I have been engaging in the appreciation of those who have positively influenced my life. Of these people there is no one more noble, kind, and compassionate than Joel Bisset.
I don’t ever remember not knowing Joel. I have no idea how or where we met. I just remember that he is in every memory of my younger days. Joel and his family lived close to mine, and we were inseparable. Joel was and continues to be, the support person for the ones who stand in the spotlight. In doing so (to my great joy), Joel has been brought into a spotlight of his own. Joel was always the one who would come to band practice even if he was not in the band. When we needed something or we were hauling equipment to a gig…Joel was always there to lend a hand. A great musician in his own right, Joel taught me tons on the guitar. Second only to Paul McCartney, Joel plays Blackbird like it is nobody’s business.
I just got a great Idea. I am going to publicly ask Joel to play this song for us and I’ll post the video on this blog!! WHAT DO YOU THINK JOEL?? WILL YOU PLLLLEEEEAAASSSSEEE??????
OK, so, when I reconnected with Terry and Guy, of course I asked if anyone had heard about Joel. Of course Joel will always be a part of our lives! I have come to know he is a father, with very successful kids, a husband with a loving and delightful wife, and most of all, Joel is a kind man of impeccable character, true to his core values, and still willing to go to any length to lend a hand. Joel is the example I use when I define the word “friend”.
My favorite story with Joel is the day we were playing drums at his house and his mother came into the living room and looked at me and said, “You can’t play drums like that, you are white. White people don’t have rhythm like that.” Then laughed cheerfully and went about her business. 20 some years later when I was in Africa, an elder of the Dagara Tribe said, “What dye did you use on your skin to make you look like a European? White people don’t play the drum like that. I know you are really African”. Here I am standing in the southern part of the Sahara Desert thousands of miles from home and who do I think of? Joel Bisset’s mom. She has passed into the world of the Ancestors and it saddens me that I was not able to tell her this story. You never know how a statement you make or an action you take will affect a person’s life.
I am pleased to see that Joel has become an accomplished drummer and plays regularly at his church. I got a chance to jam with Joel when I was in Seattle on my last trip. He is a KICK ASS drummer. He holds the beat like a mountain! ROCK STEADY!!! We did a couple of percussion solos at the gig and really rocked the house. All I did was show Joel the beat I was doing on my djembe and he got on the kit like a jockey on a race horse.
Joel, I am so glad to be back in touch with you. My heart is filled with joy as I reflect on the great nobility, trustworthiness, and trueness of heart you bring to the world. THANK YOU!
…and I’m waiting impatiently for a video of you playing Blackbird on your guitar!