Thursday, January 1, 2015


Happy New Year,  everyone! I'm sure many of you have New Year's resolutions. It's great to have goals and get motivated and January 1st seems like the best excuse to have a new beginning. For example, I noticed that 24 Fitness is open today, so that folks can honor their resolution and start working out in the hopes that this is going to be the year that they finally lose that weight and get ready for those tight jeans everyone seems to love in Portland. Unfortunately, for some, January 1st might be the ONLY day they work out this year. This might be because we set our expectations way too high. I've always been one to have many goals, and this year is no different. I don't know, you tell me whether you think I'm setting myself for failure:

George Colligan's New Year's Resolutions:

1. Run a mile under 4 minutes.
2. Run a Marathon under 2 hours.
3. Run a 100 mile ultra marathon barefoot, on an empty stomach.
4. Improve my technical and improvisational skills on Piano, Organ, Drums, Trumpet, Upright Bass,
Electric Bass, and Marching Baritone.
5. Become technically proficient on Trombone, Clarinet, Bassoon, Flute, Guitar, Bass Trumpet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, C Melody Saxophone, Baritone, and Ukelele
6. Learn 5,000 new tunes in every key. That means all major AND minor keys. So if the tune is in Major, I'll learn it in minor, and then take it through the keys again.
7. Transcribe every recorded Herbie Hancock solo, every recorded McCoy Tyner solo, every recorded Chick Corea solo, every recorded Keith Jarrett solo, every recorded Kenny Kirkland solo, every recorded Mulgrew Miller solo, every recorded Wynton Kelly solo. ( I'll leave every Bill Evans solo until next year.
8. Learn the complete piano works of Bach, Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Scriabin. Transpose all of these pieces into every key. (Major AND minor....remember...from before?)
9. Become a master of tablas and Indian music. ( This I can probably knock out over the weekend...)
10. Memorize the complete works of Shakespeare.( It's already on my Kindle so this one, again, piece of cake!)
11. Bench press 589 pounds. On an empty stomach.
12. They say most of the muscles in your body are in the lower body, so I guess I will probably be able to deadlift double what I can bench. So let's round up and say 1200 pound deadlift. Should be cool.
13. 5,000 pushups and 5,000 pullups. If this doesn't get me on the cover of Men's Health, nothing will.
14. Write a Rock Opera based on the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis. Now, I know what you are thinking, "George, that writes itself!" Well, yes, it does. But I want it to be really really FUNNY as well as entertaining, informative, and life changingly transformatively inspiring. I want to take this one to Broadway!
15. Win a Tony Award for my Rock Opera based on the 1979 Iranian Hostage Crisis. I guess the awards won't happen until 2016, so.....OK, scratch that one off until next year. (Patience, Colligan....)
16. Become the best Jazz Educator in the world. If you've been following my blog, you are probably like, " But, George, haven't you already accomplished this? And isn't it also highly subjective?" Well the answer is Maybe, and MAYBE, MAYBE NOT! I'm working on the book called "The Absolutely Definitive Completely Complete Guide To Learning Jazz: Becoming the Greatest Jazz Musician Who Has Ever Lived And Getting Every Gig In The World." THIS book is going to be the one. When you read all 1,003 pages of My book, you'll say, " Aebersold, SHMABERSOLD! Bergonzi SHMERGONZI! Levine SHMEVINE!" Or something like that. Pick your favorite jazz instructional
author and put SHM in front of their name.
17. Become the Greatest Jazz Musician Who Has Ever Lived And Get Every Gig In The World. I know what you're thinking, " George, isn't this impossible and again highly subjective?" The answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT! If I'm going to publish a book called "The Absolutely Definitive Completely Complete Guide To Learning Jazz: Becoming the Greatest Jazz Musician Who Has Ever Lived And Getting Every Gig In The World," then I have to teach by example. If I can't do what I say in the book, who's going to buy it? Do you think anyone would have bought Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" if he didn't actually THINK AND GROW RICH? You KNOW Napoleon Hill was ROLLING in cash money! ( I mean, I assume. I don't have any proof.)
18. Win the World's Greatest Dad award. Pretty sure I won that last year, if my coffee mug has any legitimacy.
19. Solve the Middle East Crisis. Now I KNOW what you are thinking. "George, so many have tried and failed in the past century. What ideas do you have that are different?" Well, my idea comes from this: the history of the longstanding feud between legendary entertainers and former partners Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin( from an article by Shawn Levy in The Guardian):

In the subsequent years, they literally didn't speak. Once or twice they collided on the back lot at Paramount or in some Vegas green room. But often they deliberately ducked one another. In 1960, when Dean went off Rat Pack-ing, Jerry was persona non grata, and it's a sign of his hurt and resentment that he responded to the Rat Pack's Las Vegas shoot of Ocean's Eleven by going to Miami and making a resort hotel movie of his own, The Bellboy. By 1970, Jerry's career had spun out of control in a haze of drug addiction and the changing fashions in comedy, but Dean was a bigger star than ever, with a smash hit weekly TV series and a film and recording career to rival Frank Sinatra's.
In 1976, Sinatra tried to mend fences between the estranged partners, surprising Jerry during his annual muscular dystrophy telethon by bringing Dean out from the wings. It was a truly spontaneous and emotional reunion - the two stood patting each other and smiling through tears as though a loved one had returned from the dead. But despite Jerry's entreaties after the show, Dean never rejoined him on stage or even for mere social interaction. Finally, in 1987, when Dean's golden son, Dean Paul Martin, died in a plane crash, Jerry reached out to him, instigating, at least by Jerry's account, a sporadic telephone relationship.

Maybe it's naive to think that we could erase centuries of hatred, war, hostility, and mistrust by bringing Jews and Palestinians out on stage to surprise each other on a telethon. Well, has anyone ever tried it? Could it really hurt? It's probably as good as any other idea out there....

20. Achieve total enlightenment. This might be a stretch. I think I need the right mantra. Or maybe the right chanting shoes. I'm sure they have some stuff over at REI.......