Last Thursday in preparation for the big DangerCouch show, I made midday pit stop at Visible School, host of this years festivities. humor-blogs.com
Visible School, for those somewhat less than tragically hip to the post modern music scene, is a cutting edge music school. This venerable institution is what brought me and the Comma Clan to the muggy depths of Memphis, and it is where the members of DangerCouch first met.
With a definite and declared focus on modern music, any visit to Visible is just about assured to bring you into contact with any number young, strangely dressed, and possibly pierced collegians.
Which is what marked the conservatively attired, somewhat older gentleman who walked up to me as a visitor.
As he smiled and made pleasantries with me, I realized that he must be the guest lecturer, come to address the school that afternoon. He and his presentation were a subject of some impatience to me, a bottleneck that was restraining my urgent, high-level Christmas show preparations.
In my life-experiences I have encountered enough arrogant musicians and small time “stars” to inspire me to really go out of my way to introduce myself and generally puncture any developing celebrity mystique on the few occasions that I find myself the center of public attention.
I have also encountered enough racism and overall small-mindedness, especially since I have come to Memphis, that I also try to make an extra effort to at least acknowledge anyone who might feel on the outside of unspoken racial/cultural barriers whenever I can.
All these considerations raced through my head as I faced the visitor, one of just a few black faces in a crowd of lighter hued individuals.
But on this day there was no time.
So, in one the brief, unspoken decisions that make up human consciousness, I instead launched into the myriad of mundane chores that are the reality of the glamorous rock and roll experience: hauling amps, running power, and preparing the merchandise.
And that is how I narrowly avoided meeting jazz great Kirk Whalum, whose music I have enjoyed for many years.
It would have been nice to really talk with him, or at least say that I had met him, but a star of my magnitude simply has no time for little people on my path to greatness.
It looks like “they,” that anonymous fount of inerrant information, was right after all:
It really is lonely at the top.