Cassi Creek: In years past, I played a lot of Gordon Lightfoot music. He wrote melodic lines that I could approximate for a vocal range similar to mine. In those days, I had no realization of how my hearing deficit had already damaged my ability to pick up lyrics and melodies in a single hearing.
When I stopped playing Lightfoot’s music for that of other singer-songwriters works, I noticed that it was more difficult to add to my catalogue of music. Twenty years ago, I had to admit I could no longer tune a guitar without an electronic tuner. After my spinal surgeries, playing guitar became more difficult. With the apparent onset of Parkinson’s I let pain and difficulty derail playing music again. Since VA began treating me for Parkinson’s I’ve recovered a bit of ability. I am recovering a little left hand dexterity and some strength. I can’t stop the decay but I may be able to delay it a bit longer.
I doubt I will bring much, if any, Lightfoot back into my catalogue. He remains the only major performer I’ve ever walked out on during a performance. Gloria and I were given tickets to see him perform in Sarasota FL. We were thrilled to be able to attend. Unfortunately, his first set seemed to be nothing but songs about recovering from alcoholism. It was like attending a musical AA meeting. We both recalled him as a tremendous talent but that talent was invisible there and then.
Many musicians and singer-songwriters succumb to the worst aspects of touring. For many who do, they are writing a medical history that is likely to shorten their lives and their abilities to perform. There are lots of musicians who are caught up in their own pattern of slow decay. I wish them well.