Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pictures R U, LW! Late 80's+

Last time, we published an entry featuring pictures of us from the early 80's. In this episode, we will look, in particular, at the late 80's & early 90's. As I noted before, this task of showing group pictures had already been done in a sense in the video for "Love's in a Name". That video is here:

As the 80's progressed, we continued to be very active, going out in our bus just about every weekend, but, after 1986 or so, without Mike. Another factor was that we were all getting married and starting families at this time. That means many Living Waters children, whom I dubbed, "puddles"! Chuck & Joyce and Tony & Denise were already married. (Mike & Sharon, our first real married couple had left the active group and were having children.) All the other LW families formed then. Dave & Kathy, Mark & Julia, John & Joyce (not in the pic below) and Anne & Greg, all got married in quick succession, and Jim married our dance foundress, Ann-Marie. Jackie, Chris R. and little Mark were the first in a growing list of "puddles".

Some others had left the active group like the Foucres or the Gagnons, but once you had been in Living Waters, you were always part of it, somehow. In this picture below, we also see several co-workers of happy memory who were new to the group at this time, like Miles, Cindy, Kevin, Joe and Don; their families & friends became part of us. Living Waters wouldn't have been what it was without their unique and unforgettable presence. In view of all this, the picture below is a treasured slice of this wonderful time.

Here we are outside the 505 Pleasant House circa 1988, near Betsy the Bus. Front row: Miles, Cindy, Carole, Anne & Greg, Don Morrier, Denise; middle: Joyce with Chris, Joline, Jeff, Kevin, Mark with little Mark & Julia, Tony, Kathy & Dave with little Jackie, Pepi; back left: Ann-Marie & Dave & Jim Babish, Chuck (behind his Joyce) and Joe D.
One thing about our weddings of this time is that they were Living Waters weddings, featuring our own tunes and style. We began to do many weddings for Bourque relatives and many others as well. This remains a key part of who we are to this day. It reminds me of something like the Von Trapps, a musical family, bound by sacred oaths to God. (Several of our past members had also given their lives by becoming presbyters, like Bob, Danny & Mike Higgins; they remain part of this faith family.) This very weekend, we are set to do the wedding for Dave & Kathy's son, Matthew, featuring John & Joyce's daughter Caroline singing. The beat goes on!

Mark sings "Perfect Gift Song" at his marriage to Julia 1986
Left: Mike Higgins, in charge of TOR Franciscans in Rome at one point; right: Danny, missionary in Mexico

We should throw in a classic picture from right before this other one, when we sort of went to a formal look with fancy shirts and colored dresses. This picture allows us to mention a few other members we had in the 80's. In the front left we see Joan, whom we haven't mentioned, and peeking in the back is Chrissy, the star of the "Prodigal Daughter". Front & right is our beloved Mary Gillis; we played music for her funeral, and recently, also, for Cheryl.

As the 80's turned into the 90's, we moved our large equipment from Holliston to the nearby Sons of Mary, across Route 9 in Framingham. It was there that we had one of the best Christmas concerts we ever did captured by Jim on tape. This was the source of a couple of the live tracks we put on our recent Christmas album, "The Joy". (There is a link to those songs below, the "Christmas Live" playlist.) We were also spending time in the hall recording some of our concert standards of this time. The gem of that session is undeniably, "Love's in a Name". "Let's Stay" was always the next to last song leading to "Nobody Else" as the closer, in those days. (There is also a playlist with these songs below.)

The Sons of Mary in Framingham, where we were based in the early 90's
Here are the links to the recordings of those days:
The Sons Sessions
Christmas Live

It around the mid-90's that the group 'ended' as a regular touring band, due to the pressures of families, jobs and other issues. However, the group never really totally 'ended'. In the early 90's, we also recorded "Peter the Rock", did a concert with Mike in 1995 at Sheepgate Coffeehouse, reviving many old songs, and continued to do sporadic concerts, weddings and such until the present time. Further, each of us bloomed where we were planted providing our music talents to our own churches. Around 2011, a whole new era would dawn with the entrance of the band to the internet, and brand new songs and recording. Stay tuned for the next episode!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Pictures R U, LW! Early 80's

Pictures R U, LW! Early 80's

Last time, we published an entry featuring pictures of us from the 70's. As promised, here are pictures from what was our most active touring decade, the 80's. In this episode, we will look, in particular, at the early 80's. As I noted before, this task of showing group pictures had already been done in a sense in the video for "Love's in a Name". That video is here:

As the 80's dawned, it seemed like the group was done for a short time, because we had left the retreat center where we were based. But, we discovered that Living Waters had its own wonderful, family identity quite separate from where we had been. We moved our equipment to St. Linus parish in Natick for a short time...and we came up with tshirts! At first we had a light blue version with a circular logo, I think, but soon settled for a dark blue with white letters. You can see the shirts here in a picture from a Christmas show in Woburn from 1980.

Top to bottom: Chuck R., Tom, Joyce, Suzanne, Jim G., Mike, Beth, Mike, Michelle, Dave, Kathy, Chuck T., Sharon, Omer, Tony, Denise, Greg, Mark

These pics show us practicing & posing in the basement at St. Linus:

We started touring SO much, mostly in Massachusetts, but also in the rest of New England and New York. We made trips to conferences across the Northeast in places like Hartford or Providence Civic Center. (We had previously done a couple of Steubenville Youth Conferences.) We were using the second version of our converted school bus, Betsy; we took out the back seats in order to carry tons of lighting and sound equipment. Here we are, performing right in front of the bus, at a common destination in Rhode Island:

Back: Mike, Dave, Denise, Tony, Mark, Greg; Front: Kathy, Joyce, Chuck, Mike, Sharon

At this point, I decided that we needed to find our own 'home base'. I noticed the Marists in Framingham had an abandoned house on 505 Pleasant Street, across from their place. I negotiated to get it and we got to work, renovating and making a home. Tony & Denise moved upstairs to the third floor and served as house parents. Pepi, Greg, John and I moved to the second floor, joined by various others as time went on. We parked Betsy, the bus, in the large area outside and put all our sound, lighting and recording equipment in the basement.

Top: Mike, Greg, Dave Mark; Hood: Kathy, Sharon, Chuck; Front: Mike, Denise, Jim, Joyce, Tony

It was in this cellar that we recorded the Christmas album for which we took the following picture as a cover. (We were in front of Jim's house down the street, and it was actually warm!)

On rock: Mary Gillis, Mike & Carole; Back: Tony, Denise, Jim, Greg, Dave, Kathy, Mark, Joyce, Chuck

We were also doing a Themed Concert entitled, "The Prodigal Daughter". This was done in support of Covenant House in New York, the place for young victims of human trafficking. We made a couple trips and played there in the very early 80's, and continued to support them through PR and contributions.

Left: the Marist House, the view across from our house; Right: CH logo in the 80's

In the mid 80's, we faced a major crisis when Mike decided to go off to college and leave the group. At first, it really affected the way we sounded, but eventually, through constant touring, we came up with a new sound without him, even while doing some of his songs. It was at this time that we recorded the "Basement Tape" of three songs that we were doing so much in concert: Nobody Else, It's Not the Same & There's a Woman. Here they are:

At some point in the late 80's, we moved most of our stuff to Fatima Shrine in Holliston in order to get a good practice space. In the late 80's and early 90's, there were even more changes coming. Stay tuned for the next installment!

Fatima Shrine in Holliston which became our practice space in the 80's!

Peace & Love & JOY,
Mark LaJOIE!