Starting Over

Mark & McCoy
Sat, 08/15/2015 - 14:25

There was a lot of mopin’ and copin’ and hopin’ those first months back from LA. Looking back I think it was the only time I have felt totally lost. I had a failed marriage and felt I had failed in my career. Then the combination of not knowing how to reach out and people not knowing how to reach in led to a feeling of isolation and feeling more lost. The fact that I kept the curtains drawn didn’t help.

Then suddenly a few breaks. My friend Gary Drager let me cheaply rent a house he had in Eastlake. In the winter of 1979 Bob Flick asked if I’d like to go on a six-week tour of Japan as one of The Brothers Four. From an emotional and financial standpoint it was a huge YES and a way forward.

That summer after I got home from the tour I was having dinner with my friend, Pat Sands, at a downtown rib joint he managed called The Rio Café. McCoy showed up.
“What are you doing here?” I asked
“I came to welcome you home.”
That was the night we started singing again.

Pretty soon McCoy and I were recording the new songs I was writing at a recording studio owned by friends on Queen Anne Hill called Big and Famous. Nashville gave affirmative nods if not full-blown yeses to what they were hearing. One night Sands and I went to a show at a place called The Seattle Concert Theater. He’d come to LA for the Brentwood Playhouse performance and thought it was a good idea to do a show at the Concert Theater. Before we knew it we’d rented the space and sold the show out within a day or two.
Then there was another sold out concert and then another. We called what we were doing Mark Pearson in Concert with McCoy.

At the same time McCoy was building a log cabin on some property on Beaver Lake near Issaquah. It was before Microsoft and there wasn’t much out there. I was his assistant with the nickname of Otto. After the house was built McCoy invited his friends to participate in what he called the BLT, the Beaver Lake Triathlon. For years the event was held on Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.

Looking back I suppose McCoy and I were Willie and Waylon or Redford and Newman wanna be’s. I just know how important it was to have him there as my life and career began again.

My brothers agreed to be part of that first concert. The colored photo is the three of us with our banjos. My older brother, Mike, is on the left and younger brother, Jim, is on the right.

The video is of a song called "Greyhound." Written in the 70's it's a song we continue to sing.

Three of the audios are from that first concert at The Seattle Concert Theater including a song I wrote with Gary Drager, aka Cooper Edens, called "Buffer Barnes." The fourth song, "Back in the Day," looks at those times years later and is on the "Between Old Friends" album.

That is John Morton on electric guitar. He will be with McCoy and me on September 13th. If you would like to join us you can get your tickets at Brown Paper Tickets.

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