Desert Messenger

August 03, 2010

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ONE COPY PER PERSON PLEASE Vol. 6 Issue #113 FREE Community Paper Serving The Communities Of Quartzsite, Ehrenberg, Brenda & Bouse WED. AUG. 4, 2010 Paul Winer invited to play again as Sweet Pie E. Coast .... and Leno? By Joanne Winer Most people in Quartzsite know my husband and I from the past 20 years we have lived here and owned and operated our Reader’s Oasis Bookstore. Some people also know that Paul used to be a printer and poet from Vermont. People are beginning to know that he also plays some mean boogie woogie and blues piano from his last few times at the Chili cook- off and the annual party in the Gardens. What many people are not aware of is that Paul was a professional musician for over 25 years, play- ing to over a million people in his career in the east coast New England area, and finally in Canada for many years before we moved here. We travelled all over doing his shows for the first few years together, then Celia came along and we had to find a perma- nent place to live so she could go to school. We found Quartzsite and have been here ever since. Paul loved his career performing, and it was hard Food Bank’s empty cooler What’s Inside 2 Editorial 4 Letters to Editor 10 Voices from the Past 14 Thoughtbuster 15 Restaurants 18 Church Directory 20 Puzzles 23 Classifieds Please help Quartzsite’s Food Bank fill its shelves. Drop off Tues. & Thurs. 8-noon. If you have an idea for a fund- raiser, & want to help, contact Rain at 541-218-2560. for him to give it up, but he did it so that Celia would finally have a permanent home and friends in one place. He never complained about giving it up, but it was hard for him to even listen to music again for a long time since it bothered him more than he even realized. He never even started playing the piano again until years after Celia died. We came across an old tape of his early sessions from 1971, and released it as a CD several years ago that we still available for sales in the store. When we built our new store several years ago, one of the first things he wanted was a piano that he could start working on again, and he started resur- recting some of his old material and wrote some new songs. He started playing at our local chili cook-off and party in the gardens, and in several of the pa- rades over the years. There is even a documentary movie that was started several years ago when the director thought Sweet Pie was dead and he wanted to do a retrospective on his career--he is now going to finish the film with new material from this concert sometime. Just a few months ago, Paul was surprised when he got a call from a place that he used to play back in the 70s in Salisbury Beach, Mass. The Preservation Society had been looking for all the old acts that had played at the clubs on the beach all those years ago, and his name kept coming up--his stage name was Sweet Pie, and he did an adult music and comedy show in the area from 1974-77, 90 nights a season at the Turf and Surf. This was 34 years ago, and he is still talked about!! The organizers of the huge reunion show planned for August 13, found him on the Internet. They were thrilled that he was still alive and still loved playing his piano. They called to ask him to go back to the beach for the reunion concert, offered to pay for his plane ticket roundtrip and give him accommodations for the time he would be there. When they asked him what he would charge for his show, he told them it was such an honor to be remembered by so many that he would give them the show free since they of- fered to pay his expenses getting there. The result of all the talking back and forth since then is that Paul is planning to fly out on August 10, do his reunion concert on the 13th, and be back on the 14th. It will be his first plane ride, and at first we didn’t think he would make it he was so nervous about flying, but he was so touched by their interest in bringing him there that he decided he wanted to do it no matter how nervous he was. This will be his first professional performance in 24 years, and he is so excited about it. He has been practicing his old songs and some new ones, and getting ready for a great time renewing old acquain- tances. (Ask him to play you a song when you visit the Readers Oasis.) This opportunity has already brought more work his way if he chooses to do it. Several people from the past have come forward and want to videotape the concert for a new CD. A friend who owns a blues club in New Orleans may book a show, and he is planning to work with Candy Kane and her blues band in her club in Phoenix sometime, if he chooses to do some selected shows. Several years ago, Paul was in touch with Jay Leno after being mentioned by him on his show. Paul first met him when Jay was just starting out as a come- dian, and they played at the same time at the Stowe, Vermont playhouse. At the time of this call, Paul had no plans to resume his career, but he recently spoke to Jay again after learning about the concert, and hopes to be on the show sometime after this season! Whodathunkit?? FREE!

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