Thursday, March 14, 2013

Reunion Party for Backstage Pass




The reunion party for Backstage In Arizona took place on Sunday April 29th, 2007 at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix.  It had been a very long time since I had  hosted an event and  I picked this venue because of many  because I first appeared professionally in public at the Purple Turtle, before it was known as the Rhythm Room   Also Bob Corritore has always treated me with cordiality and friendship.

It had been a very long time since I produced a party and timing was very important and  magical.
The Passing of Blues great Chico Chism brought home many things that had been on my mind.
I was introduced to Chico in Chicago by my close friend Phyllis Benstein at the Kingston Mines nightclub in the early 1980's.  When we talked and I encouraged him to make the move to Arizona and I am sure he conferred with his long time friend Bob Corritore before making any final decision.
Yes, he was old, but it reminded me of everyone who has already passed- of all the

friends who have aided me in preserving my library for future generations.

For many years my 3/4 inch video library of Backstage In Arizona had been in the trusted safe keeping of my late friend Geordie Hormel who had asked me what gift I wanted him to do for me out of friendship.
I asked him if he could preserve these video tapes for future generations and he and Jamie kept them safe through my constant moves. Then when Geordie died I knew that once again this library was in  jeopardy of being lost and needed attention & preservation.

I had gone through some storms in my life and the good Lord offered me an opportunity to move again and spend  time in Washington State; and a new chapter in my life.  There was one name that I knew and respected and trusted enough with picking up all 27 large boxes of video tapes and storing it for me until the time when I could finally figure out what to do with it all John Dixon's wise council has proven to me that he is a very prophetic and worthy keeper of the archives.  Aware that video tape has a shelf life, the time had come to make a decision as to what to do with the archives.

Since moving to Washington I have continued to keep the flame alive by introducing some of my library to  a world audience via my YouTube and Myspace websites.  What I have been able to accomplish in this new medium can be seen there, but there is so much more.  The AMEHOF has been struggling and I wanted to see if there was a true way to preserve all of the archives for future generations  because it is rare and has cultural significance to Arizona history of Arts & Entertainment.

I had already given them the Ed Goldberg & Barbara Sayles Groleau- Photographs with sign in book from some of my early shows; and some of you have commented saying you enjoyed it.
I contacted the Arizona Commission for The Arts and wanted them included in everything concerning these tapes.


The timing needed to be right and it just felt like it was the right time.

I never had the opportunity to produce the Tenth Arizona Entertainment Awards, but sometimes things are not meant to be.  Many people have told me how the entertainment scene has gone underground since I left after the Ninth Arizona Entertainment AwardsI did not leave out of any vindictiveness or spite, but out of necessity and moving has opened another chapter in my life.  The magical time of my past that I worked so hard to capture and maintain is contained in my video tape library.  It remains my passion and though my spirit is not as strong as it once was , I continue always to do my best.

I have lived an extraordinary life so far and I am so thankful to have been allowed to share and create something artistic and meaningful.  It is with this in mind that I wanted to see you all again and present 
you with my library so that others can step up and carry the flame to preserve it for our future generations.

Best regards,
Joel








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