June 23rd 2016 marks the sixth anniversary of the Rainbowland website, now with nearly 120,000 listens! I recently celebrated my 60th birthday with a special concert at Rainbowland. Here’s the story of that big splash in the little pond of my musical life.

I’ll start with the punch line: in a life of many great days, it was the greatest day of my life.

Carr Lake 024

So many different strands woven together in perfect consummation.
A friend dropped by a few days later, and said, “With that show, you fulfilled your incarnation.”
That’s how it felt to me.

I was in the zone from the moment I woke up. I was calm and completely relaxed until the show was over. After all the effort of living the prep for the better part of 6 months, the show was effortless.
More than two hours, it was the longest performance of “Doug Music” I had ever given. I never sat down once. It was also my most ambitious show in terms of range of material.

Essentially, for my 60th birthday, I put together a representative legacy set, invited my favorite people to come hear me play my songs at my house… and a lot of them came! And after telling people that it was going to be a “once-in-a-blue-moon” show, it ended up actually being a blue moon! Full Moon at 3:14 pm–just about when the show started. Blue Moon. Buddha’s birthday. You’re getting the picture.

We pulled out all the stops on this one. Built a stage in the lower meadow, nestled in the Oak trees, with a rock outcropping directly behind. Truly picturesque. Bought a new sound system that was perfect in the setting.                                                                   doug&cath with tent

My actual birthday is April 4th, but in our line of work here at Rainbowland (bookkeeping and tax), we don’t do much partying beyond our desks in early April. The date for the concert became May 21st. Usually, that would be a pretty good bet for late Spring sun. But the weather became quite a player in the story. In the changeable 10 days prior to the show, it became clear that we would need to be ready for anything. We rented a 1000 square foot hexagon tent for the audience that was magical.tent

We rented a tent for the stage too. We even had a tent, thanks to Cath’s brother Ray, for people to enjoy the amazing catered food that was served after the concert.

The day before the show, I was returning to Rainbowland with a truck full of chairs, when I was greeted with a tumultuous and thunderous downpour. I drove right to the stage and frantically began moving all the equipment to the center. It was the kind of rain that was blowing in diagonally and all the equipment was set out for rehearsal. We brought every towel we could find down to the stage, and eventually got it all dry and cleaned up. On the day of the show, at my last internet weather check at 11:00 am, there was a 70% chance of rain during the scheduled hours of the show.

As I fretted about the forecast, Brother Charlie bet me $20 that there would be no rain on the concert. I was happy to pay up after the show. There was not a drop of rain the entire day. On the last note of the last song, there was a thunderclap.

When I reflect on the performance, I was in an altered state, and everything was just there for the playing. It was easy… and almost felt like slow motion. In an animated moment, I somehow hit myself hard in the lower lip. I was startled, but not in any way interrupted. I wondered for a moment or two if I was bleeding, but everything was just fine…. Amazing to think on it, actually. And it was the only unexpected moment of the show. It was like being in a perfect dream, while still knowing it was the real deal.

I’m flashing on the closing words of a song from the set called Alive:
“At the eye of the hurricane, transcendent sublime. The center is everywhere, this moment is mine.”

That’s how it was. And seemingly countless pairs of eyes, belonging to people I know and love, focused steadily on the entirety of my presentation. For two hours. And with the thunder clap punctuating the final note of the concert, everyone came to their feet as if in one movement, in standing and sustaining ovation. Unbelievable. Except that I was there, and it’s a knowing for me now.

What a journey. I first started considering a 60th birthday concert back in November of 2015. I had completed the album processing my friend’s suicide called “Requiem for a Lost Friend”, and was beginning to look forward to life in the aftermath of such tragedy. I wanted to do a concert that would represent a full range of my music, both in terms of the song arrangements, and across the years. When I create a new album, I usually make a performance mix. I roll out the lead vocal and main guitar, so that in a performance setting, I can then add the voice and guitar back in as live performance.

