The weekend of April 4 and 5 is one The Tim and Bob Show will remember for a very long time. Both days featured new venues for the band to play, although we were very familiar with each of them.
On Saturday, we caravanned up I10 towards Fredericksburg to play for two hours at Becker Winery in Stonewall. We had been up there many times before, primarily to taste the wine, and also to turn our feet purple. Our last visit had been a few months earlier to listen to Steve and Kathy sing Christmas music with the Merrie Court Singers. But this was the first time for the band to play there. Nichole was there to welcome us, and we set up on their spacious porch with their magnificent lavender fields just over our shoulders. It was a wine-tasting frenzy, and every 30 minutes or so new folks showed up. Tim and Bobber's Steve and Jackie [who saw us on our most recent winery gig in Lampasas] showed up again for more music -- or was it for more wine? In any event, we were well received and had a lot of good comments and applause. The highlight for us was when a very cultured lady appeared and told us how much she felt our music was appropriate for the occasion. This meant a lot, because the lady was Mrs. Becker herself. What a way to spend an absolutely glorious South Texas Saturday afternoon. Only one thing stopped it from being perfect: the lines were so long, we never got a chance to buy any Becker wine for ourselves!
After church on Sunday, the band reunited at a local burger joint for a quick lunch before going over to play a short 10-song gig for my oldest and dearest friend Bruce and his lovely lady Sheila. I've known them both since 1967, Mary Lou met them in 1976, and Steve and Kathy met them in 2000. This is only part of it, though. It was Bruce who first interested me in writing, taught me about art and "serious" music, was my first stage director, and who -- one afternoon in 1975 -- handed me a slip of paper with 15 words on it. Those 15 words turned out to be the beginning of The Tim and Bob Show original tune "Raccoon Rumble-seat." Bruce also directed Mary Lou and Kathy in several of his self-authored murder mysteries [some of which I also appeared in] and, in Mary Lou's case, some of his original Christmas "Pantos." It was in one of the latter productions that he convinced Mary Lou to sing. The fact that she's contributing her alto vocals to the group today is down to Bruce. Steve also has a history with Bruce, having performed in two of the Valentines Day special shows at the old Alamo Street Theater with Kathy that were organized by Bruce and Sheila. Finally, it was at Bruce and Sheila's house that Mary Lou and I married nearly 32 years ago.
Bruce has been availing himself of more than his share of the region's medical expertise in recent months, and doesn't get about much. It was for this reason that we set this private performance up with them, and why we kept it relatively short. They invited their friends Wally [who I also first met in 1967], their neighbors Ken and Billie, and Tim and Bob National Marcie. We set up in one of Bruce's several artistic workspaces and played "unplugged." We started with our a'capella version of Johnny Mercer's "Dream" -- a huge favorite of Bruce's -- and ended with "Raccoon Rumble-seat". Sheila assured us that we had made The Maestro happier than he'd been in ages. We were pretty happy also. We had given a little bit back to a man who has given us all so much over the years.
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