I visited David Rages on Wednesday and Thursday.  It’s my annual tradition for celebrating Thanksgiving.  I should also mention that I celebrate Christmas and Easter in a similar manner.  David deep fries turkeys.  But, he’s got it down to a science that will turn a vegetarian to the tastes he creates.  It’s both the technique of deep frying the bird, along with his secret marinade sauce.

Of course, the reality is that before Thanksgiving and on 13 November 2015 a disgusting act of cowardice, stupidity, ignorance, and un-Godliness (call Him or Her Allah of Jehovah or YaWay of whatever) occurred in the assassination of innocents occurred by and through scum.

In tribute to those fallen and that moment, Ric Louchard performed a lament.  Here it is for all who truly understand righteousness, love and peace.  Sorrows for love …

1311 Lament


I Made It!

Last night’s drive to San Francisco was a “trip” to say the least.  Lots of accidents on Northbound 101, cut through neighborhoods to get to 280 only to be met with a row of red tail lights.  But, the good news is I made it in 1.5 hours + a few seconds and …. lo and behold!  A parking space right in front of the restaurant.

The first set was great.  The second set ended in a train wreck.  I’m not sure how … well, that not true.  I’m not sure when …. well, actually I sensed the moment … I’m not sure where … well … actually, I know where I was.  The end was a train wreck and I think I know how, where and when and why it happened.

The incident reminds me of something a friend and fellow musician said:  “Don’t even pick up the instrument if you think you’ll not have a melt down on stage.”

Why it happens:  Lack of listening to the space.  The space will define where the beginning of the tune is.  But, you’ve got to listen to an entire chorus + to be sure you know exactly where you are, or where the rest of us are.  It’s a bit of advice I’ll pass on to the team.

Meanwhile, we did make some real pleasurable moments before the derailment. And, I got dinner + gas money + a couple of bucks for a pizza.  Cheers!

Tonight …

I’m about to embark on the trudge to San Francisco.  Seems like I dislike driving these days.  It’s kind of tiring.  But, in order to play music, sacrifice is often required.

At my small birthday party, hosted by Marilyn Scott, I was presented with a birthday card custom made by her.  She always does that.  She’s my biggest fan!  I’m pleased to share what she gave me, a card with an image of me.

Here’s a picture of me launching into music around 2002 – 3.  I was jamming with the Talons:  David Rages, Tony Rodrigues, Jeff Carr and William Jackson.  Dave’s cousin is Mark Wright and I was so pleased to be able to play with him on occasion, as facilitated by Dave.  We did a great gig in Mountain View at the Afrobean (sp?) Feastival.  Sadly, Mountain View stopped having the festival a few years later.  But, in that moment, the jam was on and it was hot!

Talons 2003

Honestly, folks … this is the way music is supposed to be.


Now that I’ve passed the milestone of 70 years, I feel somewhat complete.  It’s not the 70 years on the planet that defines destiny.  Rather, it’s reaching 71 years of age and finding a photograph of my father, probably taken around 1947 or 1948, as best I can tell.  At four years of age, I began to have consciousness of recall.  I recall and remember learning the A,B, C’s, climbing stairs, being in the neighborhood with other kids, chased by a bad dog, learning to ride a bicycle, nice little girls who lived down stairs and experiences like that.  I recall is listening to Ravelle’s Balero,  playing the records over-and-over again on a 78 record player, sitting down and playing on a Wurlitzer upright piano and having to go to church on Sundays.

Charlie E E Channel Sr at 714 Center Street, Oakland, CA circa 1944

This is a picture of my Dad.  Fun loving, hard working foreman at Moore’s Dry Dock in Oakland, California.

I’d misplaced the picture some years ago but I managed to look where I last remembered putting it and rediscovered an image of reality that defines my own existence:  Born an African American by a father and mother who were somehow different from others in terms of their love and loyalty for each other and other human beings.  So, finding the picture completes the awareness of my reality and existence.

The lesson is simple:  Intelligence randomly distributes. Some are born leaders and lovers of life, regardless of opportunities restricted by ignorance, stupidity, prejudice and arrogance.   That’s the point.  Period.

Ye Bastards of Commerce … the Attempter-Destroyer of Happiness

I had the wonderful pleasure of attending a concert presented by Youssou N’dour on Saturday evening.  It was my birthday present!

One songs he and his band performed featured “happiness” as the vibe and I loved it.  As I’ve told others, music is wired in my brain so that it presents measurable pleasure.  And, so it was that I was inspired by Youssou’s vibe and was working out the muse on keyboards.

The interruption occurred from the telephone ringing.  Annoyed I asked, “What do you want?” and “What are you doing?” in terrible Spanish.  The resulting interaction with the solicitor was ad hominid pitiful diatribe that informed me that my Spanish was terrible, that I was a Bitch and a Motherfucker.  I’ve no problem with that.

My Spanish is terrible.  I’ve been a Bitch when I was in charge of my household with a disabled wife for several years (cooking for everyone, cleaning and holding down a full time job) and, of course, not only Mexicans but African American brothers and others have rendered the other compliment about my prowess with mothers and females.  Of course, I told him, in Spanish, that my own mother was dead (long ago deceased).

The truth is that at one point in my young life as a human, I learned the following rhyme that I lived and survived by in the neighborhood and  conditions in which I grew up:

“Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Times have, obviously changed.  And, I guess that’s why some complain about political correctness as that’s not their world view.  And therein lies the difference.  I am old. I am old school.

So, I’d ask the solicitor to come to my house and say it to my face if he dares.  I’m quite the public person and he knows who I am and, therefore, where I live.  I’ll tell him that to his face.  I’d just hasten to remind him that where I have survived over t he past 20+ years was, once, the murder capital of the U.S.

But the ultimate insult was that I am a terrible pianist.  I didn’t have the heart, time or opportunity to tell him that (1) I am not a pianist, (2) what he was hearing in the background was the jazz organ patch on my Yamaha (not a piano) and (3), as a musician, I’m not too worried about anything except getting back to the happiness I was recording.  He angrily hung up.

But, wait.  There’s more.  I live by the Four Agreements:

  •  Speak with integrity
  • Take nothing personally
  • Make no assumption
  • Do the best you can.

Those are the keys to the mastery of love and, thereby, life.   Conqur the predators.  Avoid the creditors.

Commerce off.




I remembered:  “It you don’t like what’s on, turn it off!”   It’s the Silence of the Ringer.

Onward, in silence. Keep calling  and expending the irreplaceable time of your lives ye Bastards of Commerce.

Happiness on.

The Muse

The Muse is a living spirit entity.  It manifests through the human experience of life.  It sustains those who recognize its existence within themselves.  In its manifestation through one living being (serving as a conduit of its existence and life) it is received by another whose is aware  experiences reciprocal emotional exchange.

It’s forms are universal and many.  They’re called “genres.” Musically, the Muse speaks through and to everything living, one way or another. That the Muse has a sense of humor is equivalent to saying, and meaning truthfully, that life itself enables us to enjoy and experience its humor, irony and joy.

I present to you the evidence: