I had a Schnecksville to Schwenksville tour today. I was informed it would be Snailtown to Swingtown tour from a reliable Dutchy source. I celebrated with some fine breakfast scrapple before I set out.
I was asked, out of the blue, to play a kids’ set at a benefit for a young child with cancer up north of Allentown. Not a second thought. I’m there.
I arrived and found my way to the stage to play at noon. The band Naked Beaver was almost set up for their set at 2 pm. I’m starting to think this is more biker than I had imagined. It turned out to be true.
My starting time was the same as the kick off (kick stand up) for a motorcycle ride around the Lehigh Valley. All the choppers were lined up and ready to go, and as 12 noon hit, everyone walked away to the staging site for the ride. I’m cool.
Mikey was hoisted up on a man’s back, and, wearing a very cool do-rag, waved to the crowd, everyone cheered and it was a great moment. Lots of love and support from everyone.
The fire company had a big flag hoisted on ladder fire truck, which everyone was going to ride under shortly. Well, not so shortly. They played the National Anthem, one I’m not familiar with. A heavy metal, stadium-rock version started out half time. It’s already a long song, but I knew this wasn’t going to be a crisp version. Much sturm und drang early on, and started to kick it up after awhile. Nasty electric solo added, no charge. And then the ending. Yes, the ending. Back to slow, power stuff and an indeterminate ending. Not quite folk music.
So, everyone cranked up their bikes, and, with the cops leading the way with sirens blaring, most of the people in the park left. Nice bikes.
Time for me to play. Yo.
The Naked Beaver folks let me plug into their system and, for awhile, I had a Harley for a Martin. Loud. Cool. But it was peaking the system, cutting out so I said they should turn in down. It was the right choice, but it was fun for awhile.
There were a few volunteers over in the pavilions miles away, and there was the sound lady for me and the Naked Beavers. I played.
I played my good stuff, fairly kids-oriented material early – Cat Came Back, Shoo That Fly, I Wanna be a Dog, Splish Splash – trying to keep it strong and somewhat Rock and Roll. I eventually wrapped up the set with some uptempo ‘adult’ material – Bo Diddley, Nadine and Rosie – to at least establish myself as a competent musician. It got noticed by less-than-tens of people. That’s okay, too.
I was glad I was asked, I had a good time playing, and it was a beautiful PA summer day. At this point, I could care less if there are a handful or a houseful or a hallful audience. My aim was to support this community event and I was glad to do it.
Still, it was curious.