When I was a kid, I loved the moon. Not sure why I was always so drawn to it. I remember being very small and waiting at the bus stop in winter and looking up at the moon with wonder and awe.
One of my favourite summers when I was a younger man was the summer of 1996. I spent the summer playing at the Aspen Music Festival, studying with musicians Bil Jackson and Dennis Smylie, and working part-time at the Stew Pot in Snowmass Village, which is less than half an hour up the road from Aspen.
Why did I love that summer so much? Although I can give many halfway decent answers, I’m going to have to blame it on the Blue Moon. When you have two full moons in one month, the second is a Blue Moon.
There were many good things that happened then, as well as many frustrating and overwhelming ones. One memory comes to me again and again. It was the end of August. We’d had a fantastic Summer Season, in which we played some masterpieces of the symphonic literature. It was all winding down, and most of the musicians had said their goodbyes.
It was bittersweet. A part of me knew that we’d shared something magical that summer. I was driving down a deserted mountain road outside of Aspen, and Neil Young’s song ‘Harvest Moon’ came on my radio. In that moment that the song’s opening guitar sounded, the Blue Moon
appeared from behind one of the mountains.
For a split second, everything was just alright with me and the world. I can count on one hand the number of times that’s happened in my life.
We have another Blue Moon this month. Tonight’s the first one. Then later in August, the Bluest of Moons is on its way. I can’t guarantee anything, but I get a good feeling about the whole thing. That the Blue Moon here in 2012 might be the best one yet.
‘Come a little bit closer/hear what I have to say.
Just like children sleeping/We could dream this night away…’