Did you ever have an experience in your life that helped you appreciate your talents while validating your vocation? I had just finished recording my second album at the Jersey Shore when I got an email from a Canadian helicopter touring company.
Black Swan Helicopter is located in Berwyn, Alberta and has a population of about 600 people. Linda and Wayne were the owners and Linda was looking for a song that would that be inspirational and represent the many services that they provided. Fortunately, she found my song “Flying High” on one of the internet sites that included my music. “Flying High” is one of the many instrumental songs I wrote and is reminiscent of Eric Clapton’s bluesy guitar playing. After a few emails back and forth we became fast friends and the company licensed my song and presented the CD’s to new clients on sightseeing flights. Before long, I was invited to come visit my new friends in Canada and check out the business and the people behind the scenes. It was more than a promotional tour-I really felt a connection with Wayne and Linda. They flew me to Alberta and we spent a fun filled week together. Both were such gracious hosts and drove me to Berwyn to meet the employees and pilots while touring the helicopter facility. It was like one big family and I was warmly greeted by everyone. One of the highlights was when Wayne took both his son, Darren, and me on a private helicopter excursion. WOW!! We went into places that you’d never think a helicopter could maneuver into. An unforgettable experience that brought me closer to my Canadien friends. The following is an email I wrote to one of my close friends while in Canada. I was quite excited and as you’ll read, It was the music that made it all possible and what brought us all together.
“Hope all is well my good friend! Things are AMAZING here…I’m being treated first rate and feel like a Rock Star!!! Everyone here is a fan of my music and I’ve made some awesome friends. I’ve performed several times and I’m really enjoying the experience. So much to talk about and all I can say is Music Rules! I got a personal tour in a helicopter over Alberta yesterday and went up close to moose, buffalo, elk, and deer. It was just like the shows on the Discovery Channel. The helicopters are very maneuverable and squeeze into places that even people can’t get into. The land up here is so beautiful and picturesque that if I could, I’d purchase a few acres to “kick back” in. I’ve been chillin’ with some of the pilots and man, are they interesting dudes with a very cool story to tell. Everyone is really friendly and very interested in my music and career. I put on a small concert Sunday and performed all my tunes on my first two CD’s. Performing felt great and the music was well received. All for now-we’ll talk soon-Anthony”
It was one of those weeks that you look back and say I can’t believe this happened. I mean, what are the chances of having someone from another country go online, discover your music among the thousands of independent artists online, license it for their business, become friends, and then fly you up to their home to meet everyone and play for them. I’m convinced that sharing my music with the world is all about building relationships. Unfortunately, several years later, Linda sent me an email with some sad news saying that after a long battle, Wayne had passed away from Multiple Myeloma. Linda and Wayne had been together for 30 years and his passing was devastating. They had to rent a large theatre that held 500 people to do a “Celebration of Life Service for Wayne-he knew “Everyone” and will be missed. Linda and I have remained friends and kept in touch. She had asked me to someday write a song and dedicate it to Wayne. The song I wrote was “Eagles Fly” which is on my latest album “Passionate Presence”. Feel free to join me and sing along with the lyric video I made of “Eagles Fly” by clicking here.
As a THANK YOU for being one of my subscribers I want to give you the song that started it all. This is the song “Flying High” for free-no strings attached. It features the Instrumental side of my music with a melodic, rock driven vibe that takes the listener on a musical flight!
Very cool!!! Travelin’ in style!
Thank you for checking out this story Vince-It was definitely a cool life-changing experience for me
and I’m sure most everyone can relate to a special time and event that they’ll never forget. I do miss
flying in those helicopters!
What a great story! Stars and music aligned! Great song! Very inspirational. Thank you for sharing!
My pleasure-thank you for your kind comments-so glad you enjoyed the music!
Great story!! Love your song Flying High. I can definitely hear the Clapton influences and the guitar work is amazing! Your Passionate Presence album rocks!!
Thank you Kathy-so glad you’re enjoying my new CD Passionate Presence! Yes, Clapton was one of my earliest influences. I really love his playing as well as his approach to song writing and vocal style. My piano playing was greatly influenced by my father-Nicholas Rufo who was an accomplished musician and specialized in playing stride piano and songs from the Great American Songbook.