Bruce Cockburn Mystic-2003 part2

Bruce Cockburn at the Mystic – Part 2

When I knew i would be going to the Mystic show, I asked Suzanne, as editor of the Cockburn Project, to contact Bernie Finkelstein, Bruce’s manager, and ask for a photography pass, so I could take pictures at the Mystic for the CockburnProject. He granted that pass, and I got it at will call, no problem, the night of the show. I had even called ahead to confirm all was well, as I did not want to be hassled by security the night of the gig.

So I bring my new Canon G3. Earlier in the afternoon we run into Steve Lucas, bass player touring with Bruce. We chatted a bit about his new cd, Gamma Jazz, a techno-jazz-fusion-jungle sound, coming out soon on He graciously stood still for a picture with Russel, my husband.

Steve Lucas and Russel Wisby 2003

I also was able to talk with Bruce just before sound check when he walked past our table at McNears resturant. I wrote a bit about this here and

Standing in line and in the theater waiting for the show to start, meeting lots of fans, and trading ‘how we became Bruce fans’ stories was really fun. (If the husband & wife team of doctors from Sonoma County read this, please contact us, we so enjoyed meeting and talking with you.) We grabbed seats, second row, left of center, for a great view of Bruce and guitar.

Then Bruce walks onstage to a standing ovation for just being there.
I start taking pictures, taking great care to make sure all the metering lights are off, the flash is off, i have the right (as best i can figure out) settings (TV- shutter priority 1/15). I took a few shots during the first song, Tried and Tested.
And was really enjoying the second song, Mighty Trucks Of Midnight, when someone was trying to grab my camera out of my hands!

I tried to show him my pass, but he was still putting his hands on my NEW CANON G3… i tried to explain, he would hear none of it, so we left the concert area, I told him Bernie had given me permission, but he didn’t know who Bernie was, and he said ‘they’ say absolutely no pictures, and i ask who they are and he says the band managers. So he took my id (bz cards for the Cockburn Project) and went in search of someone, came back and said, ok .. I said, “is that an apology?” he said yeah, but i don’t think he meant it. I asked if any one else would jump on me now for taking pictures and he said no.

But it really did throw me off center. Russel kept after me to shoot more pictures, and i did, but my heart wasn’t as into it by this time. I thought i had done every thing to make that NOT HAPPEN, but in looking back i guess i should of contacted someone else as well. Or Bernie should of contacted the guys handling the ‘band’ on the road. I don’t know, but it felt awful. And the questions about it during intermission didn’t help.

Then the unspeakable happened, just after intermission, the flash went off on a shot!! I could of vanished into the floor.. I don’t really know what happened, obviously something had become ‘unset’ on the camera, even though i check for no flash on each shot. But it did, and i put the camera away after that, as it was taking too much of my focus.

This is that shot, cropped & re-sized :

Bruce Cockburn 2003

Here is a link to the setlist of this show.

Another wonderful thing happened at this show. In my early days of getting into Bruce (early 80’s) I lived in Boulder, Colorado and then Marin County, California, where i met a kindred spirit, Bobby Parrs, and we became good friends and enjoyed our connection often thru Bruce.

Bruce Cockburn - Bobbi Wisby - Bobby Parrs - Zellerbach Berkley 1988

That’s me looking like I was caught at something *lol*, Bruce, and Bobby, after show at the Zellerbach in Berkley, 1988.

Well, after the concert and most of the theater had left, we made our way to the lobby and I turned and looked over my shoulder and there he was!! … we haven’t seen each other in about 14 years! , as he moved to Maui and I moved to Humboldt County. Reconnecting is great. We went backstage to say our thanks to Bruce and exchanged info.

Bobby and I reconnected again a few days later at Reggae on the River! More on that story in another post.

That’s about it for my stories of Bruce at the Mystic. Did i happen to mention the music? It was wonderful…high energy, intimate, and fun. Bruce and band enjoyed it as well as we did. This crowd loves this man.. and it shows… and he gives it all right back to us. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a show by Bruce, go for it, you won’t be sorry.

Here is a link to Bruce at the Mystic part 1.