Lockdown Lemonade #30 by Bill Goodell

Planes, trains, automobiles and… MUSIC!

I made career decisions long before I was equipped to gauge the meaning of them. I had nearly infinite interests during childhood, with parents both amazingly supportive, yet rarely directive…

Today, a clear result is that when a stranger asks what I do for a living, my fast and flip answer is, “Travel”. If they are kind or brave enough to push, I proceed to bore them with the meaningless jargon of the industry I’ve been in for more than 36 years.

You see, I chose what seemed the saner, more lucrative path, chemistry rather music. I have questioned those choices often, yet been blessed in my career to work on 5 continents and live on two. I have seen a good portion of most bucket list items, all while on the way to job-related events. I fly often, drive often, sleep rarely, but I eat very well and collect enormous numbers of pictures and souvenirs.

Yes, music is not my career, but it’s what keeps me alive. My weekends have been full of writing, playing, and listening. Music is my social life, my therapy, my manna.

These last twelve months, as live music died, my travel has been curtailed, but not cut off. I’ve been in more than forty planes, ten airports, and multiple hotels. I love travelling, but the tension of the potential exposure, the additional controls, the need to remember it all…

Thankfully, I’ve been healthy, and again music has saved me. Live events went away, but through the discovery of live streams, I have rediscovered old friends, met countless inspiring new ones and been pushed to write and practice in earnest. I have been given brighter hope for my future weekends, thanks to lockdowns. My passion is reborn, as is my love for my fellow humans.

~ Bill Goodell

Bill has been half of the West Coast Folk Rock duo, “Gates & Goodell” since 2002, when he and John Gates, part time open mic/coffee shoppers, met at a multi-day Jim Messina songwriter performance workshop retreat. They put out an EP in 2004, then a full studio CD, “Can Life Be So Simple” in 2007, to wonderful reviews and a small amount of radio play. Their new album, “Oleander Road” has been slowed by logistics and COVID, but will hopefully be released later this year, accompanied by much live playing and hugging all around.



In an attempt to keep us connected as we continue to find our way through these often stressful times, some in our extended community have been sharing their experiences, lessons learned and hope as they’ve dealt with Covid, lockdown, boredom, lack of inspiration, etc. We are all looking for ways to make lemonade out of the many lemons! This column will continue on a weekly basis and postings will be released at 10 AM Pacific every Monday, so watch for them! For guidelines and submission details, please contact Julie Zipperer at juliez@far-west.org or Marlynn Block at marlynn@far-west.org. Submissions will be posted based on approval from the Lockdown Lemonade Committee.

2 thoughts on “Lockdown Lemonade #30 by Bill Goodell

  1. deb - May 17, 2021

    This strikes me: You see, I chose what seemed the saner, more lucrative path, chemistry rather music. My clear memories of childhood influences didn’t lead me to make such decisions, or it may be that I’m literally unable. Anyway, I have faith that I will get to where I should be, and it seems you have, too. Your life experiences make you unique, and it certainly shows in the music you make. Looking forward to your new album, I tell you!

  2. BILL GOODELL - May 17, 2021

    Thanks Deb. In 300 words I couldn’t elaborate, but my childhood was moslty void of important decisions, but also utterly filled with opportunities, almost ALL of which I eagerly at least dabbled in.

    The decisions came at about the mid point of High School, and even more so at the college choices point… the “gosh I love languages but I can’t take them all at once and still graduate from high school”, or “art fulfills me so much, but I can’t take painting, sketching and sculpting classes and still leave room for…”, etc.

    I had a very beautiful conversation with my father after I had walked away after only two years from a full tuition in Chemistry deal. He told me to do what I wanted, not what everyone wanted for me, and he didn’t seem hurt or angry at all.

    There is just not enough time, darnit.

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