The “F” in Funk, the “G” in Gratitude

I’ve always had a credo, a mantra, a saying. Actually let’s just call it what it is: my viewpoint, that I choose to live by.

“Life is a Lesson. You Learn it when it’s through.”

Through Life’s journey, it’s path and travels, we have the family that we can’t choose, and the friends that we are given: that we can choose as family. If we are able to have a few such in our lifetime and experience, we are that much richer.

That is what makes Life…lived.

Some 4 years ago, we lost just a friend, and gained family member, and our family was changed.

We missed, we mourned.

Yet, believing in my “life statement”, we have to live. We were taught yet another lesson in the value and enjoyment of time and what we have to spend with the family and friends that we have around us, and the impact and traces that we leave on those around.

With some of these ideals in mind, I began what has become a 4th annual gathering. Collecting family and friends in a musical celebration of the friend that we lost…too soon.

This year of 2017, found us at Rosewood, a great Pub & Restaurant in Old Montreal, that I think Orson would be proud of. A chill venue, laid-back, with great food, atmosphere, staff and service. I thank them for all they provided, and the efforts that supported the evening.


Friends and Family have been staunch supporters since day 1, and even though I say I would still do it even if there were but a handful of people, it makes it that much more fun and enjoyable to see the faces of so many, who take time from their lives, to come share the evening’s antics.

This also marks the 1st year that I have been able to have the family between my four walls present, all of age, all present. Two sons, along with my better half (who is also the Brain behind the suggestion of the locale).

Now we get to the music part: putting the “F” in Funk (say that 3 times quickly).

The Musicians: Snooksta & the Gangstas (ie. the Aliens “transcended”) have been our house-band, sharing the funk, soul, rnb, rock, and blues, that brother “O” loved to hammer down. Snooki on drums and vocals, Ben on bass, DJ on guitar, and Naveen on keys, all are part of the family.

That we’ve made, that we’ve chosen.

To pull an analogy from Orson’s dictionary (which he had gone from Bootsy Collins to the Lord of the Rings with me in a single breath of musical discussion)…

“Music is the ring that binds us”

Regardless of genres, Orson loved them all, but THE most passionate that he followed, was the path of funk. For this we gather the Family, for the founded “We Got the Funk” Orson Clarke Tribute, that to add another f to this paragraph, is in it’s fourth edition.

Orson has become our “Sauron”, or our “Frodo”, but he is our Lord of the Rings. He left such an impact on those around him, that he still musters the love of friends to come and continuously play his brand of music to the wee hours of the morning, while still bringing in new generations of players into the fold, to honor a Man who could have such an impact on the musical world around him.

I would personally like to thank all the Musicians that came out. The amount of talent could have filled our stage threefold, and I am grateful for those that played, and even more grateful for those that gave space and want, to simply take it all in.

We had some great friends that gave their presence and audience, but didn’t participate on stage, but they did make the event richer, in like Orson would say “just enjoying the spectacle”.

Some photos can be found here:

*I am usually one of the latter, and thank Ben for giving me the chance to lay down some 4 string fun (on HIS prize-possession at that) to play an “a propos” version of “Stand By Me”


I would like to take this time to thank you all personally, for being that F that is in Funk (for Friends, Family, Fun).

Mme. Carolyn Fe graced us with a reading this year that put the night into a certain light. Thank you for those words, and the presentation that could only be done in the way that you did.

Carolyn Fe reading transcribed

Caroline Venor also did a reading, also only the way that she could. That was the icing on the cake; aptly titled (as well): The F in Funk.

Caroline Venor reading transcribed

The readings will be available in separate articles (since I don’t want to be long-winded).

Time is the priceless gift, we can’t buy more of it, and it is free to give (on the most part). Thank you for spending it with us in commemorating the memory of friend and family. Commemorating through the love of music.

This was the 4th, thank you for letting the 4th be with you (yeah I know he woulda said that too…can’t you hear the laughter…)

I hope you enjoyed, and had a great time.

Looking forward to seeing you all again!



One Love

Reading: the “F” in Funk


Orson Clarke Tribute 2017, reading by Caroline Venor

The “F” in Funk

First of all, Thank You.

Second of all, in the Honor of, and in the words of Orson Clarke:

“Funk You”

Yes, I said Funk…I’m ALWAYS po-lite.

