Friday, January 9, 2009

The Wandering Minds Revisited

By Robert L. Gisel

 We were young, very young, for what we accomplished. We were 13 or 14 when we started the rock band, The Guys, and it wasn't even a year after that when we started the folk group, the Wandering Minds. We were paid for performances. not much, but still that qualified us as professional. And we were in the music business.

 It was Doug, Bill, Robert and Fred in The Guys. In the Wandering Minds it was Jill, Bonnie, Doug, Bill and Robert. We had to have started really early, jamming in garage bands, as we were in business and performing from the Freshman year of Juneau Douglas High School and kept right on going throughout all 4 years of High School.

 The Wandering Minds was a sensation in the town of Juneau, at least among our age set. As was the dance band, The Guys. But what did we do?

 We were spontaneous and creative. We decided and did. We were outrageously insouciant and determined. When you do something that way, just decide and go for it, the most amazing thing occurs. All the pieces of the puzzle appear and fall in line. Help materializes. Time is created and events just roll out. The material universe magically begins to align.
I, for one, was working every day after school. Where the time came from to put together two active music groups is beyond me. There was no strife or conflict, that I recall. We just rolled forward together, said and did what we did, made time somehow for rehearsals, taught ourselves songs, wrote some, appeared on stages and even on the Jerry Lee Louis Muscular Dystrophy Marathon TV Show in Juneau.

 One day we merged the two groups for the JD High Sock Hop in the gym for a one-time performance. It was only appropriate that we sing the Beach Boys, Be True to Your School. Bill requistioned a keyboard and Jill and Bonnie showed up for the vocals. It escapes me how the crowd responded to that but personally I was thrilled with this versatility.

 Music, like any aesthetics, rocks through time and has left an indelible memory of those charmed times.

 As Jill says, after I sent her pictures of the WM:

 "Hi printing them looks good! Thanks again, this is just too fun! I think back, to how much time we all spent together, the things we did, how seriously we took our music...those are very positive formative moments in my life...I wouldn't trade them for anything. I have always carried all of you in my heart...the Wandering Minds were just, you know? It was a special time. Love, Jill"

 I think that says it for us all.

1 comment:

Robert L. Gisel said...

Well, Jill didn't dun me for quoting her in the blog:

I absolutely loved it! There are no words to express what that group meant to me, it was my lifeline in a time that could've easily turned into a story of troubled youth. You were not just my friends, you were my family, and I loved, and love, each and every one of you. That was a wonderful piece Robert, thank you. Love lots...Jill