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What we do…

A hot Sunday. A day to do nothing. To remind ourselves how hard we work and how we deserve a day to sit on our ass and drink beer in the sun and watch the grass grow.  A day that “exercise” is defined as taking the garbage out.

But somebody needed help. There was a benefit set up by a friend. He asked for help. A friend had fallen on hard times. So….that was that. No hemming or hawing. Because that’s what friends do. Especially musician friends. What time do you need me? Ok, I’ll be there.

19055233_10212628971536688_4509321112557294172_oThat doesn’t make us special. It makes us human. Which is why I’m proud as fuck to be from here. Humanity abounds. There may not be any fucking jobs….but there’s humanity in spades.

The sound system was set up. Guitar cases piled up. Drums at center stage. And the music started and never stopped. A full shift. Six hours at least. There was a schedule…I think. But that gets obliterated quickly. If you’re there, you’re on call. Wanna play this one? Grab this guitar. Key of G. You’re tuned down a half step? Fuck. Gimme a capo dude…I got this. Prima Donnas….down a half step. Damn…how am I supposed to blow harp if you’re tuned down a half step?! Never mind…I got it…..I think…..

You play your instrument. Or somebody else’s. It doesn’t matter. It’s a community. If you can’t hit that harmony vocal, you just ask somebody else to do it. So he puts his beer down, finds an open mic, and nails it. Or maybe he nails it and doesn’t put his beer down. More likely actually. Or maybe he doesn’t nail it, but he tries like hell. That’s what live music is all about. Like a NASCAR race. Sometimes we crash too. We rubberneck as much as the guy on the freeway driving past the wreckage….but we got short memories, man. Because that chorus is coming back around in 20 seconds, and I got another chance. It’s called community, motherfucker.

People dance and drink and knock your microphone stands over and request songs while you’re playing songs….always a challenge but if they are dancing and knocking shit over and screaming requests it means they aren’t bored as fuck so you do what Steve Winwood suggested and you roll with it. There’s free beer at the foot of the stage too. Granted, it’s a keg of Keystone Light but…who the fuck do you think you are…..the Beatles? It’s free….and nobody thought to bring along a copy of their backstage rider saying they stopped drinking Keystone Light when they were 18 and finally got a job….and refuse to drink anything less prestigious than Budweiser or Coors Light…although we’d love to swill Guinness or Sam Adams but can’t afford this $4 pint nonsense….which is why we’re demolishing the keg of Keystone Light like dehydrated pirates…..and promise to never do so again….until the next time. Admirable self-denial, eh?

I digress. I frequently do. But you get it. I know you do.

So the night is old. We’re home. But with no regrets. A nightcap on the porch. With the crickets for company. We’ll sleep good. And once again we’re all glad we could do what amounts to little….but can sometimes mean so much. And tomorrow the cycle starts anew.

What I see is that, whatever it is that divides us, we’re still willing to come together and help those who need helping. Differences seem to disappear at times like this. Oh, they’ll probably come roaring back in the morning…….but that’s fine…..because that won’t undo what we’ve already come together for.

Wouldn’t it be great if things could be like this all the time? If, for the time that the guitars and drums are pounding, and the bar is moving rhythmically, like people on an escalator in an earthquake…we could lock in and fulfill the promises that we all want to make to each other but don’t for fear of being…..well…..

You get it. I know you do.

Let the music wash over you….like a waterfall. Join that drunken conga line when it rolls past your table. Drink the free beer. And when that call comes….just ask what time you should be there.

In a bit…

–tf

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