One of my old bands called me on Friday. “Hey, we’re booked at the Chesterfield Saturday night, but our bass player can’t make it. Can you play?” I reviewed my schedule… Saturday night I was supposed to be in neighboring village Le Mars to help prepare a presentation for the Korean Veterans’ Last Man Club, but gosh, I can reschedule that…
“Yep,” I said. “I can be there.” A few quick phone calls and my schedule was set. Oh boy! I get to play again!
It didn’t really occur to me until mid-afternoon on Saturday, just hours before the gig, that I hadn’t played with this band for nearly two years. Two years! I bet they learned a few new songs in the last two years… Will I be able to remember the old songs? Oh my. I looked at my bass. It had been sitting in the corner so long there was dust on the case. Not just a light sprinkling of dust, but the “I can see your fingerprints” kind of dust. It’s been a while…
I found an old recording of the band from years ago and cued it up on iTunes, hoping to refresh my memory. I lay back and closed my eyes, concentrating on the key changes. Within five minutes I was sound asleep.
So… 7:30 that night found me standing on stage, plugging my bass into the house sound system, woefully unprepared, but well rested. After a quick sound check I ran through the list of questions I had for the band. “What’s the key change in this song?” and “Do you guys still cue off the drums for the ending of this song?” and “When did you quit wearing sequined spandex pants, and why didn’t anyone tell me?”
By 8:30 my beloved Austrian Snickerdoodle Dagmar and I were sitting at a table, me sipping beer, she sipping a Diet Coke mit der lime in it. The place was starting to fill up a little — people slowly filtering in to see the show. (It never ceases to amaze me how a bar can be completely empty at 8:55 and be packed at 9:01.) I couldn’t help but notice one elderly couple, dressed to the nines. I wondered if they would stay for a song, or if they would leave before the band started.
Promptly at 9:17 the singer gathered us together and we headed for the stage. I strapped on my bass, set my beer down, and proceeded to have a ball… I forget exactly what the first song was, but it was something along the lines of Ted Nugent’s “Great White Buffalo,” a very up-tempo, semi-distorted 70’s song. I wondered what the classy elderly couple thought of it. The second song was in the same vein as the first — a fast rocker designed to get people onto the dance floor early. And sure enough, people were dancing. There were at least three or four couples on the dance floor, jiggling away. Again, I wondered a little about the well-dressed gent and his wife. I felt bad that we’d chased them out of the place with our loud music…
They stayed all night. They danced to “Margaritaville.” They danced to “Brown eyed Girl.” They danced to “Play That Funky Music.” ZZTop, Ted Nugent, they danced to it all. When the dance floor got full, they danced in the aisle. About halfway through the night the gent lost his coat and tie and continued dancing in his shirt sleeves. They danced until well after 1 o’clock in the morning.
It did my heart good to see them.
Just like in the old days, I slept until 11 the next morning, then spent the day on the couch, remote in one hand, snacks balanced precariously on my belly, moaning about my headache, Alka-Seltzer fizzing away.
To top the weekend off in style, the Mighty Mighty Packers beat the Vikings to remain undefeated — a perfect 4-0!
Then I fell asleep.
Things to Think About
I received an e-mail from a friend the other day saying, “Look at this — the democrats are trying to take veterans’ benefits away from us again. Boy, the nerve! I’m sure going to remember this when it’s time to vote!” There was a link to a newspaper article. I didn’t read it.
Things like this make me angry. I could tell at first glance that facts were taken out of context and the facts were distorted, but I didn’t have time to even read the article all the way through. I want to rebut and refute, but I can’t until I get time to do more research. But gosh, it sure seems to me like the democrats giveth and the republicans taketh away…