06-10-14-My Morning Thoughts: “Santana, the meeting” When I met Carols Santana the first time I was blown away with his gentle spirit and his ability to make this young kid that’s star struck so at ease. This was the third time I had saw Santana perform live and the second straight year I got his guitar pic. Now this was something special because over the years I heard that back then he only threw out one pic at the end of each show! But this pic was handed to me from Carols during a guitar break in Europa and if you know Santana music you know there aint many guitar breaks…and if you know that song it’s almost all a melodic lead guitar! Anyway, during this show I gave him a jacket that meant so much to me because it came from my drummer when he was with another band called Abraxas, which was also a Santana album and Carlos picked up the jacket set it behind his Mesa-Boogie amp and then walked up to me and gave me the pic. After the show I decide to hang around by the side stage to see if he would come out and he did not…but, one of his crew came out and asked for the guy that gave Carlos the jacket…LIKE 20 people started saying I did I did I did at the same time…but then the guy said…who has the guitar pic, and it went dead quite as I held up the pic and said…I have it. He then said you come with me. The crowd made way like I was a hated king or something as I walked backstage and down stairs to a party room (which I latter got to visit myself when I got to play Blossom…ha ha) where everyone was hanging out eating fruit and drinking bottled water…sorry that’s the truth, no craziness going on at that time…so I hang out I talk to the other members of the band, I tell the bass guitars nice solo on Soul Sacrifice but no Santana…eventually I’m kind a standing around and the guy that brought me down there says did you see Carlos yet and I said no and he said come with me…he brings me to Carols Santana’s room and says here’s the guy that gave you the jacket. I’m invited in and invited to sit and it’s just me and him! He says hey man that’s a cool jacket but do you want it back…I said no and explained how much it meant to me and how honored I was if he kept it. He pics up his gray suede jacket and says “here take my jacket”…and I said no I didn’t do it for that I just wanted you to have mine…he says ok and asks me my name. I tell him Larry and he reaches out his hand and we shake and he says nice to meet you Larry what’s your last name…I say Insana and he says what? I repeat it and he then says… “Insana-Santana, now that sounds pretty cool”. We talk about everything from people to music for almost an hour! He then says I got to get going but before I do I want you to have this and he takes of this gold whistle from around his neck in the shape of a cross and puts it on my neck and says if I’m keeping the jacket you have to except this…he also gave me his home address and said please don’t give this to anyone else, which I never have…and I thanked him for his time as I left….Now this is even more of trip!!!…one year later I go to see him again at blossom but this time I only have lawn seats (general admission) so I take a pen, right down section 13 /row A /seat 23 on the ticket and right when the lights go off I run up to the guy with the flashlight and say the shows starting and I got front row seats! He lets me through, I get all the way to the front row…and the seat was empty! I show my ticket to again and they seat me and I’m there for the entire fantastic show!!!...now after the show I was hanging out by the side of the stage and I see Carlos while he’s walking towards backstage and I yell out hey Carlos and he says…”hey Insana”!...and I just about died he remembered my name…and then he tells his guys, it’s cool let him in…plain and simple.
06-09-14-My Morning Thoughts: “My Apologies” Man I’m sorry, I’m still tuckered out from re-living that Nashville trip last week all over again!!!!...man the memories!...LOL…and BTW, there were three more appointments after those appointments in Nashville but I’m just drained, maybe at another time down the road they will come out…Have a great day all…plain and simple.
06-02-14-My Morning Thoughts: More Gig Stories: #7 no real order… When we had down time or the guys were jamming with other bands or we were on one of our infamous hiatuses I would play out from time to time mainly as a solo artist. But without a hesitation the bar I played the most was a place called Quinn’s Pub in Euclid Ohio. I must have played there like 100 times if it was once! I would say in the early days this gig was special to me because the owner gave me the chance to play there so much. Now I did do my part because back in the day I started at 7:00 PM and played till closing time…2:30AM and quite often we closed the doors and played even later into the mornings! I loved it and never really wanted to stop anyway. But my personal claim to fame in this historically legendary “Irish” Pub is…one magical night when the stars must have aligned and everybody I knew must have not had anywhere else to go, I packed the place! Now this is back in the time that a shot and a beer was like a buck twenty-five. People were ordering shots that were brought out on trays like the old McDonald fast food trays!...it was insane yet truly amazing all rolled into one. I played over four hours straight before I took a break and mainly because there wasn’t anywhere you could go to get a break anyway! Couldn’t even get to the bathroom! Now don’t get me wrong, not that I’m some great attraction I’m just some guy that writes songs and can’t stop till I play every one of them!!! Anyway, the next day the owner told me I broke the record in sales that night eclipsing his St Paddy’s Day record! I don’t remember exactly but it was like just under 3K and his old record was like 2K at this time……….and this was how I came up with the words “He never got paid but he got free drinks, maybe it wasn’t the right thing to give a dreamer” in my song “Someday”…NOTE: this was the deal I made at that time, but after that night I made somewhat better deals…and that owner Mike Quinn, not only became a great friend and a supporter of mine…when my father asked me to write some country songs, Quinn liked them so much he not only hooked me up with his childhood friend the legendary music mogul Steve Popovich, he also took me to Nashville to shop some of those country songs!...now “The Nashville story”, that’s a complete other story…maybe I’ll bring that story out tomorrow…to be continued…plain and simple.
