They say practice makes perfect, but for one Deep Bay-area musician, practice almost made for something far more grim last Thursday.
Don Soucy had planned to shoot a music video on the beach for an album he hopes to release and decided to take his guitar to the ocean prior to his camera operator’s arrival to do a dry run.
As it turned out, it was a wet run — very wet.
“I was down there early and thought I would get a feel for the thing,” Soucy said. “I stuck a camera on a tripod and went out to a rock to start doing a song.”
The wind and waves were strong, but the 64-year-old singer and songwriter struck up a chord anyway.
“There were steady waves coming over the rock and hitting my boots, when all of a sudden this big one roared in.”
This wave went right over his boots, over his calves and over his knees — right up to his waist.
“It knocked me off the rock and into the water,” he said. “That’s when I realized I could be in trouble. It started sucking me back out and there were great big pieces of driftwood flying about.”
Knocked to his knees, Soucy managed to hold onto his precious guitar as he battled for what he quickly came to realize was his life.
“I was down on my hands and knees, with water coming over me, then crawling and scrambling, with the guitar in one hand, trying to get up and get out of there,” he said. “There were big logs and stumps that usually sit on our beach that the waves were having no problem picking up and sucking out.”
Fortunately, he managed to gain a purchase on the shifting sand and pebbles and drag himself and his guitar to safety.
“The guitar got a bit of water in it, but I dried it off and it keeps a tune,” he said. “I was standing on the beach, looking around, looking at the water and realized it was a pretty intense storm.
“It was really stupid. I was foolish to have started rehearsing alone, before my crew arrived. I misjudged the threat of the wind and the waves and I’m really grateful to be alive.”
By this time, Soucy’s videographer arrived on the scene and, with a helper now on hand, Soucy was able to dry himself off, return to the beach and film the shoot — but from a different rock.
The close call, he said, was a wakeup call, but it was also strangely appropriate as well. The song he was producing, entitled Out Here on a Ledge, deals with a mature couple whose dreams and very lives have been swept away by the downturn in the economy.
Once filming of Out Here on a Ledge wraps up, Soucy plans to begin recording a second video, entitled Voices in My Coffee Cup, this time at The Bean Counter coffee shop in Bowser.