Today has been a rather ho-hum kind of day. After yesterday’s events, the Sounds of Hoboken, how could it not? Yesterday was a very good day, though my approach to it was filled with anxiety. Just the occasional fear of playing live in front of people who are there to see live music. It’s different from me just strumming on a bench with people walking by. This was something that was rehearsed for a few hours, taking the simplest route with the easiest chords, and familiar enough to know the words to various songs. Still, with all that preparation, it was butterflies in the stomach.
I had butterflies, or maybe caterpillars that turned into butterflies for a few days previous to yesterday. I practiced for a few hours with Rand on Saturday and it went well, whittling down the song list and trying to harmonize. It went well and with Bill at the second day of his 30th high school reunion I just sat at home watched TV and practiced some more. Bill came home, so happy. He truly enjoyed his opportunity to look at his past and to see how far he had come since 1982. He’d accomplished quite a bit.
We sat and talked into the early morning, he had so many tales to tell of going back to his old school and meeting students that are taking the same routes that Bill took when he was a teenager. IT was obviously a momentous occasion and I was more than happy to listen to him talk rather than think about playing guitar and singing with Rand the following afternoon. He soon went to bed and I stayed up a little while longer watching TV and continuing to practice on the guitar. Soon I was fast asleep next to Bill in our bed.
The next morning I was up and getting around, Bill had gotten up a little before me. I showered and shaved since I was scraggly. Art Hams were going on in the middle, after Trombolele- America’s Favorite Trombone/Ukulele combo, and before Stump Granny’s Violin, where a Teutonic Granny played songs on the violin and people will call out songs, and if Granny did not know the song, you would win a prize. I ran some errands after I had some breakfast and after a couple of hours, both Bill and I headed up to 14th Street in Hoboken.
Bill insisted on carrying my guitar and I wanted to walk up Washington Street to hopefully see some troubadours on the way. No troubadours were spotted but Bill and I did run into the lovely Meghan, one of my dearest and funniest friends. Her (our) daughter Lily had a set at the Guitar Bar Jr. at the same time Art Hams were going on so there was no chance that either of us could see the other playing. It was the same thing with a few other friends. They were playing somewhere else in town and it would have been impossible to see them play and be at the Garden Street Mews on time.
Meghan went her way and Bill and I ran into RoDa, Elly, their kids Logan and Autumn. We all ambled over to the Garden Street Mews where Lois was with Rand and Lisa. The people before us had a tent set up and were headed out taking their tent. There was no definite space to play and I suggested somewhere further from the street but no one else seemed to think it was a good idea, so we compromised and settled on being in the middle, where people can sit and watch.
Trombolele went on and were pretty funny. Amused in the mews. Some familiar faces showed up, some stayed for a few songs and some stayed for the whole shebang. Rand took off his Tyrolean hat but kept his pseudohosen on. We started with the B-52’s Dirty Back Road which we seemed to be playing on. Rand’s guitar had gone out of tune so I basically played the most between the two of us, which was fine. All together we played a little over a half hour which was fine.
People liked us, Bill recorded it and took tons of snapshots. Stump Granny’s Violin went on next and Granny was a trip. Very funny and everyone left with smiles on their faces. We were all pretty hungry and it was decided that we should go to Maxwells for food and some beers. And it was good. A nice walk, taking Lois home first, then Rand & Lisa and finally me & Bill, feeling nice. Bill was proud of me and enjoyed the whole thing which was good to hear. We settled in for the night, watching the Tony Awards which were great, thanks to Neil Patrick Harris.
I stayed up and watched Mad Men at midnight before going to bed and having a strange dream about the cigar shack. Today has been hum drum, overcast and muggy. I walked around Hoboken for a while this afternoon, seeing a few friends who also played yesterday. Each chat opened up with ‘So how’d you do yesterday?’ Apparently it went well for everyone.
02 Dirty Back Road