The InsiderOne Daily Report

  Friday, December 29, 2000

The Gathering Of Friends

InsiderOne's Michael Goldberg writes: "Have you got a guitar for Clark to play?" my wife asked.

It was two days before Christmas. We'd invited some friends and neighbors over for some spiced cider and cookies, and one of them, Lou, had brought his musician brother along. Now my wife was hoping for an impromptu concert.

Before Clark could say no, he had an old Gibson in his hands. Put a guitar near Clark and he can't help himself — instant concert.

Clark lives in L.A. He's currently in the custom song business — specifically, the custom-song-for-kids-with-physical-or-emotional-problems business. Someone sends him details about a kid's likes and dislikes; he composes a song, records it in his home studio, burns a CD, and sends it off. It's not a big moneymaker, but Clark likes making a contribution. He feels like he's brightening up kids' days by giving them their own songs — plus he can be creative making music without selling his soul.

As Clark warmed up by fingerpicking a classical piece, folks gathered in the living room and his brother Lou, also quite the talent, looked on admiringly. Over the years Lou has fronted many a band. Now he's set up a digital recording studio, where he's been working with a female a cappella group. Lou is a mean guitarist, but he's also adept at keyboards. I've even seen him lay down some great drum-machine grooves.He can sing with a voice as soulful as a young Greg Allman, and he's written some damn fine songs. And like Clark, Lou likes to do things for others.

As Clark picked up a bottleneck and began playing the blues, my friends Dave and Frank were also digging his performance. Dave, who leads a fine band, is putting the finishing touches on a CD of his songs. A sensitive soul, Dave cares greatly about the environment, and has spent quite a bit of time working for environmental causes. After spending many years as a public school teacher, he now leads wildlife seminars for kids.

In his younger days, Frank played bass and guitar in bands; these days he likes to tune his guitar to open G and play Rolling Stones songs. Frank and his wife Cathy live across the street from a public playground in San Francisco. Some years back, they gave up most of their free time to organizing their neighborhood to drive out the dope dealers. And they succeeded.

Two days before Christmas, as I looked around my living room, listening to Clark make beautiful music, I felt grateful to count these folks among my friends

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Michael Goldberg is the president of He founded Addicted To Noise in 1994.

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