by David Gans
I’m a musician and radio producer, and I usually spend a quarter to a third of my life on tour. As I write this in mid-April, I am missing a two-week tour of Ohio and New York state that I had been anticipating with great warmth and excitement. I missed a weekend music festival in Ventura earlier in the month, too, and every week a few more slices of my future get rolled back up and put away. I sure hope to get back out there soon, because I miss playing for live audiences!
I am playing music every day. My home studio is now the scene of a daily livestream. I’ve done an hour-long set every afternoon since April 4, and I intend to continue playing every day for the foreseeable future. It keeps my music sharp, and it’s giving me an opportunity to review a lifetime of favorite songs as I approach the 50th anniversary of my first paying gig (June 1970 at Frontier Village in San Jose). By the time you read this, I will have played more than two dozen sets, featuring more than 125 different songs- and I have a pretty long list of songs I haven’t gotten to yet. My show combines original music, interpretations of other writers’ material (with a special affection for the songs and improvisational style of the Grateful Dead), and improvisations. I use a looping device that makes it possible for me to have more than one guitar sound happening at a time.
My wife, Rita, is a retired schoolteacher. She misses her weekly volunteer work at Children’s Fairyland, but she has adapted well to the state of things by doing yoga, Feldenkrais, and exercise classes online. Our living room is her gym! She is tending to her beautiful gardens, and working on new paintings in her studio. She has also been posting signs in our window, lifting our community’s spirits and thanking the people who are doing so much to protect and assist us. “Thank you, Governor Newsom” and “We can do this!” are examples of her messages.
In certain ways, our life is going the way it always goes when I’m at home: we have historically shopped at three farmers markets – but now we plan our trips very carefully and minimize our time out in public. We’re very pleased with the way our markets have adapted to conditions and implemented safety measures. And, for the most part, our neighbors and fellow customers are returning our good vibes in kind.
We make occasional visits to Piedmont Grocery and Trader Joe’s, and eat most of our meals at home. Rita is a spectacularly good cook! Once in a while we order from Lin Jia or The Kebabery, two of our favorite local restaurants. I ride my bike most days, and Rita and I go for walks (observing all the protocols, of course) a few days a week.
Once a week or so, we gather a small group of neighbors for a “happy hour” in front of one of our houses. Some of us have been friends for more than 40 years! We each bring our own chairs and beverages, of course. We converse and wave at passers-by for a couple of hours.
Lastly, our cats provide us with tremendous pleasure every day. Oli and Ringo are littermates, eight years old, and profoundly bonded. These days, when Rita and I are snuggled in the living room, the boys are intertwining on a big ol’ chair across the room, showing us how it’s done. See photos!
– David Gans
- David’s Livestream can be accessed every afternoon (times vary) on This Facebook Link.
- Donations Via PayPal would be very much appreciated.
- Music (including his CD, The Ones That Look the Weirdest Taste the Best – the title song of which was inspired by the Grand Lake Farmers Market) and This Was All a Dream We Dreamed – the book about the Grateful Dead he co-authored with Blair Jackson can be purchased on This Link.
- I’m not sure how, but David also finds time to regularly update his gallery of Grand Lake Theatre marquees.
- And finally, David also previously authored a lovely profile of Fairyland’s C.J. Hirschfield titled “We’re in the Memory-Making Business” that we proudly published in the November 30, 2017 edition of the Splash Pad News.