Message Received — Cloak Unfurled

I’d like to broach a subject, About something we all do. While we might be social creatures, Some folks make us mad or blue. So what are the things you do, To avoid having a conversation? Have you ducked into a restroom, Feigning troubling constipation? Have you ever silenced your phone, Or just tossed it […]

via Message Received — Cloak Unfurled

Awesome poetry. I ROARED, because I saw myself in every line. Maybe you will, too. Make sure you read the comments. It’s worth it.

Climbing The Mountains – ITFO Chapter and Music Video

 

 

Below is a partial chapter for “Inside The Forbidden Outside”. There was a riot during the midday meal. Tension is always high strung.  It doesn’t take much to set off violence that leads to injuries and death. Guards are extremely outnumbered. There are repercussions to everyone who participates as well as those who don’t.

Subscribe to ITFO News below for occasional updates. You can request computer chapters if you are a subscriber   Or a subscriber at my Youtube channel OR on my mailing list at sonniquick.net ( link below) Help support and share. Help me help Jamie. He’s one of the good guys. Learn the truth about life in our prisons. Follow Jamie’s Story. 

 

CLIMBING THE MOUNTAINS

Oh my God, what was happening? Jamie heard screaming and large objects being thrown against the walls inside the room where the inmates were served food. He could hear the thud of bodies being hit and falling into the tables. Guards were shouting threats, trying to get the chaos under control, but they were losing. The medical unit was going to be busy today.

Jamie was walking down the hall on his way to chow. It was a privilege he had gotten back when he was finally moved from adseg to G4. He had almost made it to the large room when he felt himself being shoved from behind up against the wall. He heard the doors being slammed shut and bolted. There was tension brewing in the air along with the smell of panic.

Two guards stood outside the doors. One guard had his taser pointed at the inmates lined up along the wall. The other one had his baton raised, ready to use if anyone moved. There was a third guard standing in a lookout on the second floor. He had a rifle pointed at them that was loaded with pellets of buckshot. The two guards near them looked scared that the inmates might try to rush and overpower them. One wrong move and someone was going to get killed.

They were short staffed as usual and there was no telling how many guards were inside. It couldn’t be more than a couple because there was no time to call for help. There was usually one guard at either end of the room. They were outnumbered and they knew it.

Being scared didn’t begin to cover what Jamie was feeling. These guards could easily lose control and think they were justified in shooting to protect themselves, especially not knowing if any of their own were being injured or killed on the other side of that door. One shot toward the floor with the pellet gun would riccochet hundreds of buckshot in all directions.

Jamie tried to make himself look as non-threatening as possible. No sudden moves. In fact, no moves at all. It was total bedlam behind the locked door and it could easily turn that way in the hall, too. This was not a good day for dying. Riots didn’t often happen, but when they did they were usually deadly. High tensions started the fighting and once it got started it wouldn’t easily calm down.

More guards soon arrived and they escorted the men back along the wall to their cells. He felt much safer when the cell door shut behind him and he heard the lock click in place.

But what the hell happened in there? Was it planned or did something happen between two people and it got out hand? If he had been inside the chow hall when the doors were closed he would have been screwed big time.

When there was a fight and guards got involved, others joined in. The dudes who started the trouble would expect the other inmates to join them. If they didn’t, they would hunt you down later and mess you up. If you were scared and got yourself chased to another prison, word would get out and people at that prison would find you and make your life miserable. You couldn’t run far enough no matter how many years you got.

If Jamie had gotten involved in the fight the guards could have beaten the crap out of him. If not then, they’d find him later. They would retaliate against everyone involved even if they didn’t do anything. No one would stop them. It was one time they got away with murder with no questions asked. It was a no-win situation no matter how you looked at it.

They would have put him back in adseg in a heartbeat and most likely would never let him out again. Being part of a prison riot would have affected his life in many ways. It didn’t matter that he had not been part of it. Getting caught up in one was all that was needed.

Would it affect the possibility of getting paroled? He didn’t want to think about that. It didn’t happen. He didn’t get caught up it. Less than a minute later and he would have. He didn’t get beat up by the guards and he didn’t get in bad with those who chose to riot. It was close, but luck was on his side this time.

