Summer '76

It was my last night in NY. My friends and I were looking to hear some  live music. We stumbled down the stairs of 145 Bleecker Street  The Dugout was a little basement  club.

We took a table at the far corner. In the low-ceilinged room, I turned in my chair to watch a boy singing and playing acoustic guitar on the tiny stage. When he launched into the Flying Burrito Brothers' version of the Stones song "Wild Horses" , I couldn't help but sing along. It's one of my favorites.  I added a high soprano part over top the choruses.  It was noisy in there- I doubt I could be heard. 

At his break , he walked right to my table. He was easy to talk to.  I told him of my own musical aspirations. In a deep southern accent he said "I believe you can sing."  

I said I was still in school. .

He shook his head. "Join a band! Any band! Even if they're doin'  f*ckin' Bachman Turner Overdrive!"

 He told me about a Tuesday open mic , "A lot of musicians go there, you could meet people."

And then he went back on to do his next set.

My friends wanted to leave. As we headed towards the door, the boy leaned away from the microphone and called after me, "Come to Folk City Tuesday night!"  Did I consider it? Maybe for a moment.  But by morning, New York would feel like a million miles away.

I remembered his name.

Two years later, I was out of school, back in Philly, on my third band, playing  original songs.  Was it a Sunday? There, in the New York Times, was a glowing review of the boy's first album! It was called, "Alive on Arrival".  I met that guy! .  I was truly happy for him.  I knew with certainty, as I held the newspaper in my hands, that I'd have my album, soon, too.


It would be over 20 years until my first album. And just  a self-released CD, besides.  A long way and a far cry from major label vinyl dreams.



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