The Kingston Trio Place
Popular Folk MUSIC TODAY
DAVE GUARD CRITICALLY ILL--KINGSTON TRIO REUNION TOUR ON HOLD
and Dave Guard Memorabilia
Front Cover, Popular Folk
Music Today, Winter 1991
Article on Dave Guard's illness begins below on Page 7
Kingston Korner Kolumn
Kingston Trio Reunion Tour on Hold
DAVE GUARD CRITICALLY ILL
By Allan Shaw
Several years ago when the movie JAWS II was released, it was promoted using the phrase, "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water......," referring to the fact that people were going swimming again thinking the threat of the great white shark had passed. But it hadn't! Well, "Just when you though the Kingston Trio Reunion Tour was a reality.....," and things were going swimmingly (pun fully intended), the threat of the cancer which Dave Guard has been battling so valiantly for a year and a half now again raised its ugly head. Dave is critically ill and cannot tour in his present condition. Consequently the Reunion Tour has been put on hold pending the outcome of Dave's battle.
First to Dave and his battle. As I reported in the last issue of POPULAR FOLK MUSIC TODAY, Dave suffered a setback last October when a routine cat scan detected new lymphoma cells. Dave resumed his Chinese herbal treatments as well as a round of oral chemotherapy which seemed to be doing the job. Then in December, about the time we went to press reporting Dave's improvement, he suffered a major setback as the cancer came on with a vengeance necessitating his return to the hospital and resumption of more than one type of major chemotherapy, at least one round of which is the strongest available. There was considerable concern for awhile that Dave might not be able to withstand the debilitating effects of the chemotherapy and that it would be fatal to him. Happily he survived it. Unhappily, it did only half the job - Dave's condition is now stabilized, meaning it is not rapidly and progressively getting worse. However, the chemotherapy did not rid him of the disease, and his battle continues.
Referring to the Chinese herbal treatments, Dave said to me recently, "I've had all the chemotherapy I'm going to get. It's done all it can. Now it's up to the Chinese."
"And to prayer too," I added. "We may not share the same religious beliefs, but I've been praying for you and I know others have too."
"I know," he said, "and it means a lot to me. And I don't think it matters what our individual religious beliefs might be either. As long as we believe in a single deity, I believe it's the same one, and I do believe in the power of prayer."
Dave is now back home from the hospital and again living with his good friends, Rick and Ingrid Shaw, in Rollinsford, New Hampshire. He receives frequent calls and notes of support from the other Kingston Trio members, particularly John Stewart, and has mentioned how much that means to him. And so do the expressions of support from all of you, so please keep sending your notes to him C/O Rick and Ingrid Shaw, 121 Roberts Road, Rollinsford, NH 03869. Dave's not able to respond to them, and is unable to take 'phone calls, so asks for your understanding in that respect. But he does want to hear from you.
He can also use financial help. As most of you know, he is without medical insurance and has been throughout his illness. The last two months of hospitalization, to say nothing of the costs of the chemotherapy treatments have been devastating. Elsewhere in this issue of POPULAR FOLK MUSIC TODAY is an ad through which Mandolin Brothers is trying to sell one of his banjos. But even if it sells, it's only a part of what's needed, so if any of you have any ideas of ways in which you might be able to help in the financial struggle, please drop me a note.
In the meantime, the Kingston Trio Reunion Tour is on hold. "We really can't, nor do we want, to do anything until we see how things work out for Dave," Nick Heyl told me recently. "Certainly Dave is a key figure in the Kingston Trio, and as long is Dave is in there fighting, we're doing all we can to support him. If and when it may become obvious that Dave can't take part, then we'll consider the alternatives, but not until then!" Nick did concede, however, that the tour is unlikely to come off this summer as previously planned. Consequently the Trio (and John Stewart) are accepting summer bookings on that assumption. Everyone is most emphatic, however, that this is a postponement and not a cancellation.
Speaking of Nick Heyl, he too has experienced health problems recently. After having suffered on and off from a back problem for quite some time, it became so severe late last fall that, after a month of being confined to bed, he finally had surgery in December. The surgery went well, and after a couple of months of post-operative recovery, Nick is now back on the job, albeit on a somewhat limited basis at the moment. We're glad that Nick came through the surgery well and are glad to see him back.