I started by reviewing all the performance mix cds I could find, and selecting from them songs for the Legacy Set. I knew that I would also want include the Acoustic Ensemble for part of the presentation. I love getting together with Richard (percussion) and his wife Kathy (flute, keyboard, vocal), and having at least part of the show with a stage full of live performers is good for the audience too. My girl Catherine also plays with the Ensemble (percussion and vocal), and in 2014, we had my buddy Al Cooke out here to play bass with us (bass player from Elixir in my NY days). I checked with Al, and he wasn’t going to be able to make it in 2016. So the wild hair idea – maybe sister Jaine could play bass!

She had never played a bass before, but it turned out that one of her best friends had a ¾ sized bass in her closet she wasn’t using… and the rest is history, as the expression goes. I sent her practice recordings and charts. We had one practice prior to the week of the concert. Renaissance Woman aced the show like a total rock star. More than that, having Jaine here for 5 days before the show, along with her dog Wilson, was treasured time together. I pause and don’t find the words to express how special.DRAE 2, Doug, Ricard, Jaine ^

It was that way with all the family. On Friday, the day before the show, Brother Charlie and his wife MK arrived, bringing with them my Mom, Catherine’s son Josh, and Josh’s lovely special friend Cari.

As they always do, Charlie and MK had a car full of fun food, wine and fun things to share. Josh and Cari came equipped to make a documentary film of the whole adventure. Mom came ready to laugh and wash every dish she could get her hands on. That evening, Charlie and MK presented to me an amazing guest book with photos and lyrics from my life. We sat for over two hours together… each new page triggering story after story of what has been a wondrous musical life. That time of sharing with my family will always be one of my most treasured memories. There were MANY empty wine bottles too.

Cath’s brother Ray arrived the morning of the show, bringing with him Cath’s Mom and a big tent for the catered food party after the concert. Ray’s presence and support was a huge part of the success of the day. He even helped Julia with setting up the mind blowing birthday cake. And what a cake it was! full cake 3 ^Julia is creative in all directions, but especially with food. She took it upon herself to create a cake marvel beyond imagining, with a life-sized facsimile of my concert electric guitar as its centerpiece! After the show, my first viewing of Julia’s masterpiece was quite literally breathtaking.

But back to the pre-show prep. MK went out on Saturday morning and must have bought out a florist. She came back with the most abundant array of flowers one could imagine. She then sat down and created a multitude of stunning floral displays, for all the dining tables, for the snack and beverage tables at the concert tent, and a magnificent bouquet for the stage. Fabulous flowers everywhere. Everyone was kicked into high gear with the final prep…. Chairs in place, tables ready to receive the amazing catered banquet that arrived just as I was finishing the concert… Numerous guests commented later how wonderful it was to see our families buzzing together in well organized and energetic preparation. It really was awesome. I felt almost weightless amidst all the support. Plus, I had lost 25 pounds in 3 months after being called “pre-diabetic” by my doctor’s assistant (pissed me off, by got my attention) back in January. The morning of the concert, I put on a brand new pair of black jeans with a size 34 waist, and performed in them. First time I had been in pants with a waist smaller than 36 in decades.

The music began with a recording of the Schubertians; a men’s chamber chorus out of UCSB, recorded in a Cathedral in Sandwich, England in 1979. Being part of the Schubs was one of the great musical joys of my life, and a fun launching point for the arc of the concert flow… especially with my best buddy from the Schub tour in the audience. I hadn’t seen Dan in decades… what a joy.

As to the flow of the show, there were two “Electric” sets – so called because I played my electric guitar along with recorded accompaniment – and two Acoustic Ensemble sets. I also played two solo acoustic songs, and one on the piano. The piano piece was especially poignant, in remembrance of a recently passed friend to many in the audience. The first Electric set focused on 20th Century repertoire, and everything after that was music created at Rainbowland since 2001. Songs representing 4 decades, shared with friends and family who in many cases were connected in some way to the stories. And the experience of connection with the audience was steady and unbroken for the entire two hours.DRAE 1_ Cath, Kathy, Doug, Ricard ^
Truly, my best day ever… at least so far.

Please watch the video and photo section of the website for clips and pics of the event. We hope to have a full length movie, created by Josh and Cari, available for viewing sometime in the not-too-distant future as well.

If you’ve read this far, thanks so much for your interest. The music thanks you especially.
Love, Doug






party letter watercolor background

Doug electric, Cath intro ^

party letter watercolor background


OK, you two, I am still in awe at what you created.  I don’t believe I have EVER attended anything so filled with love and power and awe.