He knew why they did it. So did the warden. People would only put up with being treated like dogs by their jailers for just so long. Kick a dog enough times and he was going to bite back. If you starve them and take away everything that makes them human, when they bite they were going to draw blood. Spray them with chemicals and laugh about it, feed them garbage and ignore them when they are sick and they will eventually riot if the opportunity is there. They aren’t dogs, they’re human beings. The riot might have been started by one of the dudes disrespecting someone’s space but the overall reason was because all of them were disrespected by the system.

Until the people who run this place take care of their end instead of constantly finding ways to make the men responsible for all the trouble there was going to be even more trouble.

The best thing to do was to keep to himself as much as possible. Do his time and stay away from everyone if he could.

Jamie had missed lunch. He was going to get mighty hungry by dinner. It wouldn’t be the last time he would be hungry so it was no big deal. The warden wouldn’t care about that anyway, he had his hands full.

Going over to his locker he went through his books to see if there was one that looked interesting enough to read again. He liked to do that. There was always something he missed in the first reading. Settling down on his bunk he tried to lose himself in some other place and time, somewhere outside this prison cell. He had read more books in the last six years than he ever would have. He found he enjoyed reading and could read a book a day of he had enough.

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Geez, What a Busy Summer!

Geez, what a busy summer!  I think I’ve been turning around in ever increasing circles. I have found that it is impossible to do 2, let along 4 things at one time and when I decide which “thing” is more important I have to make myself not think about something equally urgent to do and just enjoy the moment of that ONE thing.

Today was the day to work on new music, I had a wonderful benefit to come into my life last week.  I am in the Keys right now, below Florida, for those from other countries who don’t know what the Keys are. It is a string of small islands formed from Mangroves. The Overseas Hwy connects them, ended at Key West, 90 miles from Cuba, where I had lived for ten years prior to needing a liver transplant and needing a better hospital than was available.  Enough of that!

Even though I was raised in Pennsylvania a long time ago, my heart is in the Keys.  Since my grown son moved back, I took the opportunity to spend 50% of time with him and a couple of my grandchildren.  But I needed a piano.  Not want – need. What do I do? I went on Craig’s list for the first time and there was my piano.  Almost literally.  It was an earlier edition of my piano. Complete with 5 track recording and the same voice sounds.  Different color, though, and  1/10th the price and the owner delivered it! Oh! Yes!  I am a happy camper now!

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This is what is on my list of things to be done and is in addition to all of the daily life things that everyone has to do.

1.Two blogs to upkeep and write for and all the social media stuff and communication that needs to be done to keep it going.

2. Three facebook pages. Personal, Jamie’s facebook page and my music page. Plus all the groups I’ve joined and pages I’ve liked that I won’t list. I try to get back to as many as I can.  People won’t pay attention to you if you don’t throw some love their way – same with the blogs. And of course Twitter.  Also Pintrest and G+.  I post on them but I rarely go there and build traffic.

I Thought  I’d add this. It isn’t a new piece, but I think I will be using it in my next music video

( and the list goes on! )

3. Annoying but important social media. As much of a time sucker that it is, I remember being a musician when there was no way to reach fans on a daily basis to let them know where I was singing.  Social media has done a lot for indie artists of any kind. Dinosaurs like me (over 50) were overlooked back in the day unless you were already well known. Same with the book I’m writing. If you weren’t picked up by a publishing house you couldn’t put out a book, and if you tried there was no way to advertise it like we have today. Without social media there would be no indie – anything.

4. I need to start work on a new music video.

5. I need to finish the chapter I’m writing for my book in the making, “Inside The Forbidden Outside.

6. I need to start putting together my next ITFO News so I don’t have to cram it into two days.

7. Forget email, I’m too far behind

8. Update and show the love at reverbnation.com – It hosts my website: sonniquick.net I can have my music reviewed here and listen to other musicians. I have another blog here that I don’t have time to pay enough attention to.  I can also check stats, growth, demographics and other stats and ratings.

9. Update YouTube, reply to comments and find other musicians to network with

10. SoundCloud streaming.  I push a lot to create a following at this site.

So where do I begin? Well, I guess tonight I started right here. It would e great to see some of WordPress followers at some of my other sites. 

All of this should be done every day – at least every other day –  and it is impossible. Tonight I took a little time and put this into a blog post because I’m not posting enough on this blog. 

I would LIKE to finish writing the chapters of my book and the music and get it ready for editing – by the end of the year. Can I do it? I’m trying.

I LOVE what I do and I’m confident that I can make this work.  Life is for the living and I’m living mine as thoroughly as I can and loving every minute!

