Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Gift from Les!

As my regular readers know, I am crazy about Survivorman. Well, not only Les Stroud when he wears his survival-TV-show hat, but just as much when he’s singing. I’ve been counting the days till the release of Les’s new CD recorded with that awesome Canadian band, the Northern Pikes. I listen to his self-titled first CD at least once a month after playing the thing daily for the first couple weeks. If you think this guy is good at building a shelter out of crashed plane scraps, you should hear him play guitar.

Yeah, I really dig the man. So imagine me Friday night when I got home from work and my husband said, “You got a package from Les!” And it was true! There was a package from that Huntsville, Ontario address and inside was the new CD.

Did I ask for this? No. It came to me out of the blue! I mean, think of it: Survivorman himself deciding, “Hey, I’ve got to send a copy of my CD to my writer fan in Wisconsin!” Please understand, he doesn’t know me personally--he just did this to be nice. It all started when I blogged about him and ordered a couple of things from his online store, and
he sent me gifts on top of my order. For a blog post! Gosh. So I sent a copy of Soulful Sex: Volumes I & II to him as a return gesture. His assistant Wendy and I have exchanged a few emails too--what a nice person she is! Anyway, over the past year so I have definitely gotten into all things Les Stroud.

So, when I released Soulful Sex: The Paranormal, Science Fiction and Fantasy Collections a couple months ago, I had to send a copy up to Ontario to Les. You see, one of the stories,
“Spacewrecked with Joel Fennimore” is basically Survivorman in Space, and Joel is a sort of futuristic Les Stroud. My little tribute to this inspirational guy.

I don’t know if Les actually got a chance to read it and liked it, or if he was just being a sweetheart on general principles when he sent me the new CD. Either way, a person just doesn’t get an unrequested gift from a celebrity every day. I really can’t believe it, actually!

And the CD? Well, it’s awesome! It’s just my luck that my favorite musician in the world does his music as a sideline (although it used to be his primary vocation back in the day). Don’t get me wrong, I adore the show, I get pretty swoony over Les’s wilderness adventures, and his film work is amazing. But it’s the music that sends me most of all. The title track on the CD, “Long Walk Home,” is (at least to me) like something from another plane of reality. It transports me to this weird place where I want to cry but also never want the feeling to stop. With most songs I like, I can tell what it is that makes the song good: nice chord progression, zippy beat, excellent melody, whatever. But with some of Les’s songs (same could be said of “After Neil Young Dies,” “Clouds,” and “All Restless Souls”) I can’t even get my mind around what he’s done to make them work like they do. The magic is transferred from the performance directly to my emotions with no comprehensible link in between.

Regular readers of this blog will recall
my lament for a really good crush back in March. I was wishing I could believe in the goodness and heroism of some guy again, if only on a fantasy level, the way I used to be able to in my younger days (like my early 40s, LOL!). I’ve been noticing lately that over a year out from the last new episode of “Survivorman,” even upon listening to his first CD for the thirtieth time, I’m still able to get as excited about Les as ever.

With this gesture, I think he’s put himself over the top. What a swell guy.


Jen said...

I think it's awesome! That just shows that people we view as celebrities are just as kind to us as we are to them. You're probably turning into Les' biggest fan! Can you tell from your super stealthy tracking system how many people end up on your site by googling his name?

Diana Laurence said...

Since you asked, there have been 72 to date! Guys ahead of him are Sawyer and Jack from "Lost," Cody Willard (the investment guru), Hugh Jackman, Mike Rowe (whom you and I both love on "Deadliest Catch" and "Dirty Jobs"), Sean Maher ("Firefly" and "Serenity"), and John Krasinski ("The Office"). Pretty good company. And he's ahead of Gabriel Byrne, possibly the best looking man in the known universe, so that proves heart is more important than looks, doesn't it? (Not that Les doesn't have both, of course.)

Biggest fan? Who me? :-)