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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014

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In Music Blogs

The time for preparation is over for Dave. Now it's time to perform. (PHOTO:

It's time for guitar man to put up or shut up

This is it.

No more delays. No more updated stories about learning new chords or trying to figure out a sound system.

Bucket list day is nearly here. I can smell my 70th birthday, it's so close.

70 sounds old. Let's face it. I know lots of people who have died in their 70s. When you read about someone in their 70s, it sounds like they are old people.

I am almost one of them.

But rather than mark the arrival of this milestone with sorrow and painful expectation, I have decided to use it as an excuse to check off one of the final items on my bucket list.

As you may know, Saturday night I will take the stage with a guitar in hand and a sound system set up, and play songs all by myself. I don't promise good or high quality. What I promise is dedication and an earnest performance.

Aided and abetted by a number of people, I'm going to actually do this. That list includes – but is not limited to – John Sieger, Bill Dwyer, Phil Lee, Neil Young, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Leonard Cohen, Paul Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Tom T Hall, Alan Jackson, Susan Begel (my wife, who has had to listen while I tried to work out a troublesome chord progression) and finally, the ever-gracious Jim Linneman, who has provided the space, a sound system and misspelled my name on his monthly program, thereby assuring there is at least one more bad omen on the night.

I am as ready as I'll ever be. I have 10 songs, all covers. Two by John Sieger, one by Phil Lee, and the others from a variety of eras of music. All of them great songs that I won't do justice. But there we are.

I hope everybody comes. Music starts at 8 p.m. Seating is first come, first served. No presents allowed. Bring one, and you can't get in. The doorman has his instructions.

For the guests, here's what it is. A chance to watch someone either be a mild success or an absolute fool. There is no in-between. You will hear real music if you are there, because I promise at some point John Sieger will be on stage, along with his brother Mike (I think, although I haven't heard from him).

The remaining few items on my bucket list include cooking a meal for Sandy and Angie D'Amato; having an intimate dinner with Howard Fuller and his wife Deborah McGriff (Fuller once fired me, but he is a man I admire as much as anyone); slow dancing with Christina Aguilera; and being in a play with either Norman Moses, David Cecsarini, Niffer Clarke or Gerard Nugent.

I don't think I'm ever going to be able to check those off, so let's make this a good one.

Happy new year. Happy birthday. Happy bucket list.


JMR | Jan. 7, 2014 at 10:06 a.m. (report)

Dave, there's little I can do to help with your remaining bucket list items, but wish you the best for your birthday and your show. Jennifer Russell

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Photodavie | Jan. 7, 2014 at 7:32 a.m. (report)

I'd like to have a dinner with Howard Fuller as well. Mainly to talk about your firing.

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