Today is Sunday...the 20th of August...and 15 minutes ago I found that my great singer/guitarist inspiration...Michael had died...(and worse yet I'm too late to make the scene at the club!)
WHAAAAAAAAAAT???? This had to be a cruel joke!! But, no...after a quick search in the obitz of the MPLS paper....there it was. July 26, 2017! STOP PEELING ONIONS...DAMMIT!!!!!!!!
About 5 years ago at the little bar in Excelsoir, I had the privilage of introducing him to the small but loving crowd that was there. I was seated right up front and Michael asked his sound man "are you going to introduced me?" The sound man said hell no...and I couldn't take that so I jumped up and said "I'll introduce him!" So I did. After a short intro about myself and why I felt I could and really wanted to introduce Michael to the crowd....I had been a folksinger myself and traveled a great part of the world...singing in 18 foreign countries and all 50 state...and singing many of Michael's hits...I was able to express my heartfelt appreciation for him and his music....starting with the album THERE IS A BREEZE! When I was done with my highest praises for and about him...I sat down hoping I had done the best I could to show my love for him and his music. He looked at me with that trademark lopsided smile and simply said....."Thanks, Dad!" i'll never forget that and STOP WITH THE DAMN ONIONS...ALREADY!!
There was and will never be one like him. I followed his music since 'BREEZE' and spent countless hours listing to the songs over and over to learn them from the albums and then showcase them at my gigs in the metro area. The place I played them the most was the IDS Tower in the mid to late '70's where I was able to play full time for 5 years...at the CROSSROADS, the 50th floor bar for the ORION ROOM, and then at the MARQUETTE INN overlooking the Crystal Court. What makes me so sad was that I have been planning on calling him for the past year to say hello and to offer some of the original songs I have written to him for his consideration.......now, never to be. What a loss....to the music world, all his fans, his family....and at the moment, most of all to me! I should have never of waited. Michael...I hope and pray that you made your peace with our Lord Jesus, and that one day YOU will be able to introduce Me to HIM! You were and are Loved. THANK YOU FOREVER....AMEN. Jim Torkelson, Bloomington, MN