Notes from Michelle…
I am at Pine Mountain Studio in Alexander Valley wearing the hoodie with the logo Paul Tyler designed, sitting with lots of memories of my dear friend who passed away Easter Sunday after a long and brave battle with cancer. We made a great record in this studio and spent 10 days recording with Paul on all guitars and vocals, Ricky Fataar (a long time idol of Paul’s) on drums, Marc Levine on bass, and me on vocals and arrangements, with Aaron Burnham engineering. We recorded COVERING LIFE, a collection of songs that Paul and I gathered that represented different aspects of life…and some of our favorite songs. We had a blast…10 days of music 10-12 hours a day. When we finished the record, we felt good. What Paul didn’t know at the time was that I had a plan that if, in fact MANY years from that session, his cancer did come back and we did lose him, then I would have a beautiful legacy to pass on to his wife Lisa, his son Noah and to all of his friends. It is with the deepest grief that it is time to do just that, and the record can be purchased on this site where 100% of the money goes directly into The Noah Tyler College Fund. In fact, a special edition of the t-shirts and hoodies that Paul designed for Pine Mountain Studio will also eventually be on this site to order and 100% of the proceeds of those sales will also go into Noah’s fund. When I have news of the benefit concert I envisioned while making the record, I will send information out also. I will invite some of Paul’s many music friends to join me in creating a night of musical celebration for a dear friend who will be missed very much.
Click here to read about the details of how I met Paul and to donate to The Noah Tyler College Fund.
In December, my band and I did, my 5th annual Meals on Wheels SF benefit concert at the new SF Jazz Center. What a night! With the help of my amazing publicist, Charles Zukow, who got the word out by sending me all over the Bay Area for all sorts of press, radio, TV and internet interviews. We sold out and had a great time. It was a particularly extraordinary night for me personally because my father Robert Greening was there. My Dad, who was very ill, with much effort, made it to the show. It was bittersweet. Though I had the opportunity to show my love and respect for him by honoring him many times throughout the night, I also knew that he would never again be in the audience. It was to be the last show he would ever attend. He was my biggest and least objective fan! When I was 12 years old and got my first guitar, he was the person that I played my first song I ever wrote to (which he thought was incredible and a “hit”) and was my most faithful and loving fan til the very end.
My Dad died on February 24, after a long and painful illness called MSA. I miss him very much. My young and wise sister said that we all have to get used to the “new normal”. Since I was a baby my Dad held me in his arms, listened to my victories and my woes, encouraged me to go for it all, and gave me sage advice and unconditional love. In the time since his death, I have thought at least once a day of something I need to tell him or show him. I appreciate the kind words from people about how we all have another angel watching out for us and all the other wishes meant to comfort, but in the darkness and stillness of the night I can only think of how much he is missed. Life is different and I don’t imagine I will ever get used to this “new normal”.
With so many emotionally intense things happening, I have retreated a bit from the world and had just started making some plans for the remainder of this year before I heard of Paul’s death. I scheduled my annual September trip to Paris with our dear friends, art director Molly Tuttle and photographer Danielle Rubi-Dentzel, my lovely team that keeps creating new record covers, etc. I have signed the contract with Throckmorton Theatre, in Marin County, for my 6th Annual Holiday Benefit Concert to feed the hungry, which will be on December 4, and am working on Christmas on Pine Mountain 2. This will be my second holiday record where 100% of all proceeds go directly to feeding the hungry. The recording date has not yet been planned but the record will be released on December 4th at the show and will be on sale then on iTunes, etc. Updates will be posted on my website and musician page on Facebook. And at some point you will read news of an upcoming benefit concert in memory of my friend Paul. For the time being, you can purchase our record COVERING LIFE on this site and the fund will begin as soon as the 1st CD is purchased.
Click here to purchase Covering Life as a donation.
What have I learned from this last year? That my family & friends are the most important thing in my life, and that time with them is precious. I’ve learned to slow down, not to worry so much about the details; to take on less work, to not worry about scheduling things so far in advance (people will show up when I need them without me chasing after them); to let go and trust that things will turn out without me gripping the steering wheel of my life so tightly; that true friendship is a gift and that everything doesn’t always turn out the way I wish it could; to not take things so personally and conversely to take in the love coming my way, that health is everything and that jumping back into my life is what I am supposed to do. I will always carry the sadness of losing my Dad and my dear friend Paul Tyler but I will do as I promised them both…keep an eye on the people they loved and take care of myself. I wish you an abundant summer filled with many things that will eventually turn into happy memories for you and your loved ones.
All my love from Alexander Valley, California