Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Token Of Led Zepplin's Appreciation



Last night, I left the library, and went to get more apple juice.

I drank in the Church Street Graveyard and then went into town. I wanted a cigarette.

I decided to sit at the big clock and play for a while. I made my first "totally sober" dollar, in about a year. And some change. This precluded coffee, even.

I moved up the street after the businesses closed and made another 6 bucks at the acoustically good spot.


I was about to go drink more apple juice, when I noticed a crowd in front of the Steangal Theatre (I may be spelling it wrong.)


It was a group of older, wealthy-looking people, waiting to see Robert Plant in concert. He was one of the founding members of Led Zepplin, a famous rock band.

Immediately sensing the opportunity to make money, I decided to fore go the Songwriter's Open Mic at Serda's Coffee, and find a spot from which to ambush the revelers, as they left the venue.

I still wanted money, even though I had not much desire to spend it, except, well, on apple juice.
The crowd huddled outside the entrance. They all had cigarettes, which they had all just lit, when the doors flew open. They all threw them down on the sidewalk, after taking only one puff. There were American Spirit, Camel, Marlboro and Winston.
All those who were milling about, just to be near Robert Plant, seemed to be too proud to snatch up the free tobacco, as if he might see them, and scoff. I recognized some of them from the street. They may have been fooling Robert Plant, but I knew better. I got about 20 cigarettes, which can be re-rolled, (a $5 value,) while those who were trying to look cool for Robert's sake, watched on, envious of my sense of autonomy, and my good fortune.
I listened to "Houses of the Holy," a thousand times when I was 11 years old. I deserve those cigarettes. Those were a token of Led Zepplin's appreciation for my support. I was ready to tell that to anyone who said "Hey, let me get one of those ducks!"

I sat and contemplated a spot to play at. The first one that I looked at, near the box office, had a pile of horse dung prominently sitting in front of where I usually sit. (They call out the horse cops for such magnanimous events, such as a Robert Plant concert.)
I decided that I wanted a well-lit, quiet place with good acoustics. I went to the bank on the corner, across the street from the beer store.
I started to play. It was hard to motivate myself. I had to focus upon playing the best that I could, and think about what a golden opportunity it was to have a crowd of rich people my age to play for. I felt a little bit rusty. Some of it may have been from not have eaten in two days.

People came by and were generous, especially after I was able to read them a bit and choose appropriate music. They were easy to read, because they were from my own, neurotic, post 60's generation.

I heard a woman mention The Beatles. I did "Nowhere Man," to the tune of about 10 bucks, and their delight, and then did "Norwegian Wood," for 10 more. One couple stopped and hung around and threw a few bucks in my case after each song that I played at their request. Their requests were general, like: "Do you know any Eagles?"

My strings were painfully dull. I was happy, though, to have made string money, when it was all said and done.

I packed up at about 11pm., and took the 30 bucks that I had, after having woken up with 8 cents that morning, and I walked. Past the beer store and up Dauphin Street, I walked. There were a group of people around the back of the theatre, waiting for Robert Plant to come out of the alley and board his bus. They were holding cameras and pieces of paper and pens. The sight of a long-haired guy carrying a guitar caused several necks to rotate in my direction.

"50 Dollars an autograph, and make it fast, the bus is leaving soon!," I thought about saying in my best British accent. "Over here, in the dark alley, and no flashbulbs please, they make me have 'flash'backs!"

Now, I still have the $29.29 on me, which I woke up with. I woke up without the aid of an alarm clock, and without a trace of a hangover. My juice bottle was empty, though.

I go now to board the bus to the music store. I may come back into town and play some more, to feature my new strings.

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