We all know Mr. Clarke, as a genuine “#onelove” kinda guy. Just one love for many passions, one love for the many offerings of Life.

Passions that made him smile, that made him laugh, which in turn, made him share and pass the laughter forward. Those that knew him will be forever marked by that smile, and forever scarred by his laugh. Look at his daughters, and you see and hear both of these, as well as that glimmer in the eyes that you just know is that “something is up” look.

Back to the “Funk You” part tho…

Carolyn Fe gave us the nice clean build up presentation before…

I’m here to give you my side of the story. The “adult” stage and “dirty”musical side of the story…

The tail end, or “hatchback” view that Orson had on life, because he had the best view in the house,


and well, from his perspective.

Orson, as a stage partner, was a pocket man. He forever held that low funky groove. Hard, tight and firm when needed, or gentle soft and soulful, spiritually filling, and resoundingly climactic.

Yes, I am talking about his bass playing.

Orson knew how to play his instrument so well that he could play it so softly that the the gentlest of melodies would be coaxed from that wooden tool of his, or he could thump, bump, snap, pop, or ground and pound his instrument that you’d think the thunder from on high was controlled from his groove. The groove that became, was, and is, what we call Orson’s Funk.

Regardless of  styles musical styles, y’always knew it was Orson. Pop, Funk, Rock, Blues, yep, and even Disco.

All grooved, all had style. All had junk in the trunk. You rocked, you grooved, you moved, you danced when he played.

Orson loved that bottom end, and he wanted everyone to enjoy it.

And we did.

Big guy gave as much as he got, the more you enjoyed his stage antics, the more he enjoyed playing for you.

Orson was a Giver, not a taker.

Once again…talking about Music…

Oh yeah, I do digress…but so did Orson…changing the topic, well we share that…I’m just not gonna talk about Batman, Star Wars, Camaros, or droptops or hatchbacks…but we are gonna talk a bit about the F words. The F words that bring us here to make music and noise.

We all love those F words.


Tonight we celebrate the F in Friends

Tonight we celebrate the F in Family

Tonight we celebrate the F in Fun

Tonight we celebrate the F in Funk


So, please, lets put our hands together, clap for those we’ve lost, clap for those we love.

The friends, the Family, that Help us celebrate the Funk.

And let’s all just say together, in harmony, in unison, as Family

…for Orson…

Funk You!

#thefinfunk words by Rik Roe


We Got the Funk 2017 – A Reading


2017 Reading for the Orson Clarke Tribute. As read (spoken word) by Carolyn Fe

“Dearly beloved

We are gathered here today

To get through this thing called life

Electric word…Life

It means forever and that’s a mighty long time

But I’m here to tell you

There’s something else…”

This Night…



We gather, in Montreal, the City of Cities, at Rosewood, THE Club of Clubs, to render homage and tribute to Our Orson Clarke.

Be Ye:

Family, Friend, Band-mate or Fellow musician


To Remember Orson Clarke:

Mentor, Prodigy

Funkster, Foodie

Geek, Star Wars disciple

Camaro gasser, Aquarium filler

BBQ worshiper, Fridge emptier

Alien funkin’, Bootsy bassin’

Conversation starter, Conversation ender

Master of Ceremonies and Joker of the Court.


We bid you Welcome to this evening’s merriment, and thank you for your participation and support.

This year, our word of the night is Gratitude.

We share the gift of gratitude this night, because it is the gift that Orson Clarke imparted to us in the Time he spent with us. For those that knew Orson, He was the ultimate definition of the wod share. He shared his:








Fandom & geekery

Love of food, but not necessarily what was on his plate…but he would describe it to you, aroma texture and scent…in great detail, but that he best enjoyed himself.

We remember him tonight through the music he left us, by giving some back, and paying it forward.

Like from Jedi to Paduan

Like from Batman to Robin,

and like Prince to, well, Everyone…

Orson was, and is, one of those Soul’s that always had a smile that warmed your heart and a laugh that echoed through the rafters. (and it echoed, and echoed…and echoes still)

He argued for fun and debated for sport. That’s what made him Orson.

He put the Fun in Funk (always with a capital “F” or “Ph”, and always held his end of the groove as much as any conversation and friendship.

