Notes from Nigel

24 December 2018



25 December 2017
Dear all,
Another intense year has gone by. As always, thank you for your massive support. I'm blessed to be able to make you guys smile and have some moments of happiness in the midst of all the insane craziness that is going on in the world.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your prayers for my beautiful Schanda, who is fighting strong and getting through her breast cancer treatment with the help of a superhuman team of doctors and nurses. She is in a great frame of mind right now and is going to come out of this long journey with flying colours.
This coming year is going to be full of some very cool stuff. Stay tuned!
Noreen: you my dear girl are a major part of our lives. God bless you, angel.
See you all down the road.
Kindness, Joy, Love, and Happiness to you all.
Have a brilliant 2018,
Nigel xxxx

18 October 2017
On the occasion of the anniversary of
Nigel & Chris Sobchack's work anniversary


"A true friend is a special blessing that lasts a lifetime.
No matter what, they are there for you in every way."

Chris,
You have been my tech and my guide on and off stage now for 17 years, through thick and thin. Most of all, you have been my dear friend. You will be always be that to me. Thank you for sharing this special journey with me, and always having my back. Schanda and I are so thankful for your presence in our lives.
Bless you, dear boy.
Nigel

24 December 2016
Nigel art December 2016

HELLO DEAR ONES,

I HOPE THIS FINDS YOU WELL AND HAPPY.
THANK YOU AS ALWAYS FOR YOUR SUPPORT.

NOREEN, YOU ARE A BLESSING, MY DEAR GIRL.

WISHING YOU ALL KINDNESS, LOVE, JOY, PEACE, HEALTH, & HAPPINESS.

NIGEL
December 2016


Artwork copyright 2016 and used by kind permission of Nigel


13 November 2016:
God bless Leon Russell.
A dear friend, an inspiration, a true legend.
Godspeed, dear boy. Thank you for letting me be in your life.
Love,
Nigel




Copyright 2016 Brittany Force

"It is with great pleasure I share the wonderful news that our dear friends at John Force Racing have another winner, Brittany Force. She is the middle daughter of seventeen-time NHRA World Champion John Force. Like her sisters, Ashley and Courtney, she has come up through the ranks to become a winner herself. Brittany is now driving the Monster Energy Top Fuel dragster in the Mello Yello racing series. Within the last month, she has won in Gainesville, Florida and most recently in Charlotte, North Carolina, beating out longtime winning competitors at over 320 mph at 1000 feet. It is so amazing to see Brittany handle the pressure and total focus of the immense 10,000 horsepower machine. It is also a huge step forward for women in motor racing in this male-dominated sport. We are so proud of you, our supergirl Brittany. Godspeed to the entire John Force Racing team always."
--Nigel, April 26, 2016

22 December 2015:

"HELLO EVERYONE,
WHAT AN AMAZING YEAR IT HAS BEEN. WE HAVE HAD A VERY SUCCESSFUL TIME ON THE ROAD PLAYING FOR PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD, IN SOME PLACES WE HAVE NOT BEEN TO BEFORE. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR WONDERFUL SUPPORT! RUMORS HAVE BEEN FLYING AROUND THAT WE ARE SLOWING DOWN, BUT NOW LOOKING AT WHAT WE HAVE SO FAR ON OUR SCHEDULE FOR 2016, IT LOOKS TO ME LIKE WE ARE BUSIER THAN EVER.
IT'S ALWAYS A TREMENDOUS THRILL TO ME TO SEE YOU ALL OUT THERE WITH HAPPY FACES HAVING A GREAT TIME AND ENJOYING THE MUSIC. WITH ALL THE TURMOIL IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, IT IS MY JOB TO PUT SOME JOY BACK IN IT.
AS MY FRIEND STEVIE WONDER USED TO TELL ME ALL THE TIME, 'KINDNESS, JOY, LOVE and HAPPINESS. THAT'S THE KEY.'
MY LOVE AND PEACE TO YOU ALL, ALSO FROM MY FAMILY TOO.
SEE YOU OUT THERE,
NIGEL"

