Find Out for Yourself (Brian 'Buzz' /'Mr. Soul' Thompson)

I can't tell you... where to go...

I can't tell you... what you should know...

you've got to find out for yourself

you can't depend on no one else...

you've got to find out... for yourself...

...

I can't tell you... who to be...

I can't tell you... what you should see...

you've got to find out for yourself;

you can't depend on no one else...

you've got to find out... for your self.

...

and I can't tell you... what to do...

you've got to keep on 'keepin' on'...

until you see it through///r7b'

you've got to find out for yourself;

you can't depend on no one else...

you'v got to find out... for yourself.

...

I hate to go... and leave you all alone

to fight this battle... all on your own...

(but) you've got to find out for yourself...

you can't depend on no one else...

you've got to find out... for yourself...

... a simple and direct lyric from my old friend and former neighbour 'Buzz' Thompson; written for his brother Barry, who took his own life many years ago. Barry was an electrician with a keen interest in recording and scuba diving, especially underwater photography; back in the pre-digital days. Barry bought the first Fender Telecaster guitar ever to come to Peterborough (Buzz once told me); through the old fellow (Noe Duranceau, also a published Napoleonic scholar, I believe), who ran the Orpheus Music store in the little space that now houses The Garnet on Hunter Street in downtown Peterborough. Barry had one of the first 4-track tape recorders to come to town, as well. I made my first attempt  at recording in 'Ma' Thompson's living room (with my teen musical partner Wendy Davis), Barry at the controls. I suspect many of us that loved Buzz might have assumed that his nickname came from his long standing affection and association with cannabis, bu this is not the case. 'Buzz' came about when his (slightly) older brother Barry could not pronounce 'Brian' properly; and 'Buzz' stuck.

   The boys came by their musicality honestly; their dad Hector being a self taught guitarist and singer in the 'western' tradition. Buzz told me that 'back in the day' in Warsaw; Hector and his pals would lay music into an open telephone, and all the folks that shared the service would listen in. A true 'party line'. Hector had long standing issues with alcohol, and in his later years the boys would often buy him a cheap guitar that would more often than not end up being pawned or swapped out. Hector died a tragic death, when a younger fellow offered to carry his beer up to his apartment for him (above 'Hatton's Fun House' on George Street). Hector was robbed and murdered for a box of beer and very little cash. He lay in the summer heat a couple of days before being discovered. Buzz and 'Ma' were about to depart on a western vacation to see friends Buzz had made in Calgary (this being not too very long after Barry's suicide). My partner and I sent them on their way, and took care of emptying out Hector's sad dwelling on Buzz' behalf. We had troubled brothers, he and I, and Buzz was one of the very few fellows in my life who I called 'brother', and knew he was 'there' for me, as I was for him; always. No favour ever refused or questioned. He was a died in the wool 'soul brother', and a great interpreter of 'R&B' music; a long standing member of Ronnie Hawkin's band 'The Hawks'.

    I can't say that our version of Buzz' tune compares to his incendiary rendition; (not by a long shot!); but it is my humble tip of the hat to a dear and departed friend. I often sang it to troubled youth in my years as a Child and Youth Worker and counselor; and will include it in any show I play in the time that remains :between here and the haze..." rest in peace, old friend. love, d.

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