On stage and off, he conducted his Life the same way.

He lived it with One Love, and he lived it with Gratitude.

“O” loved his Family.

He cherished his friends.

He lived for his music, and was more than passionate for his hobbies and interests.

And, He shared All.

You knew of his passions, as IF he would ever be shy about them.

A walking musical encyclopedia, he could illustrate and or educate you on any of some of the 10,000 songs he was reputed to know. He’d walk and talk you through the progressions and changes, keys and breaks, and be warned should you beg to differ. The volume would rise, but only in accordance with the smile that hid behind the power of debate.

Not just about music, but about cars, trucks, science fiction, superheroes, fish..and the all powerful wordcraft related to the consumption of the culinary arts. All these passions made the man that shared them with us, and gave us cause to call him Friend.

This night, We regale in Orson’s Spirit, we share in our loss, we pay it forward and play tribute to the love of the music he left with us.

“One Love” binds us this night, on this 4th anniversary gathering.

Thank you for sharing, being part of, and participating in each given way.

It’s all about the memories, it’s all about the music.

But most of all…it’s all about our One Love for Orson.

These notes are for you.

Amen my friends, have a great night. Enjoy, reminisce, talk, share, play…and have FUN!

May the Funk Be With You!!!

(written word, Rik Roe)

Life’s Silver…lining


Life always has ways of surprising us, from the littlest of things to the grandest. In this Age of Opulence, where one is always vying for the gold, I will always be more than happy with Silver.

This year marks 25 years that Fiona has been my Wife, earning her the win (apparently) of the Silver Jubilee, and not my life insurance since (also apparently) I am still here…writing this (or am I?).

Marking a quarter century is somewhat of a milestone, not so much in bragging rights, as it is in being proud knowing that we have spent that much more of our lives together than apart.


Today is a day of our celebration of marriage, a crowning mark of the achievements that we’ve made together thus far, and those that we’ll be making in the years to come.

The color is Silver, which I am usually reminded by the Grey in my hair, by the one who likes reminding me most, especially after 25 years.


I’m just happy to be party to the party.


I’ve learnt over time that less is oft more. Garner and enjoy your time, and not things. There are always more things, but never enough time. Hopefully that way you may have fewer regrets should events cause us to lose time we wish we had spent, because time is only spent once (obviously I’m still not a believer in reincarnation).

My life lesson that has been learn-ed often enough during this 1/4 century with my Bride.

I’ve gained 25 years that may or may not have been, and am richer for it.

As a Husband, as a Father, as a “silver-haired” man.

Here’s to the next 25 years…



The Glass is Always Full


“Is the glass half empty or half full?” a common expression, a proverbial phrase, generally used rhetorically to indicate that a particular situation could be a cause for optimism (half full) or pessimism (half empty), or as a general litmus test to simply determine an individual’s worldview.

2017 seems to have begun with 1 of these 2 views, and based on media (both real and social), obviously more of one than the other.

What we tend to forget that Life, is much like the Tao:


Yin and Yang, are two opposite and complimentary energies that make up a whole; that one is not ever fulfilled without the other. Yin and Yang cannot exist without the other, they are never separate.

Whether we perceive them as freezing and boiling, dark and bright, good and evil, they are but parts that become a sum.


Exactly how we view a glass in a”simpler” fashion/expression/time.

A Worldview in the making.

The Mind, like an opinion, is a terrible thing to waste, and recent tidings have encouraged me to be much less reliant on the media machine, for what is fed to us through and media “feeds” preys upon our sensitivities and sensibilities to foster what I deem a lot of air in the glass. Substance without weight that doesn’t really feed or nurture us.

Not to say that all is such, that would bring us back to the Yin and Yang, bits of each in all.

Strong wills create strong views and stronger opinions, but a tempered view can cut a swath through the falsehoods, biases, and untruths. Unless (a) we don’t want to, or (b) we trust too much.

This is where faith and intelligence play into the picture, and we once again return to our yin and yang situation.

Thank you 2017.

We are supposed to be entering the year with an air of rebirth and refreshed ideals. Not of dread, not of ill-will, not of contempt, and certainly not of prejudice.

I am Canadian, and regardless of what I would let all Media believe, I live a Good life.

I am happy to drink from a glass that is half-full, I am even more glad with that the love and respect of my family and friends that my cup doth runneth over.

