Sunday, May 13th, 2012: BORN OUT OF TIME but IN TIME
There is this excellent British barber in St. Catharines, Ontario where I used to get my haircut – now since I’ve moved to Calgary, I try to stop in when I’m in town – even to say hello. We always talk about music. One of his clients was the quiet and reserved musician, Ron Sexsmith. Ron grew up in St. Catharines – his parents still live there.
The barber, John Barry, is easy to talk with – he knows music. Ron Sexsmith would have an easy time conversing with John.
And that’s how I initially met Ron Sexsmith backstage in Calgary a few years back. I went to the stage door at the end of the performance and said to his manager, “Tell Ron – a guy who gets his haircut in St. Catharines from John Barry would like to say hello.” A few years back in Banff, I asked Ron if he would talk with a group of singer/songwriters about songwriting and he said, “Well I guess – but why would they be interested?”
Last night, in Bragg Creek, Alberta, I caught Ron Sexsmith in concert, asked him to sign his new vinyl “Long Player, Late Bloomer” and we chatted briefly. Unassuming, humble, somewhat shy – yet wonderfully humorous and witty, Ron is one of the great songwriters on the planet. Many musicians respect his work and his gift as a singer/songwriter.
“I think Ron is slightly cursed with being born out of time. The quality and nuance of his songs would have been greatly appreciated and is greatly appreciated by people like myself who grew up with Tim Hardin and Paul McCartney.”
“That’s what Ron does when he’s against a wall and he feels no help at all. He turns it into these beautiful little phrases and he breaks your heart with his reality. And he does it with a song.”
But I’m a late bloomer
I’m a slow learner
And I’ve turned the record over
I’m a long player
My song is my saviour
I’ve got to raise it up
As far as my spirit can reach.
“Late Bloomer” by Ron Sexsmith