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Seize The Day – ITFO Chapter

This is the current chapter of the book I’m writing about an epileptic seisure Jamie hand that resulted in knocking a tooth out. He has had many seizures – since the moment he was born, but he would have less of them in prison if the nurses didn’t deliberately withhold hiss seizure medicine often for days at a time. Is it just for cruelty, or is it a way the prison cuts cost with the inmates by cutting down how much medication they have to pay for? If they do it to Jamie, multiply that out over the entire prison population with many needing multiple medications. Man of these meds are very costly. Are they determining these inmates don’t have a right to life. Lack of proper medical care results in unnecessary deaths.

My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison

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SEIZE THE DAY

As Jamie slowly gained consciousness he realized his face was smack against the cement floor and his mouth hurt. Keeping his eyes closed he took an internal counting of his body parts. Anything else broken or bleeding? What the . . 

d      Waking up on the floor was not a good sign.

      He couldn’t move. It took too much effort to try. His body felt as though huge bricks were holding him down. Every muscle felt like it had been run over by a truck, more than once. He’d been through this before – too many times. He knew he’d had a seizure.
     A voice behind him said, “Should we take him to medical?”
     Jamie wanted to shout, “Of course you need to take me to medical,” but his mouth betrayed him and refused to form the words…

View original post 1,937 more words

T-Shirt and Tote-Bag For Sale To Raise Money for Jamie

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My son Robo, a genuine Fl Keys boat monkey is modeling the new T-Shirt. Gotta give him credit!

This is a long road I have been on with Jamie since we met at the end of 2005. I have done my best to take care of the things he has needed in prison but it has been hard. So I had the t-shirt and tote bag made to sell for those who are able to help.

Jamie was picked up with friends and sentenced for a crime he was there for, but didn’t commit. He never found out what happened to his friends but he knew the one with the gun, who had joked about robbing the club they were going to had been in prison before. He was guilty by association. Jamie learned the importance of paying attention to the friends you keep.

He was a young man who turned 22 at the same time, in January 2006. What he has been through at the hands of the guards, the staff, and also some of the inmates is something you don’t want to go through. It was hard reading his letters knowing there was nothing I could do to help him – except be there for him. Family pretty much disappeared. I have struggled to provide him with basic necessities we take for granted. Now he has “only” 4 1/2 years to go before he is released. Now it is going to take more than an occasional $20 of extra food each month and also money to buy hygiene, stamps, books and magazines and pay for the lousy medical care he gets. He wants so much to survive and be a father to the son he has never been allowed to touch because a piece of plexi-glass separates them.

How will he live? He doesn’t know how to open up a bank account or sign a lease agreement if someone takes a chance and rents to a convicted x-felon. That can be difficult to find. There is so much he doesn’t know that he will be expected to know. How can an almost 40 year old man not know what he should have learned 20 years before? Getting out of prison after that many years is similar to coming home from war with PTSD and have to assimilate into society.

Jamie has epilepsy and needs medical care to keep his seizures in check. The prison medical unit has denied him his medication many times for days at a time and is often left laying, sometimes on the floor after a seizure, or he wakes to find himself in cuffs and leg shackles ( for the guard’s protection, of course). He sometimes seizes twice and to be shackled could mean breaking bones.

I have been working to get him help legally and to stop them from changing his records to indicate he was adequately cared for. I am not going to let him be a statistic. I’m sure, if you have a loved one in prison you have also been fearful of the things the prison staff can be authorized to do.

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My youngest granddaughter Moya

This costs money I do not have. Many of you have followed this blog for the four years I’ve been writing it. I have gotten many messages of encouragement to pass on to him. He is a kindhearted person who appreciates every kind word he has received. It is why I am writing the book “Inside The forbidden Outside” so he will have money and a chance to get started when he gets released. It will be a hard road. There will be a sequel to this book which will be what happens as he starts the process of being released and starting again.

This is why I decided to do something that could make money to help him. I am sincerely hoping you will help, too. Jamie wrote to me and said, “Are you sure? I don’t think many people would want a T-shirt with my face on it.” I told him, “You don’t know how many people know who you are, but they are all over the world!”

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Sharing this post will also help. If this works I will branch out to more colors. The success of the book ( when I get done writing and recording the music and videos! ) depends on those of you who care about the great number of people who were railroaded into prison by having plea deals forced on them even if they are innocent. I have to do everything I can to help him.

