It was a crazy, music filled week/weekend last week. This past Sunday night, Eric Gales played Daryl’s house with his band. If you’re not familiar with him, Eric is an amazing blues-rock guitarist who is naturally right handed, but plays lefty on a righty guitar, upside down- but unlike Jimi Hendrix, it is strung for a right handed player. If that is not crazy and difficult enough, he is also a recovering addict with an wild past, and he shares his story at every show. He plays from the heart and really puts it all out there.
After the show, he met with everyone at the club who wanted to speak to him, get a picture or buy some merch. Nearly everybody in attendance lined up to see him and thank him. I was hoping to get to get a chance to say hi, but by the time I finished working, he was gone. The venue was empty, except for a handful of employees getting ready for the next show. Disappointed, I walked out back to say goodbye to Bailey (the house dog) and when I opened the door, Eric was standing there, all alone, enjoying a cigarette. We chatted for a few minutes and I said, I have to tell you something- I worked at and saw live music all weekend, starting with John 5 on Wednesday, my friend’s band on Friday- along with Maria Brink (one of my fave female screamer/singers) and In This Moment for sound check and then worked their load out. I then saw KISS on Saturday, but tonight was the highlight of my weekend. His mouth dropped and he said, “THE KISS?? With Gene Simmons?? Is Gene still doing it??“ I said yes, That KISS. His face lit up and he gave me a fist bump and thanked me several times. We talked some more and said goodbye.
I went back inside to finish up a few things and then poppedout back again to say goodbye to Peter- the master of sound at Daryl’s. At this point, the entire band was there, relaxing before their drive home. Eric sees me and yells, “Hey man- remember we was just talkin’ before??” I’m thinking, do I remember??? Hell yeah I remember!! Honestly, I also thought about Chris Farley’s SNL character interviewing Paul McCartney, saying “You remember when you were in the Beatles? That was awesome.” I casually responded in the affirmative. “Yes. I remember.” He said, “tell them that story that you told me! Tell them just like you told me.” I repeated the story of my live music extravaganza as Eric yelled out THE KISS… with Gene Simmons!
The band was happy to hear my respect for them and their performance. They smiled, laughed and they thanked me. We said our goodbyes again and I hit the road. My thirty minute drive home was filled with an appreciation of my night time jobs at two of the most iconic, running music venues in New York- and occasionally some other great stages- that allow me the privilege to witness some amazing live music and a continued appreciation of the fate of timing. I don’t really consider myself a “fanboy” but I do enjoy getting the opportunity to talk to some of the artists I see…getting a glimpse at the world that I (and millions of others) one time dreamt to be a part of…and of course, the music I get to hear. The music- one of the few things that helps me keep my sanity in this crazy, crazy world. Especially during these unpredictable, unstable times. So much in life is uncertain and everything can change in the blink of an eye, but there’s always the music- and for that, I am forever grateful.