We Are All Disabled - Part 2


Losing a job and finding a life...



I was in LA in January and had a blast hanging around and playing with some hugely talented guitarists. Sometimes, I want to believe I’m one of them but other times, I’m not so sure, especially today when I think about how music will pay the rent for the rest of my life. 

I lost my job recently after 20 years of working with Rick Hansen. We did everything together, first best friends growing up in Williams Lake, then on the Man in Motion Tour and finally at his foundation. But things change because some people get really good at business and some people not so much. 

I’m unemployed, in the real world anyway. I do things that get me into music magazines but I’m running out of time to become a guitar hero and these days, I think too much about whether losing a job will help me find a life beyond always being in the shadow of my friend. 

Twenty years ago, I remember seeing a quadriplegic guy performing for tips on the street in front of the old Granville movie theatre, just sitting there singing Elvis tunes to his beat box. I wonder if I have as much courage as he did? 


*To leave a comment please click on the orange title "We Are All Disabled" at the top of the post *

Don Alder is a musician and partner in a grand adventure - "Man In Motion" that forever changed the way we see disability. He lives alone in a basement suite over run by guitars, note books full of ideas for songs and everywhere, memories of going around the world with his best friend, Rick Hansen. 



We Are All Disabled - Part 1


Don Alder is a musician and partner in a grand adventure - "Man In Motion" that forever 
changed the way we see disability. He lives alone in a basement suite over run by guitars, note books full of ideas for songs and everywhere, memories of going around the world with his best friend, Rick Hansen. 



The Guitar That Saved My Life...


I was 13. We lived in a small town close by a creek down stream from a sewage plant. I didn’t think about that being dangerous until I fell into the creek swallowed some water and got really sick with yellow jaundice.  


It was awful.  I couldn’t go to school and I just didn’t understand how my liver could make everything in my life so wrong. I had always felt different from others, but now covered in some weird version of yellow, I looked different too.

Those were my first memories of being overwhelmed by things I couldn’t control. But then my mother bought me a guitar.  At first, I just starred at it and then timidly put my arms around it. The hours and days and the weeks and months of strumming wasn't music but it was sweet because, I wasn’t alone anymore and my teenage head was filled with something other than insecurity.

My liver did get better. I learned to play some simple things, and life was good.  That guitar saved my life and it still does when anxiety creeps in. 

Maybe it was my mother who really saved my life but saying it was the guitar, works better for a guy living alone in a cold basement suite, waiting for the phone to ring and dealing with the paralysis of analysis that musicians and adventurer's catch whenever the music stops for a while.

I’ve decided to write this blog because I’ve been too quiet for too long about some of the people who have so powerfully influenced my life and taught me that disability touches us all. 

*To leave a comment please click on the orange title "We Are All Disabled" at the top of the post *