Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Monday, June 15, 2009

A day in the life of a semi-retired musician...

Our community band played an outdoor concert yesterday for Flag Day. It's Florida. It's the middle of June. It was hot. No clouds. For most of the concert the band was shielded from the sun by the bandshell roof. The audience was not shielded. When the sun lowered, neither was the band.

The band had the audience outnumbered. We had to be there. They didn't.

(If God had meant for people to go outside in June this close to the equator, He would not have invented air conditioning.)

As I unpacked my tenor sax, I realized I had no mouthpiece. Dummy. I'd taken it out of the case and put it on a horn in the studio. There was barely time to drive home, get the mouthpiece, drive back, pull charts, and make the downbeat.

There was time only because the program began with the obligatory speeches by all the local potentates. As they spoke, I watched the audience dwindle in numbers. Obviously they had sense enough to come in out of the sun.

As could be expected, there were more speeches than we planned for, and they were too long. Plus the bagpipe player who played more tunes than he ought to. I didn't realize you could configure that many tunes from only five notes.

No surprise, then, that we got out of there an hour late.

At the end of the concert I had to hustle over to north of Orlando for a rehearsal with the Altamonte Jazz Ensemble. That included schlepping a keyboard and setting it up just in time to start the rehearsal.

My plan had included a stop at home to change clothes and grab my drug stache. No time for that.

When the rehearsal was over, several of us went to Hooters for burgers and beer. That was the highlight of the day. I came home afterwards and crashed and burned.

I slept until noon today. Because I'd spent yesterday without getting a hit off the ol' needle, my fasting blood sugar was above the national debt. I'm paying for a lifetime of excess and debauchery.

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