Tag Archives: Michelle Wright

Binder Power

Baseball has its dog days of summer, but so does hockey. The Canadiens haven’t played a game since losing 6-1 to the Ottawa Senators on May 9 in the opening round of the playoffs, bowing out four games to one in the process.  If my math is right, that’s 64 days ago.

It’s been a long time, and it’ll be a while yet before the puck is dropped for real again. And I’ve never come to grips with losing the Expos. It still hurts, and I’ve tried to revert to my childhood team, the L.A. Dodgers, but without Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale, it just hasn’t been the same.

So I go to my binders and start pulling stuff out.

My brother used to be the bass player in country singer Michelle Wright’s band. He and Michelle ended up living together and had a place in Nashville, although things, as they tend to do, came to an abrupt end and my brother now has a wife and daughter and moved on a long time ago from those days.

Michelle would sometimes send me things, and today I found this as I was going through old binders.

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Habs In Grand Ole Nashville

 

Canadiens look to make it two in a row tonight in Nashville, and I’m quite upset. Because I’ve heard that the club will be announcing the news that Scott Gomez will become the new stick boy for the team.

I thought he was just fine where he was – on the fifth line.

I was in Nashville once, about 17 years ago, after my marriage had broken up and my brother, who played in a band and lived there, bought me a ticket to come down and forget my troubles for a week. He took me to the Bluebird Cafe (photos) where a great band was playing and legendary singer/songwriter John Prine was sitting at the bar.

Nashville is an old city, with classic brick buildings in their downtown, and unbelievable mansions just outside of town. I went to a recording studio to watch my brother’s girlfriend Michelle Wright record some tracks for an upcoming album, and later, a bunch of us gathered at a restaurant where the studio producer, who used to be in a sixties group called The Beau Brummels, told us about the night they were on the Ed Sullivan Show.

One of the lovely ladies who was there extended her hand to me, and it didn’t look like she wanted to shake, so I kissed it instead. To this day I don’t know if I did the right thing or not.

My brother showed me the Grand Ole Opry, and we went to a bar where Minnesota Fats was giving out stamped autographs for some reason. We also went in the arena that housed the minor league team, before the Preds came to town and before the Bridgestone Arena was built.

It was a fine trip and then I came back to my marriage nightmare.

I’ll be watching the game tonight at a slightly later hour, and so my game report, for what it’s worth, will be slightly late. But I can’t wait to see how the Habs do. Will they be revitalized after the overtime win in Phoenix, or will they fall back into the misery and sloppiness which we’ve seen far too often this season?

Yes, Scott Gomez will play, on the fourth line maybe. Or is it possible that Jacques Martin will give him quality minutes to once again do nothing?

It’s also nice to see Gomez growing his mustache in this Movember month. We appreciate it, Scott, and I thought I’d include a photo for your fans to see:

Nashville – Bad New Memories For the Habs, Good Old Ones For Me

From time to time during the telecast of the “Nastiness in Nashville,” the cameras panned on a few spots around the city. It was a nice relief from what was going on at ice level, and it reminded me of a trip I took there once. There was no NHL team in Music City then, but there was a lot of nightlife. guitar

Lots of nightlife. Perfect for a bunch of athletes to have fun and break curfew in.

Just trying to make sense of how a team can allow 55 shots on goal.

I was in the depths of despair when I went to Nashville. It was a time when my marriage breakup was only a few months old, and my brother and his girlfriend, who lived there, invited me down and tried to raise my spirits somewhat.

My brother was the bass player in a band, and his girlfriend, Michelle Wright, was the lead singer of the band that bore her name. She was a rising star in the music business, had several top-selling albums, and she and my brother lived in a beautiful home on the outskirts of Nashville. She had also just bought a brand new Mercedes not long before I arrived, that we rode around in and I felt like quite a bigshot at the time.

Nashville’s an odd place, old yet vibrant, but not once did I get the impression that it was a hockey town. It’s a music place, as we all know. Although my brother took me into the arena that was there at the time that housed a minor-league team. But other than the arena – like I said, it’s a music place.

Michelle and my brother showed me around, and I even got to see her lay down some tracks in the studio, an experience which can be long, tedious and fascinating. The producer and engineer invited me to sit beside them in the control room, and afterward, all of us went for dinner where I found out by talking to the producer that he had been in a successful band in the sixties called the Beau Brummels, and had played the Ed Sullivan Show, a show I had grown up watching.  

On another night, my brother and I went for beers and live music at a place called the Bluebird Cafe, and we saw John Prine, a longtime favourite of mine, sitting alone at the bar. We let him be, of course, because it’s not my style to bother these people. But you must know, if you’ve not heard of John Prine, that he’s one of the greatest folk/country songwriters of all time.

In another honky tonk, legendary pool player Minnesota Fats was handing out stamped autographs. Maybe he couldn’t write, I’ve no idea. Eddie Shack, early in his career, used to do the same thing.

Michelle Wright is a tremendous woman with lots of style, and she had dozens of lit candles scattered throughout their house. She cooked and laughed and sang and she was wondrous. We had a long talk one night about writing, and she got on the phone and made a call and before I knew it, I had a new gig as a freelance writer for a music magazine.

She and my brother, (who are no longer together), made me smile at a time when smiles were seldom to be found on this mug. and this is a little thank you now to the two of them while using the pathetic display by my hockey team as an excuse to do it.

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