Category Archives: Music

Hurdy Gurdy Man in Boston

A couple of hours ago I was at Boston’s Logan Airport, inside International Terminal E, waiting for my wife and a friend of hers, returning from a few days in Toronto. I saw a man turning around, pushing a luggage cart, following his wife. Wait. Is that who I think it is? Yes, it is, and I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Donovan Leitch!

Donovan smiled, said hello, offered his hand, we shook, and I said, “Welcome to Boston!” Donovan explained they had been in China and were in Boston just for tonight, but that he would be back in town when on tour next year. He introduced his wife Linda, and we chatted briefly. Donovan asked for my name, if I was meeting someone, and I explained why I was there. I didn’t want to delay the creator of Celtic British Rock, so I limited myself to telling Donovan what a privilege and an honor it was to meet him. The Sunshine Superman extended his hand again, I said thank you, and we parted. What a wonderful, impromptu encounter.

Silent Movie Song

A 2010 death I think I neglected to mention at the time was Captain Beefheart. His heavy blues record “Click Clack” starts out by evoking the bizarre silent movie era theme of a villain tying a woman to railroad tracks. “Click Clack” got a lot of airplay on WBCN in Boston when I was in high school, around the same time the J. Geils Band album “Full House” came out, in 1972. Ah, 1972. A year of firsts, starting with my first stereo system.

A musical beginning and end

I am listening to a live performance on WCRB, Boston’s Classical music radio station. Andris Nelsons is conducting, in his public premier as Musical Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. But there is a sad counterpoint to the excitement of Nelsons taking over the baton in Boston, because I have just learned of the death of Christopher Hogwood.

Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014)

Christopher Hogwood (1941-2014)

I saw Hogwood quite a few times when he was conductor of the Handel and Haydn Society. Hearing Mozart and Beethoven as they were heard by Mozart and Beethoven (well, only up to a point with Ludwig), played by right-sized ensembles on original period instruments, was always a delight under Hogwood’s direction. He was only 73 and his passing is a very sad and significant loss.