Playin’, Playin’ in the Band

As a young man I was full of fantasies, the kind that dashed across the dreams of many a boy in the 1960’s; cruising the great long passages across endless seas, tropical islands with white sand, diving in warm shark filled waters, the love of beautiful young exotic maidens and in so many daydreams, playing in a rock band to dancing crowds. Never in my wildest dream and some were pretty wild, did I think they would all come true, and after I turned 60.

I have done the passages, walked barefoot on the white sandy beaches, dove with everything under the sea, and yes been loved by exotic lovely young ladies of the Orient-but that is for another blog, haha- and tonight I will play rock and roll and a huge event with a fantastic band of Indonesian friends; the Fortune Band. They have asked me to play some old time rock and roll, all of which is new to them, imagine never having heard Johnny B Good! I began sitting in the nightly jam sessions at the local hang out, the Lounge. I would pound out some rock or blues songs and the band would love it. I found I could get the usually sedate and often internet (free wifi) preoccupied crowd jumping with some rock and roll and- “what is the old guy doing?” dance moves. 

Tonight is the one year anniversary of a local club, Atlantis, which is the town hot spot. It is a phenomenal venue, on the beach, with a swimming pool in front of the stage and the bar is in a grounded ship. Laser lights dash about the dance floor. The event has local dancers, fire dancers, fireworks, our band and late night DJ dancing. I have yet to talk to a local who is not going. The poster is all over town, it will be a wonderful, packed and very scary!

So like the good ol days, today I packed amplifiers, chords, microphones, and tambourines. Unlike days of old, I packed them in a dinghy, took them to the venue on a motorbike and set up under 88 degree heat. And with the memories of David Crosby or Stephen Stills saying that CSN was “scared Shitless” before they performed for the first time at Woodstock, I spent the day in a nervous twitter. And following the Woodstock tradition, just after we set up in the open stage, it rained! We madly covered the set with tarps and prayed. The Rock gods were with us and the clouds parted and the full Winter Solstice Moon shown through (winter down here you know, not that it matters much!)

The band did a great selection of modern pop and hip hop tunes, some of which I am actually starting to like. This coming from someone dedicated to the notion that no good music has been recorded since 1972. The Woodstock vibe stayed with us, the downpour had wreaked havoc with the electrical system and just about the end of the first song all the power goes out, then surged on taking victims amongst the electrical gadgetry that makes all those wonderful sounds, but the band played on. I was stunned by the wonderful vocals of the three singers and more so after I played – I realized they couldn’t hear the half of the band members from their position!

So it was my turn, I had selected old standards; Johnny B Good, Iko Iko and a medley of Twist and Shout and La Bamba. The technical difficulties rendered the lead guitar player mute so our rehearsed guitar solo duel was one sided, the weak side, me. The next song went better and the last was actually fun with the three other singers joining in and I finally noticed the laser light show that had been crisscrossing me all the while. The crowd did not seem to notice the details and was whooping it up and that is what really matters but most of all I had fun

After our show the DJ started right on the beach, there were fireworks and dozens of flying sky candles dotted the moonlit sky, breathtaking. I had promised the girls that I was up for a late night and had prepared with a long nap and really strong Flores coffee. We danced in the loose sand until the wee hours and headed back to the boat in the quiet night. It had been an incredible night of living my dreams and that is what it is all about for this 60’s guy now in his 60’s.

Photos by Sam with her new camera, thanks Mom and Dad