Hearst Castle

Well, as most of you know, I’m performing this weekend with Blue Street in Pismo Beach. Today, Denise, her kids, and I did something that I’ve been wanting to do ever since I started playing in Pismo many years ago. Seems like I just never had the time to do it, but it’s really just the fact that I have poor planning skills… Anyway, we went to Hearst Castle!

Who ever thought that a media giant could have so much money! That aside, the castle is amazing! The most intriguing thing for me, though, was the fact that this structure was custom-built and is a proverbial melting pot of architecture. It is truly, in every sense of the word, American, from its Gothic-ness to its Romanesque outdoor pool to its Heinz Ketchup bottles… A mixture of world cultures? Yup! Self-indulgent? You Bet! One of my favorite lines from the tour guide today was, “How many of you out there collect ceilings?”, which was met with a big fat ZERO raised hands. Every ceiling was specifically purchased from different countries and shipped to the states, and they are very VERY ornately carved!

But even more interesting than the castle itself, is the story of how its owner came to love all of these different cultural influences in art and architecture. As a boy he and his mother went on a European tour that would last for nearly a year. Talk about a life-molding experience! I couldn’t help but to look back on my first trip to Europe in high school. My mother always told me that traveling is something no one can take away from you, and I have been a believer of it my whole life! I completely wiped out my entire savings account just so I could visit the German speaking countries of Europe in 1993. After that trip I was hooked, and began saving money for the next trip and the next! Traveling is life-changing, and we are very lucky to be able to do so. There are people in this world who have never been outside of their own village! And that puts things into perspective for all of us, especially those of us who travel as part of our business.

Sun Valley

THE SUN ROOM
My absolute favorite room to play at the Sun Valley Lodge! Nice and intimate, and the crowd is practically sitting on my lap!

Well Sun Valley was another success this year!! I had a blast as always. And my new CD actually made it to the lodge last week before I started performing! Sold a bunch of those! Thanks so much to De and Miss Idaho for selling it for me again!

I have to say I was nervous trying to play those classical pieces again. I haven’t played them in over a year, so I spent most of the early week brushing up on them so I could at least give everyone some sort of representation of what’s on the album. But then again, I always get nervous at those Pianorama sets because there’s nothing to hide behind. I’m used to hiding behind the band, and with Blue Street, you know it’s like the offensive line of a football team – plenty to cover me up.

Anyway, I head back home tomorrow morning, and I’m really looking forward to it. I love the road, but I’ve been gone a good long time, and it’s time to relax! See you all in San Diego!

Thanks so much to Barbara Hazzard and the Loehrs for having me in Idaho this year! Hope to see you again next year for the big anniversary!

Recital! is going in to be pressed!

And not a moment too soon! I’m in between trips right now: just got back from Florida yesterday, and I leave for Kalispell, MT, Medford, OR and Sun Valley, ID tomorrow… Gonna be gone for three solid weeks! I have been told that the CD should be ready and shipped by Oct. 14th, so I’m having them ship a couple of boxes directly to Sun Valley. All you Sun Valley people should be very pleased with that. My sincere apologies to Kalispell and Medford, guess you’ll have to wait until next year!

It has been a lot of work to get this done on time, but it’s been worth it. Now that it’s all shipped off, it’s just a waiting game from here on out. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there are no delays! My last two CD releases have been late due to something going wrong in production or laziness or whatever. I hope history doesn’t repeat itself! Send me good vibes! See you all in the Northwest!!!