Free Shipping on domestic orders

Shipping for International orders will have to be caluculated on an individual basis. Contact me at squick@mynameisjamie.net and I will tell you what any extra shipping might be.

I hope to add more colors and styles as well as other items to help raise much needed funds.

I want to thank everyone for reading and sharing posts and chapters along with music and videos I record. It has been quite a journey. Thank you for helping me support Jamie, even if that help is just coming here and reading. The prison system needs to change. Hopefully with this book and the lecturing I plan on doing afterward will help change a piece of it.

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The Long Journey Begins – Chapter in Jamie’s Book

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The Long Journey Begins

Jamie’s son was born on July 7th, 2006. He was given his name, James. He might be in a bad place right now being locked up, but the day he found out his son was born was the happiest day he ever had.
      Morgan called the prison and they got the message to him. He was a father! That caused a smile to spread over his entire face. He gave a little laugh. He couldn’t help himself. He wouldn’t know what his son looked like until Morgan sent him a picture, but he knew he was beautiful, because Morgan was beautiful. He wouldn’t be able to be a father, not like he wanted to. He tried not to think about that. Not today. He was going to be happy today.
      A lot of the dudes were grinning and there were quite a few congratulations going around for him. Even a few of the guards said it. That surprised him. He guessed hearing about a new baby allowed them to let their “guard” down a little and act human for a change.
      Jamie told everyone he came in contact with. This day would never come again and he wanted to make the most of it. It was the first time in more than seven months he had something, anything, to be happy about. Good things didn’t happen too often when you were locked up. Any reason you had to smile was a big deal.
      He thought about his family. He missed them. He was gone for so long when he was in juvy. He wasn’t out long. They won’t even know him when he gets out this time. Everyone goes on with their lives. His son won’t really know him, either.
      Families are a big deal when you’re locked up. It was often the most important thing to know family was there, caring and all. He needed his family to help him so he could get hygiene and stamps and things. He’s not able to get any kind of job yet to make some money. They don’t have jobs at the jails. All you do there is wait. But maybe when he gets settled he could get one. He didn’t care what the job was, He didn’t want to be a burden on anyone.
      Some dudes had no family at all and some had families that had never been there for them even when they were kids. He heard a lot of stories, and most of them had hard times. Many said they weren’t guilty. He could understand that.
      A few of those he talked to came from foster care. They’d been on their own a long time. And sometimes they had families where bridges had been burnt and their family had had enough. Tbey got tired when their son or husband kept getting in trouble or couldn’t get off drugs. Everyone had a story, even him.
    Some had issues with their baby mamas and they couldn’t see their kids. Jamie was glad it wasn’t like that for him. His older brother had been good about writing him and he sent some money on occasion if he needed it. His mom never answered his letters, but he kept trying. He knew Morgan would never keep Jamie from him. She would never do that to him.
      Living through a prison sentence, no matter how long if was, it was ten times harder when you didn’t have family who cared. Today, him being a new father gave some of the other men a reason to pull out pictures of their own kids and show him how proud they were to be fathers. That was the normal part of their life. The part they wanted to get back to.
      A couple men said they were going to be better fathers when got out because they knew it was hurting their kids when they weren’t around. They wanted to be better fathers.
      That was all Jamie thought about, being a dad. He daydreamed about it for hours. Not just a baby, but learning things a father would teach his son. How to ride a bike and throw a ball. Later they would go see sports games. They would do things together he never got a chance to do with his own father. There is just a big, empty hole there where memories of his father should be.
      He tried to convince himself maybe he’d get out early and be there for him. All he could do was try. Stay to himself. Hopefully go to school and get his GED and train for a skill after that.
      But why did they move him so far away. He couldn’t do anything about it, but they knew he had family. Morgan was down as his wife, even though they weren’t really married. They knew he had a mama and brothers and a sister. It made him feel alone.
Jamie had been moved out of solitary a while back, but he was still waiting to find out when he’d be moved to a prison. He was told it wouldn’t be long now. Since he was back in a dorm with other inmates he was able to make a phone call to Morgan.
She told him all about little Jamie. He stood there with the biggest grin on his face hearing all the details about his son. He wasn’t happy, though, hearing how hard it was for her in the delivery room.
      “It wasn’t easy, Jamie. I had to have a c-section at the last minute. The doctor found the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck three times. They didn’t know that until they tried to take him out. That’s why he wouldn’t go down the birth canal. His vitals were dropping. The doctor had never seen that before. Without the surgery he would have died. He was lucky. We were lucky”
      Morgan sounded tired. He wished he could’ve been there with her. She must have been scared. Healing from surgery, taking care of a newborn by herself, as well as the other kids, would wear her out. He was glad she was with her mom so she could help her. Now more than ever he realized how much he screwed up by going out that night.
“I’m sorry I’m not there to help you,” he spoke quietly. Jamie’s regrets would become a pain that never went away.
      “More than anything,” he said, “I wish I could be there with you right now. Hold you in my arms with little Jamie between us. I want to protect both of you, and I can’t.”
A fifteen minute jail call goes by too fast. There was never enough time to say all you wanted to say. The sadness in his heart after he hung up the phone overshadowed the happiness he felt when he dialed her number.
      Reality hit hard. He didn’t want to think he wouldn’t be able to raise his son. He would miss every first – first laugh, first step, first tooth, first birthday, second birthday and more after that. He would miss it all. And little Jamie would miss having his daddy.

