Sunday, October 03, 2010

The wedding. It is a certain aspect of the happy gigster's professional life. It is the Yin and Yang of gigs. Either sweet or sour as there doesn't ever seem to be a happy medium.
{Dig the chandelier, baby. Stained glass? Nay.}

The Dynamic Duo were booked for this October wedfest many months ago. The trouble with booking so far ahead that you can easily forget about it or disbelieve that it's actually going to happen. I checked with the mom, and sure enough, it was still a go and our services were still wanted. Fine. Load the car, grab Lisa and head West. Road trip!

Li-Li has just returned from the beach the evening before and so she spun her tale as we drove towards the church. Their vaco was a soggy tale of rain storms. Evidently, the storms were pervasive and so strong that, on the last night, she was afraid that the house was going to collapse. Winds blew rain under the doors, shook windows and made rocking chairs appear to be possessed.

Arriving in town, as usual, we got slightly off course, so would say "lost," but I say slightly misplaced. Retracing our path, we found the church very easily.

Step#1 in the wedding musician's guidebook: get the lay of the land. Don't lift a single piece of equipment until you have surveyed the church and talked to someone in charge. Or someone who believes they are in charge.

Finally after wandering about, we see a sign that points to the sanctuary. After years in the Catholic church, I was a bit taken back by the sheer starkness of the interior. No stained glass (That's deliberate and has a theological basis.) and bare walls with only crosses from different branches of the Christian faith made it all seem unchurchy. Yes, that should be a word. After years in the Presby church, I recognized the theme of white, wood and red carpet. What is it with the plain Jane looks, people? Let's celebrate some color, huh? Unlikely.

We met mom and the wedding coordinator, whose name just happens to be that of a famous country music superstar, and the spot they pick for us is the one we have picked. All is well then.

Not really.

You could feel the tension right away. My little flute playing eavesdropper said she overheard a convo between mom and grandmom that went something like this:

Mom: "On what wrist are you going to wear the corsage?"
Grandma: "On the left."
(Exasperated) Mom: "Well...YOU WOULD!!"

Ok, people, let's calm down now. It's just a wedding, people, a time of love and joy.
I didn't hear it, but evidently the bride had crossed over to bridezilla and was talking to people rather brusquely.

Outside, while gathering the amp, music stand, et al, I saw the groom's guys all gathered at the far end of the parking lot. Methought: nips of courage for cold feet? Is Jack Daniels going to make an unexpected appearance?

Out the door comes a blonde in a skirt far too short for a wedding and she yells, "ADAM! LORI WANTS YOU RIGHT NOW!" Well, it don't take an Einstein rocket launchin' fella to realize that that was a prediction of married life to come. The dude is already getting his marching orders.
{Pretty maids all in a row.}
All set up, ready to plug in and something hits me: I have forgotten my guitar cable, the one that plugs into the amp. Hence the whole purpose of bringing, unloading and lugging the amp into the church. I cannot believe my mistake.

I make a plea to the music coordinator.

"Do you have an electronic keyboard?"
"Do you have a music room where there might be a quarter inch cable?"
She's smiling, but I know I'm gaining no ground.
"We don't have any electronics."

Lady, I wasn't trying to set up a Rick Wakeman bank of synthesizers, I just need a ruddy cable. I wanted to point out, just in case there was some purist ideology hidden in that smile, that the PA system is, ipso facto, electronics. Alas, I play an acoustic instrument and that will have to be fine. At least I have that as a backup.

Can't believe I forgot my cables. Kick me in the ass.

A small crowd gathered as we played our standard classical fare. I think we played OK, but I wouldn't give us any stars in a review. There were some clams to be had on both side of the Duo. Lisa often forgets to eat before gigs. I don't get this, but it is almost my duty to make sure she is on an even keel or the music will suffer. She mentioned she needs to start wearing her glasses. We are old: YA THINK?

For me, I spent a lot of time before the gig making sure my suit, shirt and shoes were all looking good and not enough play time with the guitar. My mistake and it always shows.

It was one of the shortest ceremonies on record: no readings, no testimonials, no sermon and only one prayer. Just in-hey hello they are husband and wife, say hello to Mr. and Mrs then out! Wham! Done.

A look of relief was on mom's face. People said they liked what we did as we quickly got things together to go.
We stopped at a little drive-in and ordered some food which turned out to be pretty poor, but food is food when you're hungry.

On the drive home, I fell into a kind of trance. The road hummed along, passing all those little towns, the conversation more sparse than the drive up. We chatted about the gig and how we have to write a book about all this one day. That is certainly an idea I intend to follow.

When home was reached, I was pooped. Yep. I wasn't ready for movies or nothing. I wanted creature comforts. It took something out of me. You see, one of those thoughts I had coming home was, "When exactly are you going to stop doing weddings?" I'm 52. Am I going to be doing these when I'm 62? I have never, ever considered retirement. I mean, a musician doesn't retire, he just has to hang it all up one day when he/she sucks so bad on their beloved instrument that it is too embarassing to continue public performance.

I feel far removed from that idea right now for a number of reasons, the top being financial. I love my guitar.

It's weddings that give me fits.

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