Shin the Musician

Last update: April 3, 2021

The John Shinnick Web Site

The Music's Back!!!


We'd set it up earlier this week, Jim Schultz and I. We used to get together from time to time to sing and play guitars. It's hard for me to believe, but I've known him for half my life, having met in (I think) 1986. He was part of a softball team I was on back then. One day the two of us, Dan Robinson and Jim Clancy realized we all were rock and roll wannabes and decided we should get together and make some noise. Such was the birth of Damn Neighbors.

My musical journeys took numerous twists and turns, but these friendships are still strong. Damn Neighbors never really died (as many times as I tried to kill it!) and we still get together, if not as a band, then as impromptu duos or trios.

Then came the pandemic. What a nightmare. Schultzie and I got together once over the summer, in his back yard, about eight or more feet apart, taking masks off only to sing and taking care to be as safe as possible. It was difficult and less than the fun it should have been. I felt guilty afterward for even attempting it. But it was the only live collaborative music I've done in over a year. I've really missed this part of life.

Earlier this week, Schultzie and I realized that we'd both had our two COVID shots more than two weeks previously, and were about as bulletproof as we were going to get. Time for music!

I arrived at his house, guitar in hand, shortly after 1:00 today. I had a mask on, having forgotten to ask whether his wife Sue had also had her second shot. She had. Jim wasn't wearing a mask. I took mine off, held it aloft, and went into a happy dance with a loud "YAY!" We were free to make music the old fashioned way. It was a strangely liberating feeling.

The weather was rather cold, so we decided to go indoors. Jim Clancy had asked to join us, but thought we were talking about Monday, so he missed out. Too bad.

We did a bunch of songs we'd done before the lock-down curtailed things, and a few we hadn't. Nothing was of show quality, but that wasn't the point. It was all just being in the moment, sharing something that was important to both of us, the way it should be shared and knowing there would be more.

Some say I sing better with a mask over my mouth, but I'd really rather not try. For now, I'm still going to wear it much of the time, but with my fellow 2-shotters? No thanks!

So it will be for much of what has been lost for the last 13 months. Despite the insistence of so many to be stupid, this day served notice that restaurants will soon open, traveling will again be done without undue burden, grocery shopping will become as easy as in days past, and face-to-face meetings will happen. No more church via Zoom.

Ah yes, Zoom. It never could do group music, but it did allow us to at least see each other during these troubled times. I hope they made their bucks when we really needed them.