Recently, guitarist Vince Brown and I had a chance to make a music together and as usual, had a grand ole time.
We had a chance to share our musical alter egos, Red and Ruby, filling a couple evenings with tunes from the 20’s and 30’s with a few contemporary tunes thrown in. With Red, it’s always new, the arrangements, well, they are never the same twice, which always keeps it fresh.
You know what else keeps gigs fresh? The audiences. A song sparks a memory in a listeners mind which bubbles up from some deep recess of the past and it has to be shared. Songs for many people are aural journal entries, marking time, the sweetness and the sour.
At one gig, a woman, whose name I didn’t catch, related how she loved to dance, but her dad wouldn’t let her go to dances because there was an army base near by and well, you know how soldiers are. Vince and I nodded. She then got a sparkle in her eye, ” But my father couldn’t stop me from dancing,” she paused dramatically. ” I got a medal for artistic roller skating.”
Honestly, she lost me. A who, huh, huh huh wha? “Artistic roller skating.” She repeated these words, probably because my mouth was slightly ajar as the Google in my mind returned “no search results.”
“Yeah, artistic roller skating was real popular,” she said. And maybe I had been reading too many Weekly World News headlines while waiting in line at the supermarket, but I could have sworn that she looked over her shoulder and lowered her voice a little before adding “until the ice people shut us down”.
You can do what I did and go on line to learn more about ice skating’s secret sibling. Who knew?
I must admit, my mind enjoys chewing on a conspiracy theory with this new knowledge. Ice skaters, shrouded by the darkness of an empty locker room, hacking off the wheel frame with a newly sharpened ice skating blade, separating it cleanly from the boot, laughing a little maniacally minutes before the big rollerskating competition begins.
Ball bearings swimming with the fishes.
It was at that moment, I realized that it was time to sing. This thinking stuff can get dangerous.
Did I mention? It was a good gig.