Victory at Hillsboro
Playing rock and roll as you get older requires discipline - and nobody goes into rock and roll for the discipline. That is why many dark thoughts filled my brain as I loaded the station wagon for the gig in Hillsboro yesterday. I had one heavy bass amp, my Fender amp, a suitcase of recording and video equipment, 3 guitars and a bass, a suitcase full of percussion equipment, a bag full of effects and cords, another bag full of bass stuff, a collapsable cart, and one collapsable musician - namely me. It wasn't till I was out on Highway 26, with the radio blaring that the hint of magic wafted through the air. The Rolling Stones came on with "Mixed Emotions", and it was like, "You can say that again."
The bass player is a teacher, and he was coming straight from a meeting, and could be late, adding to my uneasiness about the gig. This was a paid event, and I wanted to do it right. There were a couple of other factors as well: He's one of our lead singers but his voice was hoarse from last weekend, which he spent shouting at his crew as tiller for his dragon boat team. Oh yeah, he also fell down racing for a bus during a field trip with students last Friday and chipped a bone on the ring finger of his left hand. Ahh, bass players. Almost as much trouble as drummers. When he arrived on time, he listed all his ailments for the other guitarist, so my comment was, "It sounds like the good news is that you're here, and the bad news is also that you're here." Although banged up, the rock lion emerged and he played and sang well.
The Hillsboro Farmers Market is quite a production with many blocks full of booths, etc...I heard someone say that 5,000 people have attended in the past. It rained during the first set, but the crowd hung in there. Then the sun poked out, and the gig took off. The band got into the zone, and I finally dialed in a favorable guitar sound. Off we went. An extremely cute young girl approached the stage to request a song. We were old but we were still getting over - musically at least. I cracked up listening to the bass player sing this song called "A Girl Like You" which the young girl had picked off our song list: "I want to spend my life with a girl like you." It was quite an image especially as we were right outside the courthouse where the trials take place.
On my way home I felt the magic - a more serene, worn-down magic that cut through the fatigue. I had gone from not wanting to do this anymore, to wanting to do it again tonight. Rock and roll can be like that. There are many defeats along the way, but Hillsboro was a victory.