We had our first assembly of the fall season (things are slow early in the year) at a very pleasant ES in central NJ, about an hour from the LV. There were about 250 kids and 30 teachers in the gym, and, in spite of major traffic jams on 78 (for no reason other than volume), we started only ten minutes late. I was glad I called ahead of time to warn them.
It was a leap of faith on all of our parts, and my job was to keep the spoken thread going, which, I thought, I did fairly well. Kevin and Nick are always in the pocket and Steve, the new guitarist is catching on to the nuances in the show. It’s a fairly crisp show by now so everyone has to be on their toes. It still amazes me how we can do this and do it so well, especially at 9:30 on a Wednesday morning in Somewhere, NJ.
The school had a great time, with kids and teachers up dancing at the end. The PTA ladies and the principal crowed about the show, how it moved so seamlessly through the music, how tight the band was, and the great reaction of the kids and teachers. Yes, we hear this all the time, but I’ve come to take the compliments as intended. So much for the pride.
As we were breaking down, I commented that we did a good job after many months of layoff. It was then that they said I forgot the Motown section and had jumped directly to the Beatles. Amazing. they were right. It was off the radar, and I had just mentioned doing the My Girl riff for the Muhlenberg students on Monday. Perhaps I figured subconsciously that I had done it.
I rarely screw things like this up. I’m distracted by my upcoming hip operation and feeling a little off kilter with a low-grade cold. And, the amazing thing, my mistake was seamless. The show was great, no one in the audience knew the difference. But it nagged me as I drove the hour trip back to Bethlehem. I was humbled and disappointed that I had thrown a curveball at the band, but proud that they were there to back me up when it counted, even if I didn’t know it.
Phew. Always, always interesting.