This past afternoon was another delight and honor. I know that it was a weekday and many of our listeners could not attend and that is sad because it was one wonderful and moving event. Let me describe it to you.
2 PM The Bitter End pictured here. At this point in time the longest running club in Greenwich Village. Over 40 years now and still going strong. So is Paul Colby, its founder. More about him later.
It was the concert and book signing for Clay Eals wonderful biography of Steve Goodman. You will recall that he was my guest on TRADITIONS a short while back and the 2 hour interview is archived on his website (linked above).
This afternoon proved to be what Woodstock generation might have called the Summer of Love---this was the afternoon of love. All musicians performed because of their love of Steve Goodman. Paul Colby donated the facilities and made a most touching speech regarding his love of Goodman and Prine and that this is where they started on the road to national acclaim. It was a longer tale that involved Kris Kristoferson but, suffice it to say, it was moving.
The entertainment was provided by Willie Nininger (pictured here with Steve Goodman in an old photo), David Amram (picture on a previous posting), Annie Nininger, and ---you know--the famous many others. Clay Eals supplied much wonderful commentary as the program continued, as well as a great narration in between verses of a rousing finale of City of New Orleans.
Having seen and been honored to be a part of it a thought occurred to me. Why not some sort of Steve Goodman Song Nights. Clay Eals has encouraged me to organize such things and if I think any artists are interested in this I would be most happy and, frankly, honored to put this together as I did many moons ago for some benefit concerts I produced. Steve Goodman's music is truly "broad spectrum"---comedic, folk, pop, topical (Penny Evans), and most of all "brilliant". Granted, it needs Steve Goodman for the ultimate presentation. Short of that people, such as those today, present his work brilliantly.
Should you want to attend any of the book signing concerts they are listed on Clay Eals website (linked above). In DC Tom Paxton will be joining the program, in Saratoga Springs Willie Nininger will be there along with many others.
In all honesty--think about it---a great concert, purchase a book that is truly worthwhile and get it autographed. Go to a club or concert and pay a heavy admission --and no book. I do not think you can beat this----and you will feel, as it is said, the love.
As to "love". Steve Goodman's doctor was there along with many friends who gave him succor and support in NYC. I talked with this wonderful doctor after the program because I could see her love and affection for him in her face while she watched the program. I told her this and she was quite thankful and wondered what my interest in her was---medical? No! I told her of my feelings of Sloan Kettering---negative. We talked of that and, without divulging any private communication, we agreed that one has to find a place or a physician one can relate with--and her experience at SK, while positive (and also crediting Steve Goodman for getting her into medicine---read the book) does tend toward gray now. I spoke to her of Westchester County Medical Center and its caring staff and one particular doctor---Augustine Moscatiello. She is to SK what Dr. Moscatiello is to Westchester Medical Center. An expert who cares.
One of the performers had lost a daughter to leukemia and when I mentioned it this wonderful doctor went to speak with him. He later told me, at dinner, how comforting and, truly, warm and helpful she was.
Besides "reviews and views" a few insights on the warmth and sincerity of folk artists, their supporters, and their humble conduit to the world. I guess it is known who and what that is.