"It is with great sadness that I write this. My thoughts and prayers are with Vic Firth's family, friends, and colleagues at this time. He was a major part of our business and will be greatly missed by us all. Godspeed Vic Firth, a true legend."
--Nigel, July 27, 2015

"RIP Vic Firth!
HUGE condolences to his entire family and all those he worked with, taught, & inspired worldwide. Vic and his daughter were the first people in the music industry who took me seriously as a professional drummer giving me my first endorsement. I have never forgotten his loyalty and belief in me. Vic will live on through his legacy and the amazing lessons he taught us all about how to love life and live to the fullest. As a drummer, drum technician, and as a man in general, I will always remember and look up to Vic."
--Chris Sobchack, Nigel's drum tech, July 28, 2015

My hope is that this message finds you and yours doing well and happy. Please know that throughout the year I always feel very blessed to receive your messages and special gifts, but most importantly, for me, it's ALL about seeing your smiling faces at the shows and knowing you're having a great time. From myself and my family, the very best wishes for you and yours this holiday season, in 2015 and always. A very dear love and appreciation goes out to Noreen and her family for putting her all into my website, as well as my Facebook. She keeps it going and makes it happen. For that, my family and I are forever grateful. When giving to charitable organizations, please choose and support the Elton John Aids Foundation. Many thanks for your continued love, faith, support and "showing up" at the shows.

Love and peace,
Nigel
California, December 23, 2014

9/19/2013
We are all very sad to hear of the passing of ROGER POPE.
He was a great guy, and a marvelous drummer who played on many of Elton John's records. I admired him a lot. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife SUE and his family and friends.
GOD SPEED ROGER MY DEAR BOY.


5/1/2012
Dick Clark was one of the most inspiring music industry people. I will always remember him as being so amazingly kind, considerate and calming. When I was doing my solo projects, I appeared on three American Bandstands and two [anniversary specials] that ended with a jam session with 20 to 30 outstanding musicians. Dick really made me feel very relaxed especially during my solo show appearances. I love you Dick Clark. Thank you for being part of my life. Godspeed dear friend.

Levon Helm was an early inspiration to my style of playing, especially the low tuning of tomtoms and holding back to make a groove more intense. I must admit to borrowing one of his signature tomtom patterns, which would be the one that goes "do do, do do do, booh." I never met him in person, but hearing his music was, and always will be, a great and wonderful experience. Bless him.


12/22/2011
"Hello All, another year has flown by very quickly and much has happened since I've talked to you last. We've been touring the world since the beginning of the year, playing places that we haven't played before, and found it awe-inspiring to see how many people came out to see us. The audiences have been wonderful and we hope it continues for a long time to come.

In the fall of this year we returned to Vegas for The Million Dollar Piano Show, for which we received many very flattering reviews. It's a whole different concept this time, one that I'm really enjoying being a part of. It concentrates more on our music. The sets are beautiful, plus now we have the added talents of the 2 Cellos, two young men from Croatia, who have their own album out now on Sony Classical. It's a rock album and I highly recommend it. We've also added four amazing background vocalists and Ray Cooper has joined us for the Vegas shows. DW Drums have built a brand new kit which was inspired by my love for the Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft which fought bravely in the second World War and protected Great Britain in the famed Battle Of Britain. We have extended the bass drums to get lower tones. The kit, which has been named Olsson Aviator Mk1, is made of wood and painted to resemble the brushed aluminum style panels with rivets. It also displays the livery of an actual aircraft that flew with the Royal Air Force 610 Squadron based in Chester England, which I was honored to be able to use with the permission of the squadron members. Needless to say I'm very proud of the work that was put in by DW Drums and also Paiste Cymbals who made special chrome colored cymbals. It has to be seen to be believed.

Last year on Christmas Day, we were overjoyed with the birth of Zachary, Elton and David's new baby. He is a total joy and so lovable. Also, our dear friend, race car driver Ashley Force Hood and her husband Dan had a baby boy named Jacob John. We are thrilled for them.

