Christmas is nearly upon us. I grew up loving the holiday. The lights, television specials, the anticipation, and especially the music. A special time with family and friends.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and most things in life don’t seem quite as special any more. Maybe it’s because I’ve been enlightened as to the actual genesis of the holiday and well, let’s face it, it’s as phony as St. Nick. Maybe it’s because too much water has passed under too many bridges. But, while I still love the decorations and television specials and music, the magic is fading. The anticipation is gone except for just wanting it to pass quickly now. And that leaves me melancholy. The trimmings are all around but something is missing inside. I miss Christmas and the excitement of it. Now more often than not it’s obligation rather than excitement. So much has changed over the years and I fear that magic is gone forever at this point. Santa’s sleigh bell doesn’t ring any more. And I miss it.
The one thing about this year that’s different from the past 20 or more Christmases is the reunion of the four original members of Carmine Blare. Yes we’re all gathering in the same place for the first time in that many years. This was the band from high school. Tony and Eric Chenault, Brandon Johnson, and myself. It’s the band I cut my music writing teeth in. We adored Rush and wanted to be just like them. We played covers, but then did everything we could to write songs in every key and time signature, often all within the same song. We wrote about justice and the little guy and many other lofty topics. For several years it was just understood we’d be hosting a New Years Eve party at the Smith Valley Community Center in Greenwood. On any given Saturday night you might find us hanging out at Gene’s Pizza on County Line Road after rehearsal.
We had lofty goals to conquer the music world. We started to go our separate ways after a few years as bands typically do. First Eric left, after which Tony took over on bass. Eventually the band folded. Why I can’t begin to remember at this point. Any combination of us might play together in other groups, but never more than 2 of us at one time as far as I know. After a while no combination of us ever played together, and only rarely would 2 of us see each other. So this reunion is a special thing. No we won’t be playing. Most of us haven’t played much in a while, Brandon not in years. But at this point that’s not important. It’s the re-gifting of old friendships. Now that I think on it, Christmas is the perfect time for this reunion.