1:17 pm: Whew! Never done this before, so bare with me! (Bear? Doesn’t seem right, does it? But let’s keep our clothes on! LOL!) Anyway, bumpy road ahead!
1:42 pm: Long time readers here at Suzy’s You Go, Girl! know that I always have a song in my heart. I live the music and the music lives in me! So you can imagine how excited I was to hear about this 1st International Gathering of Terry Jacks Fan Clubs. My little TJFC (Terry Jacks Fan Club) has always been a labor of love. As many of you know, it’s strictly an online thing, because our members hail from all corners of the globe! Including the Phillipines and Chile! So, to actually meet fellow fans of one of the great under-rated Canadian musicians of all time, in the flesh, is quite something, let me tell you. Hats off to Lorri Steinbach and her husband Phil for making this dream a reality!
1:48 pm: Your reporter isn’t exactly a world traveler, so excuse me if I ask When did they stop serving snacks on airplanes? Is this a recent thing? Is it too much to ask for a little morning muffin or a little box of Cheerios and some milk? Yes, I know it’s a short flight (Pittsburgh to Charlotte) but really. And then $2 for a bottle of water? Really? $215 roundtrip and you can’t even get a banana.
2:15 pm: Quick Fact! How many of you knew that Terry Jacks is a noted environmentalist? It’s true! He is the founder of Environmental Watch of British Columbia and has crusaded against the pollution dumped into BC waterways by Canadian pulp and paper mills. He also directed, wrote, scored, and narrated the environmental documentary The Warmth Of Love: The Four Seasons of Sophie Thomas.
2:37 pm: Okay! Picked up my nametag here at the Hilton Garden Inn and Convention Center. Very excited. Ballroom they rented seems a bit small.
3:15 pm: No one here yet. (I know! I’m such an eager beaver! It doesn’t even start until 5 o’clock!) Time for another Quick Fact! Terry got his start in a band called The Chessmen when he was 18 years old. Obscure little bar band? Au contraire! The Chessmen had FOUR Top 10 hits in Vancouver between 1964 and 1966!
3:31 pm: Met a very nice Episcopal minister in the hotel lobby. Talked about getting tax exempt status for my Terry Jacks Fan Club chapter. He wasn’t optimistic.
3:52 pm: Lorri’s here! With a whole van load of South Florida “Jacks Maniacs”! Oh, they seem like a fun crowd! Time to get our Jacks on!
4:10 pm: Two hours in to this Live Blog and I still haven’t said the “Seasons” word or the “Sun” word. (Oh, no, wait, I see I said Seasons.) Anyway, there’s SO much more to Terry Jacks than that one song. Did you know that Terry’s song “Which Way You Goin’ Billy?” was #2 on the U.S. Billboard chart for Terry’s band the Poppy Family in 1970?
4:30 pm: Still a LOT of nametags on the greeting table in front of Ballroom C. Including the tags for Nnamdi, Alice and Alice from my own little TJFC. (I know! Two Alices! Weird!) Lorri has mentioned that we might be moving from Ballroom C to the Good Times Bar downstairs. Cozy!
4:49 pm: I know I’ve said this a million times, but the fact that Terry Jacks isn’t a world-acclaimed Canadian musician like Neil Young or Gordon Lightfoot is a TRAVESTY! “If You Go Away,” “Rock N’ Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life),” and “Christina” all made the U.S. charts, and Terry was practically the Elton John of Canada in the 70s. You can look it up!
5:10 pm: I could give a goddamn (excuse me!) if it is the finish of the Brickyard 400. This is not a NASCAR fan club. It’s rude of the bartender to leave the TVs on when people are trying to talk. Threatened to move our Gathering back to Ballroom C, but Alfred from Tuscaloosa (saw Terry Jacks LIVE in concert in Phoenix in 1978!) wanted to see the race. NASCAR freaks! Boo!
5:20 pm: Beautiful little keynote speech from Lorri about Terry Jacks’s Place In The Musical Firmament. Very moving. Lorri revealed we were thisclose to having Terry’s ex-wife Susan Jacks appear at the Gathering. Or maybe drop in via video conference. Who is Susan Jacks? Hello! Only half of the Poppy Family and a fellow member, with Terry, of the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame (inducted 2010)! Maybe next year, Susan!
5:43 pm: Steve from Albany started singing “Seasons In The Sun” but we shooshed him. Little early in the day to be half in the bag, I’d say. Alfred bought me a drink called a Purple Gator. Specialty of the house, he says. Exotic!
5:58 pm: Nnamdi, Alice and Alice could have at least texted if they weren’t going to show up. Pretty poor showing for the Pittsburgh area Terry Jacks Fan Club. I know you’re reading this, you guys! You’re missing out on a LOT of fun!
6:15 pm: Phil has connected these cute little speakers to his laptop, so it’s all Terry Jacks, all the time here at the Good Times Bar. Go Jacks Maniacs!
6:42 pm: Should really eat something. Quick Fact! Courtesy of Amanda from Allentown (Yay, PA!). Terry Jacks produced the monster hit album Riding High for Canadian rockers Chilliwack in 1974. Chilliwack are kind of like Bachman Turner Overdrive, Amanda says. Gotta check them out!
7:07 pm: Woo boy! The key to these Purple Gators, Alfred says, is the Grey Goose vodka. They don’t taste as smooth with off-the-shelf vodka, he says. No, wait. In the well, vodka? Not a big drinker here.
7:37 pm: Quick Jacks Fact: Terry Jacks is the Elton John of Canada! Alfred says, “You can call me Al,” and we both crack up. “You Can Call Me Al,” right? Paul Simon!
8:15 pm: Getting a little air. Alfred says maybe I should get something to eat. Excuse me, Al, I mean. He has this cute little Mustang convertible he got from Avis. My goodness! Puts my little Ford Focus to shame!
8:57 pm: Fucking fuck, excuse my language. What kind of rental car has no GPS in this day and age? I think we’re driving in circles. Fun Fact: Elton John is the Gordon Lightfoot of America!
9:15 pm: Everything was going just fine until Alfred said “I can’t even do that straight!” And then all these cops at this DWI checkpoint get on their high horses.
9:51 pm: It’s strange how you can live your whole life and never really walk along the side of a highway. I mean, I realize I’ve never really seen a highway roadside up close before. The cars really go whooshing by! There isn’t as much litter as you’d think, either. Litter was kind of a 70s thing, I think. Like Terry Jacks. I think I mentioned that Terry Jacks is an environmentalist. Poor Alfred!
10:17 pm: Turns out we WERE driving in circles. I think I can see the Garden Inn up ahead. Boy, that was THIS girl’s exercise for the week.
10:39 pm: Freaking Courtyard by Marriott. What would Terry Jacks do in this situation? Feet are killing me. Took somebody’s cab.
10:50 pm: Where the heck IS everybody? I flew from Pittsburgh for THIS?
11:11 pm: You know what? You know what? Fuck you people.
11:17 pm: Going to bed.