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Jamie found out he was being moved. They couldn’t have sent him any farther away from home. Was it on purpose? There were a hundred prisons they could have sent him to. They had to choose the one that was farthest away? It was clear across the state. East Texas, where he was from, was mostly pine trees and red dirt. West Texas was mostly desert.
      There was no way now that his family could come and see him. No one could take off four days from work for a visit that was only a couple hours long. Making the drive in one day would be too hard. It looked like he was on his own.
      Texas was a huge state to travel across. He had never been any farther west than Huntsville when he was on probation. He lived with his uncle during tenth grade. Now he was being to sent to the Smith Unit in La Mesa. By car it took about eighteen. By prison bus it would probably take four days. They didn’t take a direct route. They zigzagged to different prisons, picking up inmates and dropping others off. It was a trip to hell.
      It was summer and scorching hot. Even though there was air conditioning it wasn’t strong enough to cool down the heat from the sun scorching the metal of the bus. Too many bodies inside didn’t help, either. Some of them stank pretty bad and that made it worse. They’d all end up stinking by the time they got where they were going.
      Jamie wore the same white shirt and baggy elastic waist pants he put on the day they loaded up the men being transferred. He wouldn’t be able to take a shower until the bus arrived at Smith Unit, after be was processed. That could take awhile. No one cared if any of the inmates missed a shower, and no one cared how they felt about their travel experience. Suffering was part of their sentence. They deserved it, right?
      After all the red tape was taken care of and he was assigned somewhere, he should be able to make a phone call to Morgan and see how she and little Jamie were doing.
In the bus the inmates were separated from the guard and the driver who were up front, but the guard in the back had to deal with the stink – and stay alert. They changed guards and drivers a few times when when they stopped at different prisons to exchange prisoners for others.
      The men had to sit there silently waiting for the bus to start. The driver wasn’t allowed to let the engine idle when both guards weren’t onboard. They were standing outside having a smoke. The AC wouldn’t go on until the engine kicked over again. Jamie felt sweat drip down the side of his face. It was going to be a long, uncomfortable trip.
The seats on the bus were hard and uncomfortable like a city bus, not a Greyhound bus. There was no padding anywhere. They made sure they would be miserable. It was impossible for Jamie to stretch out his legs, so circulation was bad. He knew his ankles and feet would swell. The heat made it worse.
      The guards were never amused by complaining. It was pointless anyway. There was nothing they could do. He knew it was gong to get worse the farther west they went when it became a drier heat. It sucked all the moisture out of his mouth and throat. He felt dehydrated. He craved water. They didn’t give them enough water. Less bathroom breaks that way, he guessed. But if anyone asked for water they just might make them wait even longer, just to make them feel worse.
      It was impossible to do more than doze off for a few minutes of light sleep. The whirling sound of the tires as they turned on a road hot enough to melt the tires, was enough to lull the men into a stupor. Problem was, if they started falling to one side, the person next to them would give them a shove with their shoulder to tell them to straighten up.
      Jamie was cuffed to another man, through rings on the seats. “I gotta piss. We gotta get up.” the man next to him said after they had been on the road for about an hour. “Guard, we need to go to the back of the bus.”
      If one man needed to use the john, they both had to go. Peeing was one thing, but it wasn’t much fun if you needed to sit and take a shit. Sooner or later they all had to take a turn. The guard came and unlocked them from the seat, but not from each other. It was hard for two connected people to do anything that took co- ordination.
      A guard stood near the door-less restroom. Jamie and the other inmate made their way to it by walking sideways past the other seats. He stood looking away with his arm inside the door, trying to give him a little privacy.
      “Damn, it stinks.” Jamie muttered under his breath. Since they were cuffed they couldn’t easily clean up after themselves. There was pee on the floor and anywhere else it splashed. The toilet seat was kept up out of respect for those who needed to sit. After a couple days the smell was overwhelming. The men in the back had it the roughest.
      Jamie desperately wanted to wash up. Splash water on his face and neck. He didn’t have any of his property. That would arrives in a later bus, so no one had deodorant, either.
      The only good thing about traveling was being able to see outside. There wasn’t much to look at; west Texas was mostly desert. But the high point was being outside the walls and watching the day go from morning to night. Once he gets to his new home he is on the inside, and the outside becomes forbidden territory. The free world. A place he wouldn’t be able to go for a long time.
      “Hey, you got any family?” Jamie asked the dude next to him.
      “Shut up. No talking,” came from somewhere behind him.
      After a minute or so he heard a whisper, “Two girls. Three and five. You?”
      “Baby boy,” he whispered back. “Two months.” He glance to the right and saw him nod okay. “Too bad.”
      They weren’t allowed off the bus for any reason because of security. Food was bought and passed out. It felt to Jamie as though they were never going to get to the other side. It was like an old Twilight Zone TV show where a scene was supposed to be real life but you found out at the end it wasn’t. It didn’t get anymore unreal than this.

