Every once in a great while when you are “working”…. something happens that reminds you why you started doing what you do in the first place. A little moment when you say, “Oh yeah. THIS is why I put the time and effort in.” A couple of nights ago we played a private show in a club in Sundance, Utah, and I had one of those epiphanies. At the end of the night, after a really terrific show when everything just clicked… a man came up to me. He told me how much he enjoyed the performance. He said he was the gentleman who hired us and he reached into his jacket pocket and drew out an envelope. I looked in the envelope and there was our check inside. I stopped, held it in my hand and (I remember tearing up a little) I said to myself, “Gary, remember this moment. This is what makes it all worthwhile.”

Oh yeah. There was another moment almost as good. The event we played was a birthday party for a lovely woman. Her husband told us that her birthday wish was to play “Footloose” on the drums with us. She had just started taking drum lessons and wanted to challenge herself. Since they were personal friends of Kenny’s, he asked and we all agreed, even though we don’t play “Footloose” in a BSR show.

A little kit was set up next to the stage and the poor birthday girl refused to touch a drop of alcohol during the first half of her own party so she would be sharp behind the kit. She was absolutely terrified. It was adorable… like watching an 11 year old struggling to drive on the wrong side of the road in London ’cause “Daddy’s a little sleepy right now.” (okay, I have questionable parenting skills)

Halfway through the show we announced what was happening. All of her gathered friends cheered as she came up to the kit in her beautiful dress (but with Chuck Taylors on her feet. I know Sheila E plays in heels but OUR girl wasn’t messing around).

Kenny counted off the beat on his guitar, we held out breath… and she started playing. She was GREAT! It was so fun and funny and sweet. I stood on stage right next to her and watched her concentrate on every move, every hit. I swear I could smell smoke. When the song ended she threw her hands with her clenched drum sticks over her head, threw her head back and screamed in such joy that I burst out laughing. I can’t remember feeling that much joy after doing something for three minutes. Oh, wait. never mind.

The point is that we were able to give someone a birthday memory. MUSIC was able to give someone a birthday memory. She will have pictures of it… movies of it… but none of them will capture the pure joy and excitement that exploded off of her when the last cymbal rang and she threw back her head and howled! I gotta remember to do more of that. Music is for howling!

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