Touching emotional events

Recently I was priviledged to play for two very touching and worthwhile events in two days. The first, Halliestock, took place in Queens,NY on Saturday, Sept. 18. The second, a gathering in memory of Steve Goodman, was the following evening on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.

Halliestock was an all-day celebration of the life of Hallie Geier, struck down by a car in front of her house in Springfield Gardens, Queens. She was the niece of my old friend George Andoniadis, the daughter of his sister Sofia. I was friends with both of them at Northwestern in 1970, and we all moved to New York in 1971.
When George told me about this, I decided to go and play. You can find out more about it at www.lovehallie.com, It is a beautiful website set up by Sofia and her husband, Ted. I played several songs with guitarist/singer/songwriter John Guth, then played Stephanie’s Dance and Amazing Grace solo. We all performed a song composed by George to Hallie’s words, entitled “Stage Fright”.
I flew home the nest morning, played a rehearsal and a recording session, then drove down to Lucille’s on Lincoln Ave, the former site of Somebody Else’s Troubles, a club owned jointly by Steve Goodman and John Prine back in the ‘70’s. A memorial gathering for Steve took place, with many old musical friends getting up and singing his great songs. It was the 20th anniversary of his passing. I joined Tom Dundee, Barbara Barrow, Mick Scott, Jim Tullio and others and played a bunch of tunes on harp. It was inspiring and uplifting, and re-reminded me of what a great person and artist Steve was.

I played with him in the late 70’s. As a producer, he hired me to play on sessions in Chicago with John Prine, Martin, Bogan, and Armstrong, and Malvina Reynolds. He was one of the all-time great guys- brilliant, generous, intense, funny, and fierce, not to mention a true friend and a hell of a musican. He wasn’t your typical singer/songwriter guitarist- he could really play guitar. And the songs…topical, universal, sad and funny at the same time, cosmic.

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