Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Jaime Brockett and John Gorka -- The short version of my musical Salvation.

Jaime Brockett and John Gorka -- The short version of my Musical Salvation.

Practically everyone who knows me also knows that I am a John Gorka fan. I spread the Gospel of Gorka practically everywhere I go.

After all, I DO know what’s best for you.

I’d like to tell how I met him, for he and his music have had a profound effect on my life.

Here goes.

I actually met John in a social setting before I knew his work. Jaime Brockett, the outlaw-folk legend ("Ballad of the U.S.S. Titanic") who's life seems to continue to provide excellent research material ("Ballad of Jaimie B.", "Blue Chalk", "Always Going Home", etc....) lived for about eight years in my hometown of Lancaster, Ohio.

Jamie introduced me to John (I was just fresh out of college) right about the time of the release of "I Know".

Jaime was a regular at Godfrey Daniels, a coffeehouse/folk club in Bethlehem, PA and John knew him from there. Jaime used to say that he "taught John the ropes", but I like to think that even then John knew inspiration when he met it.

John watches better than anyone I have ever known. It's what makes the songs, I think.

Jaime had a music store in Lancaster and John would stop by occasionally to visit, sometimes on the way to and from gigs.

In those days Jaime was still a regular at many of the folk festivals and, along with my friend Karl Conrad, I was privileged to serve as "roadie". I got to spend a bit of time with John when Jaime opened for him at various gigs and festivals.

Great days.

Through Jaime I met a lot of people that a small town mid-western boy would never have had a chance to meet.

And the boy who ran down the roads in a souped-up Torino, listening to Rush, now has Chris Smither, Bruce Cockburn, Paul Thorn, Todd Snider and the like in his cd player.

Never would have known good music but for Jaime and John.

Talk about Salvation.


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