Tag Archives: Dispatch

the last jam session

It never should have happened. He was a mere eight days away from death. His body weak, mind beginning to fade, and life starting to slip from his fingers. But as he sat in the family room as evening turned to night on August 18th, 2010, I brought Gilad’s guitar in and began to play for him.

He hadn’t listened to music in so long, not since early June – his connection to music had been so deep that when the beauty of life was ripped from his heart, he was unable to stand hearing the beautiful songs that once gave him hope. But still I wanted to play for him one last time; to play the songs we used to jam on.

In the beginning, I was the teacher, he the student, and jam session’s our bread and butter. Since I taught myself to play, I refused to teach Gilad and forced him to learn by himself – by printing chords out off the internet, decoding tablature, and jamming with me. What started as an annoying, out-of-tune, second instrument, soon turned into a harmonious accompaniment to my mediocre chops. I remember coming back one winter break to discover that he had blown past me, talent-wise, as he soloed endlessly during a jam session, his fingers moving faster and more fluidly than mine ever had or would. We spent hours awake around campfires, entertaining my campers and his friends, during our years in camp together, and we played every time I would come home from school on a break. He was the ultimate guitar partner, one whom I could intuit and know what he would do before he did it. His playing complemented mine, and I’d like to think mine did the same for his.

And so, I sat down, one last time, to play music for Gilad.  But instead of just listening, Gilad demanded a guitar. He was sleeping more than not by this point, and just moving between rooms had become difficult. But no, he demanded a guitar. We gave him Aba’s old lightweight acoustic, that each of us had used when we learned the instrument, and I began to play our song – Dispatch’s Hey Hey. A cheesy song about teenage love that somehow meant more than anything to the two of us. The harmonies and interwoven guitar parts were perfect for our voices and styles, and we had made the song our own over the years.

I began to play, as Gilad’s hand desperately searched the fretboard to the proper fingering. His muscle memory was weak, and his fingers weaker, but he tried hard to remember the chords and how to play them. As tears streamed down all of our faces, we sang and he along with us. It was just a few minutes – a few short verses and choruses – but it felt like an eternity. Because we knew then, that this would be it. We knew that he didn’t have much longer and that there was little chance he would ever play guitar again. We knew that despite this grab at something beautiful, this stab in a musical direction – an area fraught with life, happiness, and joy – that this would be his last waltz, his final hurrah. As the final notes were played, the guitar taken from his hand, and he leaned back on the couch, we all sat in the afterglow of something incredible, of something true, pure, and beautiful.

The tears continued to stream, but we did not wipe them away. Our lives were about to fall apart, but for that one moment, we were able to remember, and we wanted that memory to be seared into our minds. We wanted to remember that moment forever, because we knew.

We knew, that this was the last jam session.

Dispatch – Hey Hey

Dispatch – Melon Blend

In case you missed it, Dispatch debuted their first new song in over a decade on last night’s Fallon. It’s nice to hear them back together doing what they do best. If you’re not seeing them this summer, get your act together and grab some tickets to the few shows that haven’t yet sold out.

Check out the new track below, or trade your email address for it on the band’s site.

Dispatch – Melon Blend

Wedding Setlist

So, for those of you who missed out on the awesome party on Sunday night, I figured I’d share some of the setlist. Here are a few of the (English) songs that were played as we walked down the aisle, and a bunch more to which we danced our asses off later in the night. Continue reading

Can I Get A Little Respect?

[This guest post was written by my dear mother.]

There is music coursing through my boys’ souls, through Ariel’s and the other boys, and my daughter is drawn to it, too. On this blog you’ve heard Gilad jamming; he lived and breathed this stuff. Music speaks to my kids, gives them a kick and a buzz, and for Gilad it was often his escape.

My kids know that their dad was a Dead-Head, and he followed Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and the Stones instead of reading his college texts. He went to concerts and he was cool, at least until he met me, which has become our family legend. But what my kids don’t know is that their mom feels music in her soul, too. It speaks to me and always has, ever since I listened to bad AM radio on my Panasonic toot-a-loop radio in groovy yellow, and walked to Sam Goody (the former FYE) to pick up each week’s paper list (on actual paper – no computer searches then) of Top-40 hits. I played guitar through my teens, collected sheet music and belonged to every choir. It’s why I turn up the volume when I’m alone washing my kitchen floor or driving around in my car. Music simply stirs me in a profound way, just like it does for my daughter and sons. So what can I do to get a little respect here? Continue reading

State Radio – Bowery Ballroom 2007

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Dispatch has recently updated their website with a cryptic countdown timer. The countdown will end at the New Year, but it’s clear that the oft-broken up band with a massive cult following isn’t just counting down to 2011. Rumors are swirling with everything from world tours to new albums.

Personally, I prefer State Radio, Chad Stokes’ current band. And so, continuing our One Big Holiday of Bootlegs, check out this State Radio bootleg from 2007.

Update: My brother Ezra just directed me Dispatch’s Facebook page which has a photo album featuring barcodes, which when scanned bring up the following locations in Google Maps:

  • Morrison, CO
  • Chicago, IL
  • Berekely, CA
  • Boston, MA (hey! I live there!)
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Harrison, NJ

So, it’s looking more like a tour than anything else. Hurrah! Continue reading