Monday, November 17, 2008

Of Lightshows, Birthdays, and Loss

This was an up-and-down weekend for The Tim and Bob Show. On November 14, we had a rare Friday night gig at Fralo’s Art of Pizza in Leon Springs. It’s always fun playing this outdoor venue. Patrons are seated in the patio sheltered by beautiful Live Oak trees. We were pleased that the cold weather wasn’t going to arrive until later that evening after the cold front had blown through. What we WEREN’T prepared for was the effect of that front arriving.

Even before the gig had begun we had some concerns about the wind. After we had completed our sound check and before our first song, a huge gust blew over my music and mike stands. We were playing our 2nd or 3rd song when one of our speakers blew over. Luckily, the speaker fell against a plastic chair. Also luckily, Matt and Bethany, and Sandy and his family were there to rush to help put the speaker upright. Most lucky was the fact that nobody was in its path. We lowered the height of both speakers and soldiered on. And, at time, it did seem like war. Every time a vehicle drove into or out of the dirt parking lot, we were pelted by dust and grit. But the patrons were enjoying the pizza and the music, so we kept playing.

Midway through the second set came the light show. The buffeting winds must have dislodged a power-line on the other side of the freeway and, when that line collided with another “live-wire,” we were all treated to a huge blast of thunder and light. There was only a momentary interruption in our playing, though, and we carried on. This happened two more times over the course of about 30 minutes until the management came out an informed us that a dish-washer had just received an electric shock. We were advised to shut down and we did.

Not so many dancing children as we would have liked, but still plenty of attention from the very generous patrons that Fralo’s attracts. In addition to Tim and Bobber’s Matt and Bethany, Sandy, Bobbie, and Katie weathered [literally] the storm. Our new friend, Dick, also dropped by. As we loaded up our dirt-encrusted gear, Steve and I were able to console ourselves that we had finally experienced a pyrotechnic lightshow similar to those enjoyed in the 1970s by many of the bands we cover.

On Sunday, we returned to Patty Lou’s to play at our other “good luck” establishment. We played there on New Years Day 2007 and 2008, and both years were filled with good fortune for the band. I was a little stunned to realize that we hadn’t played there since January, but everyone there was glad to see us. Patty Lou is a special friend to the band, and a friend to live music in San Antonio. We couldn’t wait to get going.

We’d cut out a lot of our raucous stuff – since it was Sunday brunch and indoors – but Steve and I managed to do some jamming and improvising in the key of E on 3 separate occasions. Very self-indulgent, that’s true, but very enjoyable none-the-less.

Casey showed up, as well as Wendy and her friend, and we made a new friend in Mabel. We also had a fantastic brunch, and were treated to some “home made” cake courtesy of the good Patty Lou herself. Why? Because it was somebody’s birthday. Okay, so it was MY birthday. I’m now 62, and still playing rock ‘n roll. We can’t wait to get back to Patty Lou’s. What a wonderful place to spend a Sunday.

Finally, there’s some somber news related to this past weekend. On Saturday evening, we learned that Sam Emerson had passed away at Methodist Hospital here in San Antonio. Sam packed a tremendous amount of love and living into his 24 years. He’s been special to all of us as part of the Young Adult Group that Steve and I facilitate in church, and his mom, Karen, authored and played the beautiful flute solo on our song “It Ends, It Begins.” Sam’s presence and his amazingly therapeutic hugs have been a source of strength, comfort, and love to each of us in the band. He’ll be missed, but he’ll be inside of us forever.

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