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January 19, 2005
Vol. V, No. 1

"Dan Long's New Year's Bachin' Eve"
Poor Dick Clark, forced into retirement after 32 years of ringing in the New Year. His New Year's Rockin' Eve was, if not always the best, certainly my favorite end-of-year/begin-the-year TV show. I wasn't there for all of them but I did enjoy many of them, rock n roller that I am. Once, after I first moved to New York City, I even braved Times Square on New Year's. I was rewarded with a view of Andy Williams. Not the same. Dick Clark was there but I could only see the top of his hair. He was on a stage, high atop scaffolding.

2004 was a fairly good year for however I failed once again to make my Rampages weekly (only 33 for the year). The closest I ever came was in 2002 with 47 Rampages. Never be concerned if you don't receive a Rampage. It's probably just late. Wait, can something be late if it's not on a regular schedule? Oh, well. Now that I'm beginning to get caught up with work, I'm hoping to get back to updating the website regularly. I've also got a stack of projects to get through including about 10 unfinished workshops.

This seems like a good time to bring up resolutions. Generally I think I shoot too high on resolutions. Maybe I should try waiting until February. Then I think I'd be more realistic instead of getting all caught up in the spirits, er, spirit of the moment on New Year's. In any case, this year I'm going for something manageable, something that I can definitely get done in a year's time. Allow me to digress.

Recently I was thinking about an organist who years ago told me that having grown up Lutheran and being heavily exposed to Bach left him essentially bored with Bach. Bach's music no longer offered him any challenge. I still think that's a shame but I can see his problem.

It's like when they tried to expose us to Literature in Jr. High English. I can't remember much that was worse than reading an excerpt of Great Expectations in 8th Grade. That experience could have turned me off of the Classics for good. How shocked I was to read Great Expectations as an adult and realize that it was the way it was introduced that was miserable, not the book!

Likewise, I sometimes find myself taking Bach's music for granted. Like an 8th grader, I think I have it all figured out. Been there, done that. Then I get down on the ground with it and I realize all over again that I'm puny in Bach's shadow and that there's always something new and miraculous to discover in his works.

It pays to revisit things. So my resolution for the New Year is to reacquaint myself with a Bach piece. Just one. I should be able to do that by the end of the year. Join me, won't you?

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Have a great year!

Dan Long

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