More or Less the Same
Five or six years after I had worked with Gord Evans in a liquor store, I called him up out of the blue. The store had been his day job, but at night he played in the woodwind section of the pit orchestra at Toronto's O’Keefe Centre, as it was then called. I needed him.
I had left school to go into the music business and I needed a sax and flute for a few songs on a demo tape I was preparing. He agreed to play for me, so I wrote up the charts and we met at the studio where I was recording. He nailed his parts in a single take, a true pro.
At twenty-four, I felt like I had lived a lot and grown up in the interval since I’d last seen Gord. So as he was packing up his instruments I asked him, “Gord, it's been a few years. Do I seem any different to you?” He thought about that for a second. “No,” he said. I was crestfallen.
But then, recently, as I have been going through photographs and old correspondence and weaving the various threads of my life together into a memoir, I see that he was right. I am still, to this day, that hopeful guy trying to make my own distinctive way in the world. I hope a little wiser, and smarter, but still, pretty much the same.
“After changes upon changes,” Paul Simon sang in 1975, updating the lyrics to his song, The Boxer, “we are more or less the same.” Amen, Paul. Amen, Gord. And just, Amen!