05-27-14-My Morning Thoughts: “One of my Favorite Moving Lines” “And so shines a good deed in a weary world”…just love that line and always will…have a great day all…plain and simple.
05-23-14-My Morning Thoughts: “Funny” Who’s to say what is funny? A movie a joke a picture, it really doesn’t matter what makes us all laugh but it unequivocally matters that we laugh as much as possible in my mind….it works for me every time…have a great safe weekend all and don’t let the bed bugs bite, unless you like bed bug bites of course…now laugh a lot this weekend it really works!…plain and simple.
05-22-14-My Morning Thoughts: How hard is it to figure out that were all just people. Much of the world population are pretty much going through life with the hands they were dealt trying to do the best they can so they can get to the next day in one piece. Some may have bigger pieces but the premise remains the same in the big picture. Most have to work, most have to worry, most have to plan the best they can no matter how big or small that plan may be…did you know that just the food wasted, spoiled or thrown away in America would feed 25 million people annually! Can you imagine what it would be like if all this wasted food could be used somehow before it’s wasted? I mean feeding 25 million people would put a nice dent in those that go to bed hungry night after night. Is it enough…NO…is it a start…absolutely…I guess the bigger question would be…HOW can this be accomplished?...plain and simple.
05-21-14-My Morning Thoughts: “wishing out loud” We all should be able to splurge a little every now and then ya know, this is what I’m thinking about next payday, …nice big steaks on the grill, big baked potatoes, peppers onions and mushrooms with olive oil slow roasting, Italian cut green beans and some garlic butter chargrill shrimp on the side…screw waiting for payday, Honey I’m cooking tonight!!!!...plain and simple.
05-20-14-My Morning Thoughts: I am so into controversy this fine morning…watch out. Is there a reason why when two people or two groups or two anything not agreeing on a particulate subject should end any said argument/disagreement with conflict or anger? I mean one believes what he or she believes and that’s just the way it is. So often these things end with conflict or hostility when in reality they both still believe what they believe…right? If you’re arguing a topic and no one compromises or leans to the other side then you should be just the same way you were before the topic started I would think. Nothing’s changed so why get-worked-up? You still have your beliefs and they have theirs and they didn’t change your mind and you didn’t change their mind and there ya have it…a stalemate a draw a deadlock a tie a standstill a logjam…shake hands and try again another day, if your beliefs warrant it…still friends forever…plain and simple.
05-19-14-My Morning Thoughts: “it’s long overdue” It seems strange to me that we often drift away from family and friends only to reunite at weddings and funerals. I know there’s a reason for this and it’s called…LIFE!...But, when you catch up at these events and see these people that you haven’t seen in years and it clicks like you never left each other’s side it just makes me stop and think…WHY do we let this go!...I mean these are people that help me become me!...I do try and stay in touch however I know I should be doing more…this fine Monday before the day is done I’m calling, not texting or e-mailing or FB or snap chat or tweeting but calling somebody important to me while I still can!!…it’s long overdue…plain and simple.
05-16-14-My Morning Thoughts: The Gig Stories: #5 no real order… The first time I ever played solo at Ohio University was at a bar called Swanky’s. It was my first week of my freshman year at OU and I hadn’t met all my professors yet. I was playing this open mic type thing and there were about 5 people in the bar (other than musicians) when it was my turn to get up and play. When I get on the stage about as nervous as one can be and get ready to take the world by storm (in my mind) my very first strum of my very first song I break a string!!!! I didn’t have any extra strings so I just kind-a-froze for a moment and then started to get off the stage and look for a corner to hide in…I was thinking to myself that’s it, I’m never doing this again it’s just to frigging embarrassing! As I stepped off the stage another guitar player walked up and said where ya going? I said I’m done, this aint for me…he replied…”you can use my guitar if ya want”…now I’m thinking how cool is that, I guy that doesn’t even know me has offered me his guitar to play my set. It completely and absolutely changed my perspective of the entire incident in a split second as my emotional state went from no self-esteem, to at least some level of normalcy self-esteem I would say…anyway, I play the set with his guitar, I walk off the stage and thanked him for the kindest he offered to me in my moment of despair…and when the night was over and I was walking back to my dorm I was actually saying…man I was ready to quit playing forever because of one stupid embarrassing moment and if it wasn’t for the kindest of a perfect stranger, a fellow musician, I might have walked out a never played again. The next morning I get to my Psych 101 class for the first time and who do you think my professor was?...Yep, the guy that graciously lent me his guitar last night!...now this was a good thing and a bad thing at the same time because good that there were plenty of musician’s and places to play in Athens however bad because there were plenty of places to play in Athens if ya know what I mean…I did stay there around four years writing and playing songs but I retired early from the school part…anyway, guitar players normally don’t offer their guitar’s to perfect strangers to play but at that moment in time I realized there are good considerate genuine people in this world and don’t let anybody tell you different!...well I have years upon years of gig stories and I may revisits’ the topic in the future but until then, have a great safe weekend everyone and enjoy every moment you can…plain and simple.