Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Last Gig

Well, we had a good run. Most bands don't last this long. Eleven years, all told, with six bass players, three girl vocalists, two keyboards, and I don't remember how many drummers. Weird people, drummers, but I guess if you get your kicks hitting the skin of dead animals with sticks, then you're allowed to be a bit off. We fired our last drummer twice but took him back three times. He was a big guy, over six-four, and there always was something wrong with him. Last night, in the middle of the last set, he got cramps. In the past it's been headaches, backaches, sinus issues, bad feet, you name it.

In Idylwood's eleven years, there've been a divorce and a marriage, some downright craziness with various significant others, surgery, death, happiness and creativity and a bunch of gigs ranging from the absurd to the giddy

Last night's was a nice last gig. We filled the room, sold a lot of dinners which made the owner of the place very happy but took the wait staff by surprise. I'm told service was horrible. L, who is leaving and taking A and K to create a "power trio," managed to start two songs in the wrong key, something that has never happened before.

The general feeling among my friends is that I am well rid of them and will find something else soon. Still, it's sad... There is a lot of equipment to get rid of--mike stands, amps, miles of cable, recording equipment that five years ago was state-of-the-art but is now sadly obsolete.

I had a crazy notion that SBC might show, which would not have been a good thing. I'd have swallowed a microphone. But I'm sorry she never got to see us play.

Here's installment 20 of Wasted Miracles.

The Zulu didn’t like what he was hearing. It was his birthday, it should have been a good day, he had now lived as long as the most famous man ever to come out of Natal, 41 years, and the two fools to whom he was turning his back were ruining it.
He closed his eyes, tried to focus on the voice of his great great grandfather. Sometimes the ancestor spoke with a certain wisdom, most times his advice might have been good but was rendered useless by modern practicalities. This time the old warrior was silent.
The two Nigerians were silent as well. They knew better than to plead their case, knew also that the Zulu’s anger would quickly dissipate. They were family, kind of, and he was all in all a fair employer who on occasion would tolerate errors. They hoped this would be one of the occasions.
The Zulu said, “The van hit a bump?” He still had his back turned, refused to look at them.
The younger Nigerian nodded. “Yes, Dingane. The roads are very bad in Washington. Worse than in Lagos. It’s a very poorly run city and...”
“And because it’s a poorly run city,” the Zulu interrupted, “the thief was killed, and he did not tell you what I needed to know.” He paused. “I shall have to tell the mayor. I will tell his honor that the roads he does not fix have cost me a million-and-a-half dollars. I’m sure he will understand and hasten to reimburse me. Tell me, Akim, do you think he will reimburse me?”
Akim, the younger man, did not respond. Any minute now, Dingane would say, “My great great grandfather...” And things would be all right.
The Zulu said, “My great great grandfather, who was a warrior under Shaka, would find this hard to believe. He would have you killed. Both of you. No ceremony. Or perhaps tortured you first.”
The Zulu was a short man with a round head on which fit round features. He wore glasses and was partial to three-piece suits, one of which he had on tonight. He had extremely small feet, forty-two pairs of expensive shoes and a single piece of jewelry, a platinum and gold diamond ring on his right index finger. He was a full-fledged Zulu and his great great grandfather had indeed been one of Shaka’s lieutenants.

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