I will also never let one’s glass ever be empty, it is always filled and refilled at my table, regardless of choice of drink. I judge not.

Judging is one thing, and Respect-ing is however another, and when that Yin Yang becoomes Love/Hate, Respect/Disrespect, I am determined to replace the negative with positive, and the perception of “entitlement” with Gratitude.This year has been painted with more of the former of this (than the latter) til now, and is already due for a fresher coat, or some better primer.

I urge anyone reading this to Believe in Good, have Faith in the Just, but moreso, have faith in you and yours 1st. Think before reacting, and respect the views and opinions that others exude, and file them appropriately.

What separataes from the animals, is that we don’t have to react to instinct, we have the ability to ponder our decisions becfore reacting.

Let 2017 be the year of Action, and not a year of re-Action.

I wish you all the best. Fill your cup, drink until satiated.

Your cup will Always be Full.

One Love.


A Scottish Candle

In numerology, the number 49 resonates with focus, conscientiousness, and being realistic, generally with concerns about and directed toward solutions for humanity.

The number tends to be both pragmatic and idealistic. Where the two ideas can’t coexist, pragmatism generally prevails.

In addition to resonating with an intent to better the human condition in ways that make a noticeable difference, 49 supports and encourages the assistance of other humanitarian individuals and organizations. Its support may be by donating time or by donating funds.

The numerology number 49 isn’t a social number. It tends to be so very focused that it may not notice attempts to get its attention.

Be that as it may, 49 is compassionate when it does interact with others, especially with individuals and organizations intent on doing the world some good.

49 doesn’t entertain general or non-specific goals. Instead, its goals are specific and achievable.

When 49 decides to do something, it determines the method and steps required to accomplish it, then applies its focus to that method and those steps until the goal is reached.

It would be at this point that I wish my Wife and better-half, Fiona, a wholehearted “Happy Birthday”.


It is also at this point that I would encourage the reader to go back, re-read the previous, and replace the numerical component with her name, and see just how true it rings.

Knowing that we have spent more years together than apart, is probably more of a gift to me than to she, but it is a gift of gratitude that just keeps on giving. (Just waking every day, knowing that she hasn’t smothered me in my sleep is a welcome breath of relief.)

49219_originalOn this day, I am happy to have been able to have been able to celebrate soooooo many years with a woman who:

  • always gives
  • never takes
  • listens (kinda)
  • educates
  • nurtures
  • has encouraged my maturity, and lack of as well
  • raised two (somewhat) great Sons
  • enjoys sarcasm
  • grown to love music if not musicians
  • love a quiet lakeside fire
  • encourages the proliferation of vineyards and breweries
  • tolerates canines of all statures
  • tolerates friends and  acquaintances of all statures
  • doesn’t act like a “Princess” even if married to an Ogre
  • enjoys every day for the regal-ness  that it is

The best gift I can give my better-half, is being that other half.

Welcome to being the same age as me again.

Happy Birthday Fi!



A 49th Parallel

49 Canadian. 

Not 50…yet. 

This is a welcome achievement. Hard earned and revered, and not always visible over that distant horizon.

This life journey has been a roadtrip with quite a few detours, but nothing that I would change, could or should I.

Change, growth, learning, adaptation, and most of all, love and gratitude, have made me the man, husband, and father that I am.

Happy at 49. Satisfied at 49. Still hungry at 49.

Like the years before, hopefully like the years ahead.


Giving. Sharing. Helping. Gratitude has been a way of life.

What I’ve learnt is that every little gesture counts, every concious and subconcious action worth the positive energy in which it’s exerted. There is no expectation on the hand I extend, and nothing expected in return.

Simple philosophy, like adage.

My friends are family, and family are those between my four walls. 

Life really is that simple.

This being a few days, and a few random thoughts, after my 49th birthaversary, i am relieved to still be here walkin and talkin (so to speak).

  • I have life. 
  • I have love. 
  • I have family.
  • I have friends.
  • I have gratitude.

Life has been rich thus far, paralleling 48 other years.

I am thankful for those that have joined me in the journey, happy for those that will continue to, and grateful still for those that took the time to: call, write, drop a note, email and wish me a happy birthday. 

Fills the heart with #gratitude.