As some of you know, I'm currently out of town on a business trip but that doesn't mean I'm not having an enormous amount of fun as well :wink:. I didn't make the same misteak of not bringing my horn with me and it's been a blast catching up with old friends that I haven't seen for years and playing together again.
I went to a jazz jam session the other night and wandered into the bar at the same time as this incredibly fresh-faced young kid who also had a horn slung over his shoulder. We introduced ourselves and started chatting and I mentioned that I used to work in town, many years ago (12 and 14 of them, in fact :blink:). He gave me a strange look, asked my name again and where I used to play and when I told him, gave me an even stranger look as his jaw hit the ground. "OMG. Did you have long hair and play a soprano? I used to come watch you play all the time. I play saxophone now because of you!"
The funny thing is, I've been in exactly the same position as he was.
While I used to play a lot of music in school, I absolutely hated it. I got strong-armed into playing flute when I in primary school because my ma always wanted to play when she was a kid but never got the chance, plus my teacher at the time was also a flautist, so I never really had much of a choice :-(. The school had a fantastic big band and the flute section was 10 girls and me so, like I said, I absolutely hated it :wink:. When I got to high school, it was all classical so I hated it even more and just didn't go to most of my classes
It wasn't until I went to university that I started to take an interest in music when I would go down to the Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne's downtown to watch a band  busking there every Friday evening. The two sax players absolutely captivated me to the point where I scraped together every last cent I had to buy a horn of my own. I had my heart set on a tenor, like both these guys played, but wasn't even close to being able to afford it and so had to settle for an alto. Even then, I had to go to my old man and beg for a couple hundred bucks to make even that .
And many years later, I got to play with them although I was never game enough to tell the guys what they had wrought
But getting back to the kid I met the other night, it occurred to me that if he was 24 now and had been coming to see me play, he must've been only 10 at the time. I asked one of the old band members about him and he said "Yeah, don't you remember? His old man used to bring him to the bar every week to watch you play."
I've been doing a lot of work with young kids recently and while the impact you have on their lives is obvious, it's not something you think about very often (although we probably should). This, on the other hand, has completely freaked me out, to have been responsible for what is such an important part of his life today 
I talk in the Awasu FAQ about part of the reason for doing all this is the importance I place on putting something back in but I also hope you all get something out of using it as well. Maybe not life-changing but hey, ya never know...
 The Swingin' Sidewalks actually went on to much bigger things and became a household name across Australia.
 When I was finally later able to afford a tenor I was never really able to get my head around it. The fingering and technique is almost the same as an alto but there's something of a mind-shift you need to get a handle on. So even today, 20+ years later, I'm still very much an alto specialist
 And let's face it, I was fairly well lubricated most nights, hardly a good role model for such impressionable young minds