July 18, 2000

What I did on my Summer Vacation

By Steve Morse

Well, first of all, thanks for all the good thoughts everyone has sent. I am having a hard time typing this, which I'll explain in a minute.

Since my whole family is back here with me, I was taking the kids to the skateboard park, and had brought my skateboard, pads, and wrist protectors, etc also. After watching them for awhile, I joined in. At some point, my youngest boy was trying a new trick, and almost had it down. I urged him to just lean forward a bit more after he nearly lost it. "Why don't you try it?" he said. After 25 years of riding dirt bikes and many wipe outs, I thought that I had broke all the bones that I would break. 1 minute later, I was wondering why my wrist hurt so much and was so instantly swollen.

Next day saw me in a huge cast with only the tips of my fingers sticking out. I was in a total depression and much pain. My friend, Jay, a Neurologist who plays bass, got me an appointment with a serious orthopedic specialist.

I brought in my guitar and held my hand up to the neck while a compromise position was fiberglassed over my wrist and hand. Fingers were at least able to move slightly, albeit with much pain. I'm back in business, I'm thinking.

The good doctor brings more news about the second broken bone and how long that might take to heal, and possible surgery, and stuff like that. But he is so cool and supportive of helping me somehow make these gigs, that he allows the cast to be as abbreviated as he can stand it.

So, Dave (LaRue) comes over to my place to test the waters, and it's going to hurt just to press the frets down, but many of the notes are possible that don't involve stretches, thumb over the neck, or going above the 15th fret. New fingerings and different arrangements will be found, and pain pills will be taken. The shows will happen.

My first show is in a few days, the Montreaux Jazz Festival, with DP, and it's a stressfest coming up with new voicings and ideas for everything, but I'm sure that it will work out OK.

It's amazing how many things I used to need my left hand for. I sure do miss it, but things could be much worse. It should heal and be fine at some point. If you go to any of the SMB/Dregs shows and notice an incredibly authentic rock and roll grimace worn by the guitarist whenever a left hand finger moves, now you know why.

stevemorse.com 2000