John Lennon Birthday Tribute with Daniel Deardorff and Friends

Local legend Daniel Deardorff will make a rare appearance at the Upstage on Tuesday, October 9th to pay special tribute to the songwriting of John Lennon on Lennon’s birthday. Over the decades, Deardorff has cultivated a national following, and is best known as a result of years of touring the Americas as an opener for Seals and Crofts in the 1970s and ’80s.

Despite drawing a devoted following whenever he tours, Deardorff generally stays close to his home on Dundee Hill. The John Lennon tribute represents a rare opportunity to see Deardorff perform locally. His tribute to Lennon’s songwriting is a presentation of arrangements crafted over many years.

“Listening to John Lennon got me started in music. Of course, it was listening to the Beatles, but Lennon stood out to me. I always gravitated towards his voice and songs – I think I was twelve years-old.” says Deardorff. “John Lennon was a role model to me of how to be a socially conscious songwriter.”

Deardorff might arrange a song to be “a little bluesier” or to draw on jazz harmonies. For example, he arranged the Lennon classic “Help” to follow the rhythm of a slow blues shuffle. “It’s like resetting a gem. The song is the same, but the setting is different,” he says.

The concert will also feature longtime friends of Deardorff’s, including some of Seattle’s top musicians. Jazz giant Chuck Deardorff will join the ensemble on bass, joined by world renowned pianist David Lanz, who Deardorff worked with extensively during his days as a record producer in Seattle in the ’90s. Lanz and his music partner Gary Stroutsos will also present an instrumental set of Beatles tribute songs that they have presented worldwide. Stroutsos plays a variety of flutes from around the world.

Maestro Joe Breskin will play guitar, and award winning singer/songwriter Judith Kate-Friedman, will provide additional vocal harmonies.

Adept on many stringed instruments, Deardorff primarily plays guitar, but is also a percussionist and is often credited as one of the first exponents of the mandolin in the world of rock ‘n roll. An artist of remarkable strength and vision, Deardorff did it all from a wheelchair after contracting polio at a young age. After a period as a Seattle record producer, Deardorff moved to Port Townsend to reduce his workload and study mythology, founding the Mythsinger Foundation. Over the years, many residents of Dundee Hill have cherished the weekly sounds of rhythmic drumming coming from his ever-inclusive gatherings, workshops and intensive courses in mythology.

Admission is 9 dollars, a reference to the historic “Revolution #9” on the Beatles’ White Album.

EVENT: John Lennon Birthday Tribute with Daniel Deardorff and Friends
VENUE: Upstage Theatre and Restaurant
DATE: Tuesday, Oct 9th
TIME: 7:30 pm
CONTACT: Mark Cole • upstage@olympus.net
(360) 301-0315 (press inquiries only)
ADMISSION: $9 • Reservations: (360) 385-2216

Relatedness, Wildness, & Identity

Through living myth we bring ourselves into accord with the rhythms of the living world. Myths are stories that tell us sacred truths without the use of facts, they are filled with instinct, intelligence, and inspiration—which speak of what and where we are. Out of this sense of location and purpose, relatedness and identity, we begin the work of discovering and disclosing who we are. In this manner we enter into a conversation, a dance, with the living world—the dancing conversation is ritual.

If humans do not cultivate an active ritual life our so-called rites of passage become mere formalities. The hidden key to an authentic ritual life is the myth-making intelligence. When myth becomes rigid and fixed it is reduced to dogma; when ritual is no longer informed by the fluidity of living-myth it is reduced to mimicry.

To cultivate the image laden syntax of myth we have to shed the constraints—blinders and harness—of the consensus “reality/sanity” model of the massman’s domesticated world view. This is much easier said than done. Because human beings are a kind of animal that require the forming of bonds to place and community, we inevitably experience feelings of alienation and exile when those bonds fail. Yet we continually make the great error of mooring our lifelines to ambition, achievement, status, influence, and possessions—aspirations which cannot anchor us to the rhythms of the living world because they are concepts, and concepts unlike images are not alive. Our relatedness to the world around us is lost because we no longer trust it.

The great strategy of civilization has always been to build a wall of concepts and categories to keep the unknowable creatures of myth and mystery exiled and cut off from the human heart. Deprived of the fragrance and nectar of the living world, as a bird caught in glass, the soul withdraws and cloaks itself in darkness, waiting against hope for the iron gate to open and the endless wasteland of empire to break and give way. And all the while, at the center of this cultural vacuum, the ego runs amok in pursuit of countless addictions and mediocrities.

Far away from center, at the edge of the world, the walls are cracked with gaps and portals, as skin has pores. Here, in the shadow of Mount Olympus, where the Great Above and Great Below intertwine…

Where the inner world and the outer world
meet and touch… here is the seat of the soul.
—Novalis

At this edge, through the rites and wilds of living myth, we enter our long forgotten relatedness, wildness, and identity, traveling ever homeward, back to the living world. The wild imagination, never caged by concept, recalls the ancient longings of the migratory soul—to speak the language of wind and rock, leaf and loam—re-membering and re-storing, by rhythm and image, the meaning and magic of our authentic life.

Outside the ambitions and securities of the “steady life” the many creatured world of the “whole divine night” abounds; while inside we avert our eyes and close our ears to myth’s ever-haunting call. Yet the living world is watching and waiting, as Hölderlin said, for “people capable of sacrifice… desire people, like the ancients, strong enough for water.”

The eyes of the living world are not those of a remote impersonal deity, they are the eyes of an immanent intelligence tracking and summoning us to the hidden path. The wellsprings of life await us—we have only to take the next step.