Speaking of friends, as I was just doing on a Facebook post, I had great ones while I attended Carnegie Mellon University. Crag Collins set up a recording studio in his dorm room and we gathered there often for recording and parties. Eric Maata and Lou Trott were musical regulars, and at the heart of it all for me was Bruce Irving. I don’t remember exactly where we met–probably Lou’s dorm room or somewhere like that–but we bonded quickly over music, intellectual and cultural pursuits and general smart-assedness. Especially music. Bruce and I went to see the Rolling Stones, with Stevie Wonder opening, at the Civic Arena, as one of our first outings together in Juy of 1972. Amazing show. Each of us wrote songs and we started writing together. He was terrific and he must have thought I was competent as well. We started playing the bars and coffeehouses of Pittsburgh. Our repertoire included Beatles, CSN, Eagles, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, old blues, and a bunch of originals, some of which weren’t bad. I remember especially a regular gig at the Casbah, a bar in shadyside where the stage was up behind he bar and we had to climb up to it. Bruce landed a record deal with a local label that later had the Iron City Houserockers, as I recall, and we released a single. I say “we,” because I was his right-hand guy, singing harmonies and writing the B-side, which we performed a couple of years ago at his 60th birthday party at a bar near his home outside Boston. The gigs were enjoyable, the times were memorable, and the memories linger, precious. We are still great friends, sharing interests musical and otherwise, and I will always treasure our history.