music career. I really wished that he could have seen me "arrived" at some level instead of just "aspiring", and I still wish that.

The last time I saw Rick, it was halfway through my busking tour, when I was back for Christmas. He was clearly disappointed with the quality of my gossip about Mudcatters I had met, so I told him a dirty joke and that made him happy. At the end, I was about to call a cab to take me to the bus station, but he insisted on driving me himself.

Another thing I'd like to mention, though some of you know already: I'm going to be renting a room from Heather when I return to Toronto next week. I feel very privileged to be hanging my guitar on the wall of Rick Fielding's old music room. It's a place with good memories.

Love, Marion (still not playing it loud, but playing it lots)


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 12:09 AM

Had a kind of *cosmic* moment today when on the phone with Heather. It seems appropriate to share it here.

She and I were catching up on how we've all been doing. I was telling her about my grandson, Morgan, who lives with us. He will be a year on 14 Nov. He has always had an inexpensive baritone uke and an old autoharp sans chord bars available to play with, with respect. Anyway, I've been working with him on the concept of plucking the strings on the uke, not bang them with his drumstick. (That works fine on the autoharp...instant mini-hammer dulcimer:-)

Before my phone visit with Heather, this morning, he finally plucked a string, all by himself, which I quickly reinforced with hand-clapping, praise and "do it agains!" I was telling Heather about this, when he dragged it over to his lap and again began to pluck, loudly enough that she could hear it. It felt like something Rick would have gotten a kick out of and who knows...maybe he's teaching the nextgen through the aethers!*bg* Anyway, it was neat and I wanted to share it with you all.

kat


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 01:52 AM

Kat,

I'm glad that you made that call. I'm sure that Heather appreciates it. As much as I think that Rick was the glue that held this place together, I am so happy to see Heather carrying on with the radio show, the banjo mutes etc. I thought she was a part of a remarkable couple when I first met her, my opinion has only strengthened.

Rick has been gone a while. I still meet people who knew him. I have yet to hear anyone say a negative word about him.

I would love to hear his take on the Red Sox.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: Jeri
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 08:12 AM

Kat, I wish I could start over at 1 year old with a stringed instrument. My parents gave me one of those stupid xylophones which, even I, as a wee one, could tell wasn't in tune.

One thing that made me think of Rick yesterday was that joke you relayed from Art. He would have thought that was very funny.

These days, I hear music, watch films or TV shows, and read, and I pay attention a bit more. I write songs and consider what Rick would have thought of them. I spent a long time trying to write THE song before I realised there's no such animal. There's always something more to say or a different way to say it. I try to imagine what Rick would say about the songs. Most of the imaginary comments consist of something along the lines of, "That's nice." (This should be pronounced in one's head something like, "Oh. Isn't that special...") Fact is, he didn't like sappy, sentimental songs. He loved "Handful of Songs," though, because it conveyed a lot of emotion without ever crossing into sappiness. I guess I'm trying to find that line. Another fact is that the comments I imagine Rick would make are a lot tougher on me that the ones he really would have made, because, after all, it's my voice. The self criticism is something I've always been a little too good at, and he knew that. I think I need to try to honestly imagine the encouragement. He knew I was capable of criticising myself into silence. I think he hoped I'd find enough inspiration to keep pushing on. So far I have, but it's more like a flickering candle than a strong, steady flame.


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: GUEST,Arnie
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 11:34 AM

I had a few Rick moments last week. First I was in my car and happened to turn on CBC radio and there was some good solid familiar sounding acoustic guitar picking. I thought by mistake I had left Rick's CD in my player, but then the DJ said "That's Toronto's Rick Fielding". I was listening to some of the Hesitation Blues - He's still on coast to coast   over the airwaves. Then a day later I decided to tune into an internet Old Time music radio show called "Sugar In The Gourd" It so happens that this show which is still playing, deals with the blues and it's relation to Old Time music. Well I started to hear some incredible blues stuff that I know Rick would have loved, and I had this urge to call him up - (so I did, so to speak in my own way) Still listening to the show, they played a live performance on Reverend Gary Davis playing "The Hesitation Blues" - the exact version that Rick played!. They also played tunes by Dick Justice , Bo Carter, and countless other influences of his .I found myself in Ricks'd music world there for some time with Rick listening along with great approval.
Arnie


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Subject: RE: Rick Fielding's influence
From: katlaughing
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 12:32 PM

Beautiful, Arnie. Jeri, Rick would be proud of you, but also, like you say, it'd be well, yeah...tol' ya so!**bg**

I've posted a couple of pictures of Morgan plucking which you may see by clicking here. Look at the blur of that first pluck!:-) And, those red eyes!


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