My family and I are ecstatic that our military personnel in Iraq will all be home soon. Our prayers are with them and their families. Our thanks to them for their bravery and courage. Welcome home! Hopefully others in different areas of the world will return home soon.

Last but not least, very special huge thanks to our Noreen, who keeps us up and running. Great job as always!

I look forward to seeing many of your faces this coming year. We start in Hawaii in January. We wish you all love, peace and happiness for the holidays, the coming year and always.

See you on the road,
Nigel



8/23/2011
We are proud to congratulate our favorite race girl Ashley Force Hood and her husband Dan Hood on the birth of their new baby boy
Jacob John Hood, born on the 18th of August. GOD SPEED LITTLE BOY!!!!!!


1/29/2011



"Proud parents to be, proud grandparents-to-be and proud drummer, picture by Tony Smith taken in Las Vegas"



We are very excited to announce that our Dear Race Girl Ashley Force Hood and her husband Dan are expecting a baby at the end of this summer. Ashley will be sitting out of this NHRA season. GOD BLESS HER and DAN. See the article on John Force Racing site...click on News.
Love,
Nige

12/28/2010
Our congratulations to Elton and David on the birth of their new baby Zachary.
We wish the little boy health and happiness always.

12/23/2010
Hello everyone, another year has whizzed by. We have enjoyed a lot of touring, especially going to places we haven't played before; some we've never heard of before. It was great to work on Elton and David's film project [Gnomeo & Juliet], especially recording at Abbey Road Studios in London and seeing Sir George Martin there after many years. Also had a blast touring with our dear friend Leon Russell and reminiscing with him about the early days when we opened the show for him. It's very pleasing to see that The Union album is doing so well. We look forward to 2011. We start touring pretty soon after the new year. We may have some nice surprises up our sleeves, so stay tuned. It's always a pleasure to see you regulars out there and to see your smiling faces is a joy to me. I thank you all for always being there for us. You make it all worthwhile. My family and I wish you all safe and Happy Holidays and hope you have an amazing New Year. In closing, I'd like to give special thanks to Noreen and her family for their unfailing love and support. See you on the road!

Love,
Nigel

11/18/2010
We congratulate John Force on his 16th NHRA Championship win
Also to OUR GIRL Ashley Force Hood on her outstanding season!
Check out our links to John Force Racing and Ashley Force Hood on the homepage


11/4/2010
Oh My WORD!!!!!!
Hi to you all
The show in Hollywood was one of the best in my recent memory. Working with Leon Russell again was a joy after all these years. But to be playing with Leon & Elton both together for The Union tour for the first show was a total inspiration for me.
Just to let you know I am playing stuff that I have never played before drumwise...I feel I am reinvented...a new style. Life as it should be!!!!!!!
I am blessed.
Thank You for being there for us, always.

Love,
Nigel


10/3/2010
The Rock Nation show at the Canyon Club featuring Ben Babylon and the Elton John music tribute was a joy to be involved with. There were so many people there and it was amazing to see all the talented kids perform our songs. It was fun for us band members to hear their renditions of our music. Davey, John, Jesse Johnstone and myself backed Ben Babylon on his tribute song "Goodbye Superman" which he wrote for his dad. We performed a new arrangement of Ben's original version. It was an incredible evening for many reasons. Another joyful moment was to see our little girl Juliet Johnstone bashing away on the drums for a few songs. She's amazing! Bless them all and please support Rock Nation!

9/7/2010

Our Dear Girl Racer won her race at the Indy nationals on Monday
She was up against her Dad, legend John Force
We are so proud of her and wish her Godspeed for the rest of the season
You Go, Ashley Force !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

8/3/2010

Hello to you all! I'm now back from a lengthy and successful tour. For those of you who came out to see us, thank you, hope you enjoyed. I'm now settling into a long awaited break at home with family from here and England. Also looking forward to getting to drive my car, which is now five years old with only 25,000 miles on it. Happy Birthday to our dear Noreen this week. As always, we thank her for the fantastic hard work for us here at the NOFC. For those of you who have teens about to become drivers, please take a minute to show them our friend Ashley Force Hood's AAA public service announcement on our homepage. Have a great rest of the summer. Hope to see you out there somewhere in the fall. Thanks again for being there for us.

