The Buddy Jack Band, Audio Interventional Environmentationists.


The Buddy Jack Story

 The Buddy Jack story began in a hospital in Houston somewhere around 2:00 PM on June 10th of 2002.  It was a day most people won’t even remember because it wasn’t unusual in any particular way; except maybe that it got up to around 90⁰.  Even though that temperature wasn’t especially hot for Houston in June it certainly felt that way. The main culprit was the dew point which was kicking in well over 75⁰ making it feel like you were breathing under water every time you worked up the courage to venture outside. The wind was mostly steady and once in a while got up to nearly 20 mph; but that didn’t seem to do much other than emphasize how miserable it really was.

In a simple but well air conditioned room at St. Joseph’s Medical Center in a ward primarily reserved for destitute and underprivileged patients, alarms suddenly clicked on with their ominous and foreboding wail as a patient who had been comatose for nearly three months suddenly awoke and began screaming at the top of his lungs.   Once they heard the alarm the three nurses that were strategically located at various parts of the ward almost simultaneously darted toward the room as fast as it was safe to move down the crowded and dingy hallways.  All of them were dedicated nurses and all of them were single; but most importantly every one of them knew that the patient in room 1122 was the most incredibly handsome man any of them had ever seen. 

All three of them wanted their face to be the first one this patient saw when he opened his eyes; and every one of them now knew that she had missed the perfect opportunity to be the first ‘angle of mercy’ for this gorgeous man. But none of that mattered in the least as they scurried squeakily down the recently polished corridor knowing that destiny could very well be waiting for them in the room with the formerly catatonic and exceedingly attractive patient.

June Wilkinson (not the actress) was the first to arrive barely slowing down as she somehow maneuvered her propelling form into the room lightly grazing the edge of the door with her shoulder. But the pain in her deltoid didn’t slow her down a bit as she scurried over to the now calm, still quite and as always handsome patient. As she efficiently scanned monitors, flicked switches, checked fluids and twisted dials before grabbing the doctor’s handwritten chart she requested a quick confirmation of his condition receiving a prompt affirmation from him that he was fine. As she stood at the computer looking over his electronic chart and comparing that to the written one she heard him utter a soft but manly “you are quite beautiful; do you know that”?

Those were the first words any of them had heard him speak since being admitted into the emergency room late in the evening of March 12th; and those were the last words any of them would hear for a while because the patient promptly closed his eyes and fell back into a coma.  With his wonderful and complimentary words still floating in her head June decided to take it upon herself to find out who this mysterious patient really was. She went to her locker, grabbed her camera and took a picture of him right there in 1122.  Then at the end of her shift she rushed over to the nearby one-hour and had multiple color copies printed up in the 5” x 7” size with matte finish.

June was basically a shy person but she was determined about this; and whenever she was determined to do something there was no way her innate shyness was going to slow her down.  She went to all of the churches, businesses, schools and shelters within a five mile radius of where the patient was originally found. No one knew him or had ever seen him…day after day her life became filled with ‘nope’, ‘naw’, ‘never’, ‘no’ and ‘absolutely not’ until one day a homeless man looked at the picture of the young man and said “well I’m not completely sure but that looks like my buddy Jack”.  June was excited and pressed him for more information but after a little while of studying the image the man shook his head and said ‘nope’ that’s not him. June went from elated to distraught in one second flat.  She didn’t know what to do or where to go so she headed back to the hospital even though it was her day off.

At the hospital the other nurses and some of the doctors cornered her in the break room and asked her about how her search was going. After she explained the uselessness of her seemingly endless search and the ‘almost’ of identifying him as ‘Jack’ earlier that day one of the doctors joked “hey that’s better than nothing”.  When June asked what he meant by that he told her that at the start of her search the patient didn’t have a name and now because he was almost identified as the homeless man’s buddy Jack it might just be a sign that they should call him ‘Buddy Jack’ until his real name is discovered.  Everyone quickly agreed to that if for no other reason than to put this ‘lack of a name’ thing behind them.

After six more days the handsome ‘Buddy Jack’ now a favorite of all the nurses on that wing married or not once again regained consciousness.  Only this time he didn’t scream like he did before or in any way try to make his presence known; he just sat up slowly and silently and with his eyes closed proceeded to play ‘air guitar’ and he played it like a pro.  Alannah O’Donnell (no relation to Daniel the singer), another of the original three nurses on the ward that first night Buddy Jack awoke, was excited and immediately called June to let her know.  June finished with her patient and then came running only to stop quickly outside the door as Alannah held her finger up to her lips.  June silently crept the last few inches and peered around the jamb watching as Buddy Jack jammed away on his air guitar. At first they couldn’t decide if he was OK, totally wacked out, or just wanting a guitar to play…or something completely different.

Alannah reminded June that there was a brand new acoustic guitar in the patients recreation area and suggested that she go get it just to see what happens. June thought it was a fantastic idea and sped off down the dirty brown colored hallway to fetch it.  It seems like it wasn’t any more than a few minutes before she got back with the guitar, which was a Martin D-35 that had been donated nearly eight months before and had never been touched by any patient. After a short ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ debate with herself and Alannah June crept into the room and while standing at the foot of the bed cleared her throat. Buddy Jack then stopped his playing after a big ending solo and looked over at June then the guitar.  June didn’t say a word, she just handed it to Buddy Jack and stepped back watching him study the instrument closely and lovingly.

After nearly a minute (which in reality when you’re in a hurry is a long time) the handsome Buddy Jack positioned his right hand and arm over the nearly perfect guitar moved his left hand into place on the flawlessly sculpted neck and began to play the most beautiful music anyone had ever heard. Within minutes the hallway outside 1122 was crowded with patients, staff and even administration; all were smiling and enjoying the music.  They looked at each other and marveled; none of them had ever experienced anything like it nor had any soul there ever heard or felt anything quite so beautiful and pleasing. Buddy Jack played his song for nearly eight minutes and then quietly finished.  With his eyes still closed he smiled to himself and the gathered crowd broke into applause. He was startled at first but then looking over at the throng gave a heart melting smile as his deep blue eyes glistened almost seeming to sing the song he had just played.

June went over to his side “what is that” she asked. 

“It’s a Martin…do you like it?” Buddy Jack responded.

“No…not that” she said pointing to the instrument in his hands “what is the music”?

“Ahhh” Buddy Jack smiled a knowing smile as he looked deep into her eyes and touched her soul for the very first time “that my beautiful friend is ElectroClassic music. It is music as music should be, it is music that will take you on journeys and make you feel good about yourself, the world and everything around you. With that in your life what else could anyone possibly want”?



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