Doug, you channel so much prana when you are doing your thing: singing, playing guitar, raving, or just showing up …..I am amazed.

What a lovely family you have, and let’s now discuss, Mrs. Rice, her shining Self.  Cath, you were over the moon wonderful.  I smile when I remember you doing the drum and tambourine and singing in the ensemble.  How truly lovely and the angels kept the rain at bay. GL


Dear Doug and Catherine,

What a delightful celebration! Thank you so much for creating such a beautiful space and sharing your love of life and music! The energy was so filled with love and light!

Doug, thank you for sharing your talent, your legacy, your inspiration. Thank you both for including us in your circle of friends and family.

Blessings to you!

Love, V & B


Doug, it was such a gift to be present for your concert.  You are so alive and in your element.  It was like watching your young rock star energy.  Even more powerful is the poetry you put to music.  I really enjoyed hearing your music from 20 years ago and up through the present.  What came through was that you have always been a man of great insight, compassion, and deep love and gratitude for your family and friends.  What a gift to be there last night!!!  Wow!! I feel so much gratitude to know you and Cath and our meditation group.  Do you all realize how much you realize?  and manifest?  The setting was so picturesque; Rainbowland amphitheater.  I hope there are so many more concerts and gathering there!!!    TT


You did it! Yea! Amazing music, fantastic party! Congratulations to you and Cath and your family on a memorable evening! You touched on so much with your songs. Beautiful variety and very inspiring! Lovely people. Wonderful evening!

I also wanted to tell you that on the way home, when we hit Peterson’s corner, the roads were wet. By the time we got to NSJ, it was raining hard! The storm just completely passed rainbowland! What a blessed day in many ways! It is so much fun playing your music. Let us know when you’re ready to do it again!                  KR


Catherine & Doug

Thank you from the heart for a wonderful afternoon at Rainbow Land

The music was awesome and thank you to Doug for sincere sharing of life. DB


I am so sorry I missed such an incredible event but I look forward to listening to the CD and reading the lyrics. I am especially interested in the song you wrote for Ivor. Bhakti told me everyone was in tears. Thanks for helping me enjoy your special event from a distance and after the fact. Many blessings. LW


(from Julia, the amazing cake maker) Ha!

Sounds wonderful…

Your concert was fantastic, and the acoustics up at the house gorgeous. I left to go put on a sweater and realized the music sounded even better up there! It was perfect for me to assemble the team of cakes quietly in open space – only Cath’s brother there who assisted- with the music swirling. In most creative solo space. We are not so different. Then Bruce could wander up and photo the table without folks around as well. perfect.

i really felt like i understood every inch of your purple beauty

It was both an honor and pleasure to “blow you out of the water” —we all rode the wave and settled back into the blissful ocean of love.

Our community needed a big healing. It worked. A lot of water has gone under the bridge yet the bridge remains. Song celebration stories love… and they ate it.

someone asked, “is it gluten free?” my response… ” it is not free anything, it has it all!” So countless had seconds. So dang funny. We nailed it.         Julia



Doug, the event was magnificent!

You all put so much work into that celebration and concert and meal.

You were prepared, playing from your heart, holding nothing back.

The setting was lovely there in Rainbow Land, and your “ampitheater”  was splendid!

I did leave right after the concert as I had some deadlines to meet at home.

I did see the cakes however, especially the guitar cake – what a creation!

You dotted every “I” and crossed every “t” for this event – it was perfect!

Congratulations and Happy Birthday.  Keep on growing!        MJ RC


Dear Doug,


it was such a joy to sit in the front and watch you thoroughly embrace each and every song, energetically, musically, and whole-heartedly. What a fabulous performance. And so well orchestrated…each and every transition was smooth, giving the concert a feeling of effortless flow…yet I know behind every comment (which felt so natural) was your conscious attention to the and word choice…beautifully done! Your meticulous attention to detail set the stage (pun intended) for the audience to just set back and enjoy the ride. I’m still in awe.

