I can’t recall how many times I’ve said in a multitude of different ways, from every angle possible, how grateful I am to have the job – if I can call it that – playing and teaching guitar around the world.
Don’t get me wrong. There are definitely those rough days. A challenging airline flight, weather that reminds me we live on a planet, realizing I don’t get sick days if the gig is on, and the severe emotional trauma if my movie popcorn is not fresh.
All seriousness aside, I recently indulged in yet another of my bi-annual Wyoming adventures with my Nash Vegas, as they call it, friends and world class musicians, Tim and Gretchen Priest May.
December in Rock Springs, Wyoming generally puts us to the human frailty test as we perform for a week in residency program for the school children in two counties. The temperature is usually 400 degrees below 0, the wind is 3,000 miles an hour, and the inhabitants jostle around barefoot eating ice cream cones with school books in hand as they grin like Cheshire cats.
I’d like to believe that since we have so far survived we are rewarded in August with a second trip out as we play a concert at the Rock Springs Historical Museum. Our program, “Speaking of the West”, is carefully plucked from the menu selection of pieces embracing and encompassing the music of America.
The reward also comes in the form of a day trip to one of the local mines for a special tour, an extended boat trip through the Flaming Gorge or on this recent tour, a personally guided tour as we encountered up close and personal, the wild horses of Wyoming. My friend Johnny Vase and his partner, Pat Doak, know about as much about the land, history and wild horses as Bruce Lee knew about the martial arts.
I would encourage anyone remotely interested in this type of adventure to saddle up for an experience that, to be quite honest, I’m still processing. A unique afternoon left me with a rather solid feeling that as the years pass, people, stories and events continue to move in and out of my life, this memory will be one that not only cements itself onto my hard drive, but will evolve in a very subtle way.
Check out www.killpeckertours.com or call 307 350-0179 if your sense of adventure urges you to seek out a different experience other than Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon or Mickey Mouse. In the meantime, I’m off to New Zealand and Australia for another adventure! Until then…Richard Gilewitz