Monthly Archives: November 2013

On teaching (the ukulele)


(A short meditation on teaching, and talent, and the ukulele)

On teaching the ukulele

It has been said: those
who can, do; those who can’t, teach.
It sounds quite clever,

because, like all lies,
it has a kernel of truth.
But could it not be

said with equal force
that those who can, teach;
those unable to

relate to people
those trapped in brilliant minds
in supple bodies

blessed with absurdly
beautiful voices, they don’t.
They just do things, but

they can’t tell you how.
Give me a ukulele and a kid
and I’ll change the world.


To share with friends over at the wonderful dVerse Poets’ Pub.



Thank You For The Music

ABBA Mania

Every once in a while, a “tribute band” comes through town on a national tour. Last weekend, we hosted “ABBA Mania” – a two-hour show chock full of ABBA’s greatest hits. It was a great evening, and the crowd loved it.

It made me smile watching the performers getting ready for the gig, to see just what it took for them to transform themselves into Swedish superstars night by night. The wigs, costumes, makeup, accents. Not a lot of glamor when you’re sleeping on a tour bus traveling further than the equivalent of Oslo to Berlin for your next night’s gig. Here’s to the working musicians who bring a smile to our faces – unsung road warriors from Wales, London, Liverpool, and all points south of Scandinavia. We “make party” with you!


Thank You For The Music

We turned the stage white for them,
white as Swedish snow, as Cabot cheddar,
with a white drum kit, white piano
and a ridiculous white piano stool

At sound check, Agnetha wore yoga pants
and an off-the-shoulder dance top that
made no pretense of hiding anything.
The theater manager had to leave the room

Bjorn had a perfect blond perm. Between songs,
he talked alternately about rugby and pornographic
movies. He could really play the guitar, but
who cares. This was ABBA. And he was Welsh.

Anni-Frid seemed more mature than the rest.
She was saving her energy, but by god she
knew the dance moves. Unlike Agnetha , whose pants
were very tight. Did I mention she was from Liverpool?

And then there was Benny, a Londoner who
could play Super Trooper in his sleep. If you squinted,
you could imagine he was younger, with more hair.
All of them were incredibly polite to the sound man.

At showtime, they made party in Swedish accents,
and the crowd loved every plastic minute.
In the green room, a sheet of paper said simply:
Tonight: Travel 700 miles. Tomorrow: Atlantic City.


%d bloggers like this: