…While Listening To Myself In The Mirror #12

With our ’74 Chevy van loaded up, surfboard on roof rack and Shelly 7 months pregnant with Henry, we bade goodbye to our friends and comfort zone in Regina Sask., and headed for Boston; first stop, Toronto 2039 km.

The Stratus Singers Contract Was For The "Mark Twain" Room, In The Regina Inn; June-Mid August '76. Talk About Luxury, Everything Was First Rate, Pool, Food Was Excellent And The Staff Knew Us Well. It Was Really Difficult To Leave Our Friends And A Life-style That We Had Grown Accustom To In The First Three Years Of Our Marriage.

I remember around November 1975, I was leafing through my monthly Down Beat Magazine when I Came across a Berklee College Of Music ad. I said to Shelly, “If I ever went back to school, that’s the one I would go to.” Shelly said, “Why don’t you go.”

It took me several months to line up all my references, student loans, transcripts, etc.. Then about May 1976, I got a telegram from Berklee advising me of my acceptance!

The music of influence for me at that time, to name some, included, Duke Ellington, Joe Pass, Lenny Breau, George Gershwin, Chuck Mangione, Phoebe Snow, Gary Burton, Gap Mangione, Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles, Al Kooper, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Beach Boys, Tower Of Power…

Professionally, it was disco all the way; But my candy was the Guess Who, The Who, Heart, Little River Band, Billy Joel…

My love affair with the vibraphone was starting to really heat up; likewise my insatiable curiosity for arranging and composition.

This Was My First "Owned" Vibraphone, a Musser M44. I Would Drag This And My Slingerland 6 Piece Drum Kit To Gigs. I Would Play Ballads On The Vibraphone.

Music, like baseball means you are always practicing for the “show“. It may never come but, according to your passion, you prepare for any eventuality; one just never knows when one will be tested…

I have never wavered from my goals of making music to the best of my passionate abilities. I have been, at times very frustrated, but NEVER discouraged, because of my need to create!

a career in music? Don’t be silly, you won’t make a living. That’s no life for a son (daughter) of mine. That’s that! I don’t want to discuss it again!

Hey! Turn the radio up! I love that song!

When I started on my vibraphone quest, there was my huge interest historically in Red Norvo, Lionel Hampton, our own Peter Appleyard and Milt Jackson. Then I discovered Gary Burton; I went to Berklee to study with him.

It was around this time that his New Quartet album came out. It left a HUGE impression on me. The tune that grabbed me by the throat was Chick Corea’s Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly.

Gary BurtonI hope you are well.

*The Series …While Listening To Myself In The Mirror, chronicles the milestones, influences and progression of the musical career and times of Arnold Faber, Canadian Career Musician/Composer. The intent is strictly to inform, entertain and chronicle a 38+ year career in Canadian music history.

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