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It’s Partly Sonni Today With Little Sadness

This is older piece of music, recorded 3-4 years ago before I bought my white piano. The piano I had at this time was 15 years old. I was crushed when it started to die. I used it from 2000-2015 when I lived in Key West.

Technics keyboard

A piano tech worked on it. Unfortunately, the company that made the piano, Technics, a Japanese brand, stopped making it. It was impossible to get a main board replacement in the US. I would have to send the piano to the UK to get it fixed. That wasn’t practical. A local business that repaired keyboards opened it up and found corrosion growing on the main board. He did what he could to clean it off the components that was causing the keys to stop playing, one at a time. Because it was impossible to clean off every speck it would come back, just like decay would grow on a tooth. He told me that when it failed again, he wouldn’t be able to patch it up again. The piano might work for a week or maybe a year, but it would eventually fail. So when the first key started failing I went shopping! The piano still had some life left so I gave it to a piano student who needed it. It was still better than the one he had.

Yamaha electric grand 88 Keys
My second electric piano I used in the. 80’s. My first one, in the 70’s was a green metal Fender Rhodes that looked like an alien.

I was playing a Yamaha electric grand back then in the distant past of the eighties. The piano was elevated on a platform so I could stand. I had to raise my foot to the platform to work the pedal. The grand piano sound was awesome. This very heavy elephant was carried in two wood cases that took more strength than I had to carry. (that is what roadies are for!) It had a full harp to attach to the back. It could be raised and supported like a wood grand piano. The keys had a heavy action ( keyboard players understand what that is. ) The harder you play the more sound it makes. The spring back is slower. Totally opposite of playing a keyboard with the action of an organ. The harder the action the more control you have over the sound. You end up with strong hands and strong forearm. Playing that piano was a workout. I loved it. Even today the cost of one in good condition hasn’t depreciated much in 40 years. You’ll play around 3 grand.

I eventually gave that piano to my son, Robo Quick, who was playing boogie woogie and he really gave that piano a bigger workout than I did. When I was playing R&R I played so hard I had callouses on my finger tips like a guitar player. I often split the callouses by the end of the night and they would bleed. My music today is so different.

My son Robo
Robo

I’ll try to find an old picture of a stage performance playing it in my archive and add it (after I scan it in). The band I was with – The Robin Crow band – was sponsored by Nike so I’m probably wearing their gear.

This is the keyboard I bought and use now. I fell in love with it. (That’s nutty, I know) It has been my baby ever since. I put it on a rack instead of the legs that came with it so I can stand and play – easier to move up and down the keyboard – or lean on a tall stool. I don’t like to sit down and play. It’s too confining.  