OTHER TRIO NEWS
Once again, there is other Trio news, and it is good. Although there hasn't been any official announcement from Capitol, they have confirmed to reader Ron Wise that they are releasing their entire Kingston Trio catalog on CD according to the following schedule:
August 1991 - THB KINGSTON TRIO (T-996) and ....FROM THE "hungry i" on a single CD; AT LARGE and HERE WE GO AGAIN on another single CD;
September 1991 - SOLD OUT and STRING ALONG on a single CD; MAKE WAY and COIN' PLACES on another single CD;
January 1992 - CLOSE-UP and COLLEGE CONCERT on a single CD; SOMETHING SPECIAL and NEW FRONTIER on another single CD;
February 1992 - NUMBER 16 and SUNNYSIDE on a single CD; TIME TO THINK and BACK IN TOWN on another single CD.
Although there are reports that there may be some previously unreleased tracks and/or alternate takes, as well as perhaps some studio chatter (such as on "A Worried Man" on the COLLECTOR'S SERIES CD), there has been no confirmation of this as yet. There has also been no official word as to why the delay in the releases from what was previously announced nor to why there will be a 3^ month gap between the "Guard Trio" albums and the "Stewart Trio" albums. The latter makes sense from a marketing viewpoint as the autumn months are not a good time to release new albums; they're too late for pre-Christmas selling and promotion and would be old news by the time the first of the year rolled around. But if the job Capitol did on the COLLECTOR'S SERIES is any indication, and it probably is in that Paul Surratt and Ron Furmanek are involved in these releases as well, then the wait will have been well worth it.
I've not heard whether these "twofer" albums will also be available on cassette, or only on CD, but Capitol has released the COLLECTOR'S SERIES album on cassette, so those of you who don't yet have CD players can now enjoy this album. The downside of all this is that Capitol has deleted, that is stopped producing and has recalled all of their other Kingston Trio albums including THE LAST MONTH OF THE YEAR and VERY BEST OF THE KINGSTON TRIO CDs, and the BEST OF VOLUME I, BEST OF VOLUME 2, TOM DOOLEY and SCARLET RIBBONS cassettes. If you want any of these, glom onto them wherever you can. We're already out of several of them in the Rediscover Music Catalogue and my efforts to obtain more have so far been fruitless. I'll keep trying to get more, but still advise you to pick them up wherever and whenever you can as you'll not see them again.
Let me point out, however, that this deletion does not apply to the Capitol Special Markets releases: the TOM DOOLEY CD, and the WE CAME TO SING, TIJUANA JAIL, KINGSTON TRIO CLASSICS, CONCERT FAVORITES and WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS cassettes. The two albums licensed to Pair Records, EARLY AMERICAN HEROES and MADE IN THE U.S.A. apparently escaped the axe also as did the new Curb Records album (CD and Cassette), THE KINGSTON TRIO GREATEST HITS.
The release of this last album was announced in December and I managed to sneak it into the fall supplement although without details and with a wrong song count. (I said 10 songs on it; there are actually 12.) The cover features the red background photo from the Trio's first album and the 12 songs pretty much live up to the album's GREATEST HITS title. They are: "Tom Dooley", "Greenback Dollar", "Reverend Mr. Black", "M.T.A.", "Tijuana Jail", "Worried Man", "Where Have All The Flowers Gone", "Bad Man's Blunder", "El Matador", "Everglades", "Scotch & Soda" and "Reuben James." Obviously nothing not previously or currently available elsewhere on CD, but otherwise a pretty decent album with adequate (but not outstanding) liner notes. I got a particular kick out of the liner notes reference to "Kingston-mania, a prelude to Beatle-mania of 1964!" I wonder if that makes us "Kingston-maniacs?" I always though we were kind of nuts, at least my wife tells me we are, but "maniacs'? I sort of hope not. I've attended a lot of Kingston Trio concerts but have never screamed during them nor thrown my underwear onto the stage. Yes, I know that "fan" is short for "fanatic", but I think it's a bit much of a quantum leap from there to "maniac".
There is yet another album out (CD and cassette) that is taken from ONCE UPON A TIME, and this one is strange to say the least. Although I long for the day when we get the entire ONCE UPON A TIME album on CD, including the between song talk and John Stewart monologues, until that comes along the Black Tulip 20 GREATEST HITS (and its companion 16 GREATEST HITS cassette) is the only CD that has all 20 of the songs on it and the cover photo is of the Trio configuration that appears on the album. This latest oddity has only 15 song; on the CD (and 12 on the cassette) and has some song title mislabeling to boot. On the CD, although the song titles are reasonably accurate (except for such things as Wimoweh becoming Winoweh), the song order on the disc itself doesn't match with the printing on the disc nor the booklet. On the cassette J-card, one of the songs is listed as "The M.T.A. & Roving Gambler."
Of greatest interest and oddity are the album titles and graphics. The CD is titled, THE ORIGINAL KINGSTON TRIO -TOM DOOLEY, but pictured are supposedly Bob, John and Nick. Although they do sing on the album, they really aren't the
Cont'd on Page 8
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