05-29-2017 Mark Stanley, & Michael Tweed, Living in the Light

Monday, May 29th at 9:00PM EST, Video YouTube Live Stream

Our music is by this guest, Mark Stanley and Mark is joined by documentarian Michael Tweed.  From the time Mark Stanley picked up the guitar at age 3, taught himself how to play by the time he was 8, and started writing songs when he was 11, he knew he’d found his life’s passion. He achieved early success: when walking one day, he heard someone playing a song he’d written; he was also in a rock ‘n’ roll band while attending Del Valle High School. He idolized John Stewart, the late Bay Area songwriter, singer, guitar player and former member of the Kingston Trio band. “I met him when I was 17,” said Stanley, who grew up in Lafayette. “I took voice lessons from his wife Buffy.” As Stanley’s musical skills blossomed, strumming the guitar was a lot like eating and breathing — he couldn’t imagine a life without doing it. But in 2001, Stanley came back home sick after chaperoning his daughter’s field trip on a hot May day in the town of Coloma. The next day, he had to perform in a show but with a sore throat and high fever, Stanley collapsed, hit his head and was taken to the hospital. “At one point, I asked the doctor, ‘Am I going to live?’ and the doctor said, ‘I think so,’” said Stanley, who remembers feeling disheartened by the prognosis. “I was in a coma for a week and when I woke up, all my fingers and toes were black,” he said. Contracting bacterial meningitis resulted in the amputation of Stanley’s fingertips and six toes. He agonized — would he ever play the guitar again? The gravity of his experience hit him really hard. “All I did was play the guitar for the last 30 years,” said Stanley. “I played when I was happy; I played when I was sad, and when I was hungry.” The irony was that for years he’d done everything he could to protect his fingers just so he could play the guitar. Soon, depression set in. But Stanley knew he had to be strong for his daughter. Things started looking up with opportunities to become an elementary schoolteacher’s aide and to teach guitar at Campana Music in Lafayette. While his illness had caused him to lose his ability to play guitar like he once did, Stanley believes he gained a worthwhile experience as a teacher’s aide at Burton Valley Elementary School and teaching guitar to kids and adults. Source: http://bayareane.ws/2nsNfye