I texted Julia a couple of photos of your reaction to her cake…I’ll email them to you, too. And Bruce got some great shots! A memorable event for a remarkable man.          Carol


Doug, Thank YOU so much for throwing such a fun and delightful party. We loved every second of it. Every detail was perfect!!! You and Cath put so much thought into everything. Rainbow Ranch is beyond beautiful! The music was phenomenal! Each song so profound and touching, so many new songs we hadn’t heard before. You are so incredibly gifted.  So much appreciation for you sharing your gifts with your friends. LOVE TO YOU!!!!   Y&D


Dave and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves with all your guests, the music and food were great – LOVED the guitar cake!, and it was altogether a great event. JY


Hey! I just wanted to let you know we really enjoyed ourselves at your party. It was a lovely gathering and a real pleasure to see you in your element. I’m grateful you included us!



Thank you so much for including me in that special and wonderful day.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself! WB


Loved being there to celebrate with you. Sadly, I did not get a CD so if you have one extra, hang on to it until my next trip up. You are so loved, what a gift you are! May the year be as stellar as you are.

Aloha, Bhakti


The party was just an outstanding adventure into your amazing musical talent and history. I loved the book! I loved being there along with so many who deeply love and appreciate you. I have some amazing photos of the moment you saw the cake. I sent them to Julia. If she hasn’t shared them with you yet, let me know and I’ll send to you. They capture, as best a still shot can, of those first few moments.



Dear Doug,


It was such a joy being at the concert. Thank you SO much for sharing those 60 years with us and the music that has shaped you and allowed you sacred expression.

I connected with people I never thought I would. Met and chatted with your sweet sister. And had an inspiring talk with Cath’s mom.

I’m back in Oregon and have brought these fond memories with me.

Love you,



Hi Doug,
I just want to tell you what a thrill it was to see & hear your performance on Saturday. It was a great journey through your life through music, and your performance was so great! Thank you for including Kathy & me. We loved being a part of it.  It was really nice visiting with Jaine and your wonderful family. We both give Josh’s girlfriend two big thumbs up!
It was such a huge production, I’m sure you and Cath are in recovery mode! While you’re relaxing, you might want to check out the new Radiohead album, “A Moon Shaped Pool.” It has some really beautiful music with lush orchestration. I think you’ll like it!
Blessings to you both.            RR


Hi Doug,


I’ve been meaning to email you to mention again how much Scott and I enjoyed your performance last Saturday.  It was so nice listening to you, enjoying the messages in your music, and watching the busy bluebirds in the field.  The thunder wrapping up your last piece was perfect.


All the best to you both,



Dearest Doug,

Wow! We want to thank you for an extraordinary evening with you, Kat, and family and friends! Your concert was enchanting  and touched us deeply. The lyrics and music were transcendent and we were honored to be included as friends to experience the culmination of your life work given so generously. Most of all, we appreciated you sharing your home and heart in such a deep and meaningful way not imagined previously.


We are so happy to listen your terrific CD and have the booklet of lyrics as well. It will be played and listened to with open hearts, as you have given us yours.
We look forward to seeing you and Kat  in NC at your summer nights gig 😉



Let me just say, your concert was the most courageous, truth filled expression of love made manifest I have ever participated in.  The spontaneous standing ovation was not just because we love you but also because we all recognized something in the consciousness of your being that expressed the nature and evolution of consciousness being given.  There was no ego in the concert, it was a total offering of all you had, and I truly enjoyed you enjoying yourself.  Better for me than Neil Diamond whose concert I loved, and James Taylor who I also experienced live.  This was to me your greatest work and demonstrated your own evolution as a first class thinker and musician.  Love, Larry


It was so splendid being in your heavenly abode for the party.  Is that going to be an ultra rare event? Your place is so lovely and I sure grock how much you-all have put into that!  It is amazing! All my love, L


Dear Doug & Catherine:

I can’t even describe how much I enjoyed your party.   You have invited me countless times to previous events.   I’ve been such a recluse . . .

It was wonderful laying eyes on so many “old friends” from Ananda.   Great food, drink & company while blessed with your gift of music, Doug.   I was in heaven.

Thank you so much for your sweet friendship all these years, and for sharing your beautiful home, friends and music with me.     Please invite me again.   You throw quite the party!!!   Love,   JF