Yamaha G650

When I record music that strikes a nerve inside, grabs me in my chest, I know I’ll keep it. But I have also deleted music many times that didn’t say what I wanted it to say. I honestly don’t know how I spontaneously play these pieces. Where does it come from. I knew at age 7 this was what I was striving to play. I could hear it. Almost anyone can “learn” to play the piano with enough practice. But when you take away the written music, can you play? Improvising can cause fear. What if you make too many mistakes? What if you can’t play? What if its terrible?

I don’t plan what I’m going to play ahead of time. Some call it, ‘ playing by ear’. I don’t think about chord structure, or even the time signature. There are other improv players. I search them out to see how their music makes me feel, but many just show off technique, trying to impress you with their skill, how fast they can play, but the music has no beginning, middle and end. There is no story. There is no emotion.

You have no idea how good it feels to let music flow out of your fingers. Dancers feel that when they dance – not choreographed dance steps – instead, letting the music make you move. Some people have no way to do that and turn to other ways to make them feel. Sometimes drugs –  alcohol – sex. I remember the day I recorded “Sadness”. The emotions that day were very heavy. Emotion makes me want to play. I have to.

It has been a long time since I really listened to this piece from beginning to end and felt it, like I did the day I recorded it. Indeed, the music is very sad and haunting. It brought back memories. I hope you enjoy it.

Edison
We are all in our 60’s now. This photo was taken 34 years ago. It was a good band. There was another keyboard player besides me ( The tall guy. Awesome player) We did mostly covers. Van Halen, Toto, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Hewy Louis and the News, Men at Work ( for you old timers!)
Edison
I wish I could find these guys. See if they are still kicking. I haven’t had any luck. So if you are in Colorado and someone looks familiar let me know.

Here are a couple more photos of many history

20170927_151426
The piano I played on from childhood until I graduated high school and went off unsuccessfully to college to study music. I always wanted to play music MY way, not the teachers way. This is a Kimbal piano. Tinny, like playing in a tin can. The harp is halfway between an upright and a spinnet. Which has a very low back and shirt harp. No tone quality. Even as a kid I practiced hours every day without being told to.
Music room 1980
This was my music room in1980. My daughter is in the baby carrier. The electric piano against the wall was my first electric piano – a green metal Fender Rhodes. I have never seen another one like it. I wish I still had it. I drove all over Texas playing places like Ramada Inn, and Holiday Inn for 1 -3 week gigs. Then I moved to Houston and sang and played in every piano bar in the city.

Because of the book I’m writing and the music I’m recording, this will determine success or failure when it is all published together. I believe this is the project that will define me as a musician to the public. All of the years of playing and teaching, and other crisis and events happening in between, has brought me to this place. I’ve been working on this book/soundtrack for 3 years, writing, re-writing, learning. I can see the end now, but still have lots to do.

Jamie, in prison, needs this to be successful as much as I do – to give him a start when he is released from prison, and to help me live – period – as I go through these last ( hopefully) decades of my life. Leave something behind for my future generations (of musicians) to understand where their music comes from.

Just like everything else on the web, stats play a huge part in how much traffic you get. Some people use stats to determine if they’ll even click on a song, or share it.

But getting a new “fan” or “follower” doesn’t mean anything if they don’t come back or share your site with others. It’s hard to grow a new audience from scratch. There is a lot of competition for a few minutes of your time – there are so many other places to go on the web. The attention span of many people these days is roughly only seconds before they click on something else. It’s also hard to stay connected with those who also have websites that need support as well, when you are busy working on your own. Then there is the daily communication with friends. That takes time. That is a lot of plates to spin.

It would mean a tremendous amount to me if you went to my website – http://sonniquick.net and looked around. It’s an important website for me. I use it a lot when I am promoting my music to various places and people, when I want to be taken seriously as a musician – an older musician – a dinosaur with a lot more music inside. Many in the business still focus on the youth.

Someday maybe they’ll get it. Experience brings quality. At least we now have indie music and indie book publishing so we can promote ourselves. Not long ago your age kicked you to the curb if the music industry didn’t want you, or book publishers wouldn’t give you the time of day.

Good skin does not make good music, and just because a major book publisher doesn’t want you doesn’t mean you don’t have a good book. But you have to be willing to do the work to get it out there, you have a solid chance at success. 15 hour days are not unusual for me with multiple projects going.  

You can help by subscribing to many mailing list at the website below (I promise not to abuse your email) and open it to see how production is coming along and listen to new music. Maybe then you’ll be interested in having the entire project and a soundtrack to listen to when it is completed.  Thanks to all followers for everything. ( you know who you are.)

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