Best to you and yours,
Nigel

Balistik!

6/11/2010

The Bravest Young Lady I Don't Know



Abby Sunderland is an inspiration to young ladies across the world. At 16 she goes on a SOLO round the world sail boat trip, then gets into trouble in one of the most treacherous oceans on earth 2000 miles from shore. She has the strength to stay calm, do the right safety drills in 40 ft. waves without sails because her mast is trashed, so she is just floating around with no power. After long hours a Quantas Airbus Jet from Australia spots her vessel. Go figure!! She tells her family after a long radio silence 'Oh I had a bad night !!!!"
This is one COOOOOOOOL GIRL See, there is a GOD. Finally some good news in this world of bad news YOU GO ABBY SUNDERLAND XXXX WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Balistik!

6/11/2010



Zenani Mandela pictured on the left, wearing green shirt

We are stunned with sadness in hearing of the tragic death of Nelson Mandela's 13 year old great-granddaughter Zenani
in a single car crash yesterday.
We can not imagine the pain that Mr. Mandela feels right now after ALL he has been through in his life.
God bless him and his family
God Bless You Zenani, the beautiful Spirit of South Africa

Love, tearful Nigel

Balistik!

2/26/2010

Thank you all for my cards, messages and birthday greetings. You guys are so great to me!

Love,
Nige

Balistik!

2/26/2010



Our dear friend Ashley Force Hood has just started her new season in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. Ashley is the racecar driver for Castrol GTX, Auto Cub of Southern California, BrandSource, Mac Tools in her Ford Mustang Nitro Funny Car. She finished 2nd overall last year, also won the U.S. Nationals (first woman ever) in Indianapolis 2009. It's going to be a great and exciting year for her racing with her teammates; her dad, John Force -14-time NHRA Funny Car Champion, her brother-in-law; Robert Hight, and the entire John Force Racing teams. This is their comeback season! Write her and tell her she rocks!!!! You have to see this beautiful, talented, confident, no-fear lady breaking records and breaking the Women in Motorsports barrier by doing what she does. Bless her and her family. Godspeed Ashley Force Hood!!!

Balistik!

22 December, 2009

Hello to you all,

It seems like time has flown by so fast again and here we are at the end of a year that has been filled with joy, happiness, but yet total devastation. The passing of our dear Guy Babylon, Phillip Dennis, and Robert Key has put a hole in our hearts. Just know from experience that they will never be forgotten, but the pain of their loss will heal.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you always very much for your thoughts, correspondence, prayers and support.
Love and peace to you and your families.
Here's to a better year in 2010 and beyond!

And last but not least, thank you to our dear dear girl Noreen
for keeping us all together!!! Bless.

Love,
Nigel

Balistik!

19 October, 2009
Hello from Me
Oh my word it has been such a dreadful time for us ALL
the last months or so.
We have lost so many OUTSTANDING family and friends.
Just to let you know that we appreciate your thoughts and prayers or whatever you do to remember all of them.
Love You
Nige X

Hi All,
Our New Keyboard player Kim Bullard is Brilliant!! He fits in so well and has the vision of our music and also of OUR GUY.
Bless Him. The shows are a little different without our dear brother GUY but please know he will never be forgotten.
Love Nige X

Balistik!


Guy and Nigel in Croatia
© 2009 John Mahon

Guy Babylon
20 December 1956-2 September 2009


A memorial fund in Guy's name has been set up for those who wish to make a donation.
Please send checks to the following location:


The Babylon Family Fund
c/o First California Bank
32111 Agoura Rd.
Westlake Village, CA 91361

Thank you very much.

Balistik!



September 2009:

We congratulate our dear friend Ashley Force Hood on her win
at the US National Funny Car race in Indianapolis on Labor Day.
She is the first woman racer in history to achieve this.
We also wish her the best for the rest of the season.

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