I can still hear Maynard's voice, his raspy, booming speaking voice in my head --"Baaahhrbra, how r' ya?" I can still feel his presence. He sat in this very room, the production room at mvy many times and we talked about his music, other people's music, his life, Buddhism, art, the Vineyard, whatever. He was never at a loss for words. Maynard passed away on July 16th, 2008, and all who knew him are thinking back over the moments that we shared with him.
Maynard introduced me to the I Ching, the classic Chinese text used over the centuries for divination. One of his many gifts to me. That would have been about 1992. At the same time, I was in a band with Maynard for a short while and we had some fun.
One cold day in December of 2007 I was in Boston to do some Christmas shopping and called Maynard on my cell phone because we hadn't talked in a while. I was parked on Newbury St. and he and I spoke for a couple of hours, me on my cell phone in the car and Maynard back home on the Vineyard, comparing notes about our bouts with cancer.
Laurel Redington and I went out for dinner in March of 2008, just four months before Maynard would succumb to cancer, and with tears in her eyes, Laurel told me that Maynard was not doing well. We were both so sad and tried to cheer each other up. After dinner, I went home and did the only thing that I thought I could do to help Maynard, and wrote a song, which included three Buddhist mantras that I hoped would eventually reach his ears and stay with him when the time came for him to leave this world. I wanted to ease and somehow bless the passage in whatever small way that I could. I recorded the song in April in Florida and Maynard heard it in June. A gift to a friend who we all love so much. Here's Maynard's song.
Laurel did a wonderful tribute to Maynard with Maynard's wife Basia on the air today and shares it and her love for Maynard on her blog Positive Underground.