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Journal  January  2010 

Rock-Maggie boat

January 2, 2010
I'm just looking out at the sound and it looks really rough out there. I wouldn't take a boat out in this.
I could pick you up in my car and give you a ride. Larry Mason
That was very good advice. Unfortunately we felt brave and bold and forgot that Larry is a well seasoned sailer, has a 65' Tuna troller and knows what he is talking about. Rocky's and Maggie's 45' boat is beautiful and sea worthy but we immediately found out she didn't like starring in our own version of the Perfect Storm. White capped waves were a new experience for me and we were taking a real pounding. Up on the crest of the wave, then slammed into the trough only to be hit by the next wave and blasted with white foam. My manly job, besides holding onto a rail for dear life, was to wipe down the window so Rock could see where we were going. In order to keep the person alert while doing this job, the boat designer engineered a leak that flowed directly on the top of my beret and down my right side. I am not sure that was really necessary because I don't really think I would have fallen asleep. The first mate puppy, Butch, was not happy with the conditions and shivered nervously in Maggie's lap the whole time. We could not come about without capsizing and we were pretty sure we did not want to go for a swim. Maggie pointed out that if we hit a log or lost the props we were going down and would have to board the dingy. That would have been a neat trick because I believe the dingy would have been 50 yards away soon after it hit the water. I don't know how we could have possibly held on if we did manage to get into it. The waves were the biggest I have seen on the sound. Maggie also let us know the boat was fiberglass and could be broken up by the slamming we were taking from the closely grouped waves. We pretended she was kidding but the real possibility that we might all be departing the earth on new year's day occurred to me. The sun was shining through the rain and it was eerily beautiful so I found myself soaking up the wonder of it all just in case this was to be my last experience here on the planet. I softly sang the Fernando Ortega song Jesus King of Angels and prayed for an envelope of protection around us and for calm waters. I was also wishing I had drunk 3 or 4 bloody mary's for medicinal purposes. Through the whole ordeal each time we were raised up and crashed down and then pummeled by a wave Andie shouted wah hoo. As the rest of the crew grew more distressed she turned her head to one side and whispered wah hoo but I still heard her. We came really close to some crab buoys, another hazard. Rock held us above water but realized he just couldn't see enough to avoid hazards in the water like logs and debris that might disable the boat. He decided to steer us to Coupeville and moor there in Penns Cove. As soon as we entered the cove the waters calmed down but the wind was still strong. It was blowing 25 to 35 mph. It took four tries to tie up and Rock had to come out and dock on the inside as the wind and currents kept pulling us away. Larry Mason had kept in touch by phone while we were going through this adventure. Not long after we docked he arrived came down to the boat and gave us a ride to the ferry. Rocky and Maggie settled in for the evening and later some friends from Coupeville came down for a visit. On the way to the ferry we were treated to Larry Mason and Carl Funk new CD. It was wonderful, excellent arrangements, strong songs and engaging and intrigging lyrics, thier brothers in arms harmonies and a host of fine musicians and finally topped off by being mixed by Tom Hall and produced by Eric Tingstad. Buy it first chance you get!
Here we are on solid ground. Some people say I tend to worry and fret. That's news to me. We had a wonderful time playing at the Oak Harbor Yacht club with The Greg Murat Band. I would like to start by saying that I like Papa Murat. The other four members of the band and my wife Andie do not agree. It makes you sound old they say. I am old I reply. Everyone we met at the club was very charming. We had the privilege of sharing out table with former Commodore Byron and and his wife Jane as well as Mike Daily and his lovely wife April. I was a little dazzled as Andie was so stunningly beautiful. Rock and Maggie Peterson were also seated with us. They brought us up to Oak Harbor on their yacht, The Beach House. We had a lovely time and a beautiful cruise. It took us barely an hour from Everett to Oak Harbor. Andie's mother, Faith, had volunteered to spend time with Kayden and that was a joy for both of them.
I spent two months planning and fretting over the gig. I meticulously planned four sets of music balance with old, new, classic and original tunes. John Matthews, Ron Llinas, Jimmy Culler, Mike Daily and I worked tirelessly or tiredly for two months preparing for the show. The last things I said after we were done rehearsing the sets I were printed and we were on our way to the gig was "prepare to abandon the set list. Sometimes God calls out the songs and I don't want to argue."
I would like to say Larry Mason and Cynthia Mason mad the whole experience possible with their recommendations to the yacht club on our behalf. By the way Larry is playing drums for the band Johnny Bulldog and they are performing there next weekend for a fundraiser, $20 per ticket.
   I have to applaud the dancers of the evening. Greg is translated as Reggae in certain caribbean dialects and I love island music. No one left the dance floor for the reggae tunes. The were dancing to I'm Yours, the Jason Mraz tune and my reggae version of Free Falling by Tom Petty. May I say the food was excellent, the staff was wonderful and the evening came with a little spit fire dance director who refused to miss a single dance. She was the Yacht Club cheerleader directing the band and the dancers. "Play Pretty Woman or you I'll never play here again!" she said at one point. We stopped immediately went downstairs and rehearsed the tune for I had a genuine fear that she might have melting powers in the laser look she gave me. She did a good job of passing on requests from the audience and it turned out that her suggestions kept people on the dance floor. The food was excellent too by the way.
  I had a set list planned heavily lifted by Murat tunes, very few were played. Working for a Living, Baby Can't Sleep, Boody Wah Scoody, City of Angels, Love Me One More Time, These Blues, Cool Wind from Jamaica, Club American, Kinda Like It Mellow. I love this. The more I look at the set list the more I realize we gave 'em a good show that included the songs I have been blessed with and given.
  So I was there at 3:30 new year's eve unloading Ronnie's gear with him. Then Mike Daily's gear with him and his beautiful wife April. Then Jimmy and Johnny arrived and we unloaded more gear. It was perfect. We spent about 3 hours setting up and doing sound. Rex, the current Commadore arrived and greeted us. As used to be the case before I fell at work and bonked my head, my instincts were in tact and I set the PA up for a concert setting. Thanks to Ron and Mike we had the gear. We did a sound check and made a few adjustments and I went down to Rock and Maggie's boat to change clothes.
A brief band meeting ( who are you guys?) a run through Dream, Dream, Dream and the surprise announcement that we would start with that song with 4 voices and acoustic guitar. The dance floor packed to a song with now drums, bass, just guitar and four voices.. It was marvelous. The rest is history. Not well documented but a true story none the lest. In all a great experience. A group o f 16 people came on Cynthia Mason's recommendation. Maggie did the European count down 12, 11, 10, 9, 8,7 so forth. You are then supposed to eat a grape in celebration and wish for health in the coming year. Sounds like a lovely tradition. We rocked and rolled, we partied hearty and everyone had a wonderful tim

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist