Well, I am sitting here today, snowbound in my domicile of residence in Lawrenceville, Georgia. While staring out the window just now at the white stillness, a long awaited peace came over me. Here is what caused it. Through years of hope and positive thinking I have !nally given up. I !nally consent to the reality and accept the fact that the state of Georgia will never be prepared for snowfall. Regardless of how much or how little, it really is quite laughable. But be that as it may, I suppose that I should not complain too loud for there is still a bit of childhood fun that my soul receives from being “snowed in.” I do believe though it is only a feeling that we Southerners, who are not blessed (or cursed) with snow on a regular basis, feel and occasionally enjoy. So with that said, and having a little more free time on my hands today than originally intended, I thought I would just update you a little on what has been going on this month in my world.
First, I would like to share with you the fact that I am still reelin’ and rockin’ from attending the 2014 Annual APAP Convention in New York City earlier this month. My manager, Kathy Mullen and I were up there in the thick of it for 4 days. We met so many people, made some really useful contacts and saw some tremendous showcases. It was our !rst time attending this annual worldwide convention and I must say we were awed and overwhelmed. It was a tremendous experience and I hope that we have the chance to be a part of it next year. On another note but a related one, I am just now learning how to use Word Press and am having some problems with it. This is why I have not had a lot of updated material here on Je#Pike.com since launching the new website recently. But when I do, I will have a lot of recent pictures from the convention posted for you to enjoy. Speaking of the website, (www.je#pike.com) here is a little more current information that may be useful for you.
While the main purpose of this website is to promote my original work there will also be a small part of it that I will use to promote cover gigs. (Restaurants, clubs, corporate work, private parties, etc.) Today I posted a quick impromptu promotional video that I recorded at Bahama Breeze this past week. It came out a lot better than I thought it would so I put it up on the video page for you to enjoy. Feel free to pass it along to anyone you know who books entertainment, for as you may or may not know, I am always looking for work and networking is never done. Thank you for your time today, but before you leave be sure to sign up for my mailing list, read my blogs and check out my concert calendar. ( Assuming of course that you are snowed in and have a lot of time on your hands today ) Anyway, I hope to see you on the road (or in the snow) sometime soon! If you are on the road, travel safe. If you are at home, lounge aggressively.
I was very saddened to hear about the passing of Dave Madden yesterday. Most people who are familiar with Dave Madden remember him best as the stressed out and lovable manager of The Partridge Family, a television series about a !ctitious Pop Group starring David Cassidy and Shirley Jones which ran from 1970-1974. Through all of the days of my youth, the music of David Cassidy and The Partridge Family were an enormous and moving in"uence on me, my music and my spirit. They were in fact, a very large part of why I chose my career as a musician. Those who are very familiar with my life and my original music are aware of the enormous amount of real estate the music of David Cassidy and The Partridge Family hold in my heart. For various reasons I have been badgered about this by many people for my entire adult life. In response, I wish it to be known that I am of the mindset that sometimes real talent gets a stereotypical bad rap for all the wrong reasons. More often than not artists in this situation are never given the respect they are due. I have always felt that way about David Cassidy.
As for Dave Madden, his character of Reuben Kincaid and the relationship he shared with Danny Partridge ( played by Danny Bonoduce ) was a very large part of the comedic humor of the show. He was a !ne actor, a kind and good man, and a wonderful comedian. He might not have been the best !ctitious agent in the world, but he was warm, loving and hilarious. It is funny to think back on my childhood when I used to watch The Partridge Family and believe that what Reuben and The Partridge Family went through was how show business really worked. Today, after being in the business for 30 years, what a joyous and jaded laugh I get out of that. I occasionally scratch my head in disbelief when I realize how long ago that was. My how life, society, culture, innocence, youth, the world and music have changed since 1970 was a new year.
I am constantly reminded by my girlfriend on how I spend too much time looking back and that I should only look forward. I know she is right, but on days like today I !nd myself thinking back with concentration and energy. What I would not give to go back to those times – if only for a day – a good day. A day where music, youth, innocence and hope !lled my world; where days of wonder and imagination would always leave a huge smile on my face and a strong dream in my heart. A good bit of my youth went with Dave yesterday. He was the !rst Partridge to leave us. Come on Get Happy? No, not today...in time. That vacant seat on the bus looks pretty lonely....My condolences to the Madden family, Danny Bonaduce, David Cassidy and Shirley Jones.
Good Morning Friends and Welcome to 2014
About this time every year I post a newsletter expressing ideals and opinions of life as I know it as judged from all that I have experienced in the previous year. Since the theme this past year for me has been “Back To Basics” I would simply like to tell you what I have been up to in 2013 and where I stand today. I hope you do not !nd this too self indulgent and that those who genuinely do care and want to know enjoy todays blog. So here we go...
In looking back at 2013, I !nd myself with the feeling that I am starting a journey of which I should have begun decades ago; one of self awareness, maturity, discovery, chances, honesty and growth. As I have shared with you previously, I am 3 years and 8 months sober from alcohol. This is an accomplishment and is a life changing event in itself. For me; however, it is all I have learned since I chose to face my demons sober that has e#ected my life the most.
Many times I scratch my head and wonder how I made it this far. I don’t spend time much on those thoughts these days, rather I do my best now to look to the future. I want to thank from the bottom of my heart all of my friends at Celebrate Recovery at Hebron Church in Dacula, Georgia for starting my learning experience on this long road of recovery. More than anything I want to thank my girlfriend, Marti Woodward, and my very good friend Ken Mercer for their help, support and extensive knowledge of recovery which has helped tremendously with my growth. Marti, thank you for loving me – "aws and all. Ken, thank you for the kind of friendship that happens once in a lifetime. I look forward to moving further into my recovery in 2014, both as a student and as a teacher.
My own original music was a big priority for me in 2013 and I feel that I accomplished a lot. With the never ending help of my manager, very good friend and business partner in Je# Pike Music, Kathy Mullen, I was able to make a lot of fundamental business, marketing and musical headway preparing me for 2014 and beyond. Kathy’s energetic drive, persistence, patience and quest for our goal has kept me going at times when I thought I was down for the count. So to Kathy Mullen, a huge world of thanks. We ended the year on a joyous note following the release of my !rst solo acoustic CD of my career, “Back To Basics” and the launch of my brand new website, www.Je#Pike.com. It has felt good to get back to my own music, and to the piano I might add. Looking forward, I hope to release a new CD in late fall of 2014. I also hope to travel more bringing my music to as many people as possible. With that said, if you would like to book a show or know of any venus that would enjoy my music please do not hesitate to contact me.
Teaming up with my good friends Hugo Duarte and recording engineer Henry Jordan, we !nally released our debut CD as The Frozen Gringos, “Chill Before Use.” Traveling with Hugo gave me some of the most memorable moments on the road and onstage that I have ever had. I thank him for that and so much more that he has given me throughout our 8 year friendship.
Life with A1A is still rolling along and looking quite bright for 2014. I owe all of the guys in the band a huge amount of thanks for what they bring to the band, both on and o#stage. Most of all, I want to thank Chaz McDonald for continuing to go above and beyond the call of duty. Without Chaz the A1A bus would stop, and I mean that both !guratively and literally. Chaz takes care of all the business within the band and is the unsung hero. Along with running the band he has also written a lot of great songs this year and we are looking forward to possibly releasing a new CD in 2014. Things are looking good and I am excited about that possibility.
Of course, all of the success in the world would mean nothing without family and friends. I am grateful to have more close and loving friends than I could ever have imagined. I am beyond
blessed to still have my Parents and Carol Hildebrand ( my daughters Grandmother and caregiver ) with me and I thank the Lord for them every day. With my family on the Pike side, my daughter’s family on the Hildebrand side and my extended family with Martha on the Woodward side, I have more love around me than some people get in an entire lifetime – and I do not take it for granted. Speaking of the two loves of my life, my daughter Ashton and my girlfriend Martha continue to amaze me and make me proud. Ashton is in her freshman year at The University of Georgia and Martha is returning to Psychotherapy as her primary profession.
So when it comes down to it, 2013 was a year full of celebrations for me. For the !rst time in what might be my entire life I feel a sense of true peace and happiness in every aspect, and yet, there is still a lot unknown and there are still many opportunities for growth. Sometimes it is quite scary. I am doing my best to face these unknowns with my eyes wide open, my body healthy, and trusting completely in God and in those who love and care for me. I wish the same for you in 2014.
Happy New Year and may God bless all that you do.
"Ramblings From Jeff" - is a dedicated personal blog page within JeffPike.com written and posted by Jeff Pike.