Yet another musician who’s really into Bruce’s work… meet Canadian singer/songwriter Megan Metcalfe.
I first heard Bruce’s music on a TV ad for a radio station in Seattle. The ad came in using the second piano solo from “The Way It Is”. I was riveted. I literally hit the floor. My first thought was, “Wow, somebody’s finally writing some real music!!” In the late eighties, music had become very electronic and vacuous. So as a songwriter, it was incredibly liberating to hear something so outside the “mould”. I bought the CD and all my first impressions were confirmed—this was the best stuff out there.
In ’93, I had the amazing good fortune to attend a concert of Bruce’s here in Vancouver, where the woman who was managing me at the time was also the executive director of the Music West Festival. She asked if I would attend the concert and head backstage afterward to convince Bruce to be a part of the festival….so I went backstage, but I don’t think the conversation we had ever got around to the festival! We talked music and music and music, and I gave Bruce a tape of my material. When they performed here in Vancouver again a year later I went to the show.
While waiting for a cab outside the theatre, Bruce’s horn player, John D’earth recognized me and asked if I wanted to come in for the backstage gathering the Western Wilderness Society was having for Bruce. So, serendipitously, I met him again. As before, he was charming and gracious and I gave him more material to listen to. He phoned a few months later, just to tell me how much he liked the music. I wasn’t home at the time, but, and this is indicative of the kind of guy Bruce is, he apologized for rambling on my answering machine!!
So I’ve sent Bruce my music as I write it, and he’s given me fantastic advice about creating my “own” sound. I’ve attended several shows since and Bruce has been unfailingly supportive, kind and approachable. He has shown me how to be inspired by all kinds of influences. Not only every kind of music, but literature, art and just life itself. Every person you meet can become a source of inspiration, too. I have also come to realize that commercial success comes second to writing the best songs you can write. What matters is pushing yourself harder all the time to see what you can achieve in terms of the quality of your writing.
I consider Bruce to be my strongest musical influence and I feel truly privileged to also consider him a friend.
You can hear more of Megan Metcalfe on our Salivate cover project of Bruce’s music.