Glenn Gass, Doctor Rock

August 7, 2007

cotswoldsport.JPGGlenn Gass, my old friend from the New England Conservatory of Music in 1978, visited with his wife Julie on Friday. After spending a blessed year on Kauai, they returned to the mainland with their two boys by going directly to Disneyland (ouch). Glenn called me once and left a message from that magical city: “Hi Roger, Glenn here, we’re here in [pause] Disneyland, standing in line [pause], having fun, in the full sun. Later, they left the kids with friends and drove from Santa Monica to our house in Hollywood via Santa Monica Boulevard (so they could SEE the city instead of drive on the freeway at rush hour on Friday). As Glenn is a Professor at Indiana University/Bloomington and one of his areas of expertise is the history of rock n roll, (I wonder whether they call him Doctor Rock or Doctor Rockter?) he decided to drive up and around the Laurel Canyon area just to soak in the vibe. He pointed out that the IHOP that we passed, where I, from time to time, have Swedish pancakes, is where the Buffalo Springfield formed. Far out! Little did I know.

We decided to have dinner in West Hollywood at The Gardens of Taxco (since the Gardens of Allah closed many years earlier) where the waiters perform the menu is the categories of chicken, fish, meat, and vegetarian. Their such n such sauce is “spicy. Not hot. Spiiiiiiiicy.” And then there’s that cialantro cream sauce where it is as though the chicken were “booooooorn in the sauce.” Daniel and I chimed in on the quoted parts. Our waiter, probably in his mid 70s, overweight, Mexican, stands with a cane, clearly loved knowing that we knew his famous lines.

After several “signature margaritas” we returned to our house and I sat down and sang part of three Beatle songs, which Glenn clearly loved hearing. “Do you play ‘Help’?” I realized I had never played it on the piano as it’s such a guitar song, but I crashed into it. I started singing it and he was right there with the countermelodies. We sang another song or two and then had to call it a night.

Rats! We shouldn’t have waited till the end of the day to sing stuff. Next time we’ll sing all day. He knows all the songs I know. Maybe we’ll start a group together! Just kidding…

Glenn has a terrific energy. He’s found a great partner in Julie. The John Lennon thing rings through their family in ways I hadn’t realized till now. Glenn’s first name has four letters in common with Lennon. Julie has four letters in common with John’s mother, Julia. Matthew was born on John Lennon’s birthday. And Julian is the name of John’s first son. Happiness is a warm family.

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