Some people sky dive.  Others bungee jump at carnivals, betting their lives on the math skills of those living on the fringes of society, with severely limited access to dental care.  Extramarital affairs and other risky business are at the top of the “thrill” meter for others.  Never mind fast cars, boats, double black diamond skiing and eating fast food on a regular basis…

Human beings are prone to do things that scare the fuck out of them, simply for the thrill that comes with feeling so very alive.

Mine is a 30 year old vice.  Involving a stage.  A sound system.  A guitar.  An audience of strangers – with varying degrees of musical abilities and fearlessness.

Seemed innocuous enough when i bolted from my “salsa aerobics” class a little early tonight to meet a friend at a bar for his “open mic” stint for the month.  He’d wanted me to come out to hear the jewel-tones of his new Martin, and check out the venue he’d recently discovered.

Less than half a beer under my belt, and i was feeling the “nerves”.  And i wasn’t even going on stage!  JG, one of my professional colleagues with talent and ‘nads, has a great sound – recently investing in the guitar of his dreams.  Oh, and it’s a beauty… custom* wooden sweetness.  We’ve farted around for a few years at office Christmas parties, doing the entertainment while playing with new sounds and harmonies.  Nice to have a fellow musician on the technology team… makes the social crap that much more tolerable!

Three songs into his set, fighting a sore throat, he just hands it off to me, saying “I’m tapped.  Daisyfae is here tonight, and is going to finish it out for me…”.  Fortunately, i had no time to think about it.  Unfortunately, i haven’t touched a guitar in almost a year. 

The song had to be decided in the 45 seconds it took to walk to the stage.  Based on an hour in the club, and what JG had told me about the venue, it was a “country/bluesy” crowd.  Shit.  “What can i pull outta my ass, unprepared, that will hit this?”  Nails far too long to do any serious guitar work, it had to have strong vocals…

And then she arrived… the spirit of the “not quite dead yet, but how the hell would you know it anyway” Stevie Nicks.  And the Landslide took me down…

Alive.  Terrified.  Going with it.  Letting the muscle memory take over after dicking up the intro. Forgetting everything that had been crowding my thinking.  Blinded by stage lights.  Job?  i have no day job!  Feel it.  “i’m getting older too…”.  AMAZING FUCKING GUITAR!  Listen to that ring!  Audience got quiet.  C’mon.  Commit to it.  Belt it… Joke about the big finish – then drop it. Let it ring.  Let it sit there…

[blink… blink…]

who needs drugs?  are they smiling?  was that a drunken, celebratory “whoo-hoo” from the pool room?  pat on the back from the host as i left the stage.  “respect knuckles”** from the brother who sang the Coltrane before JG was up. 

Shee-it.  There is no substitute for this.  These people would not flinch at a 46 year old woman doing Joe Cocker.  Not to mention Leonard Cohen and Ani Difranco.  As if i don’t have enough on my plate***, the monkey returns to his “happy place”, resting comfortably on my back.  Just one sip of the demon drink and i’m right there.  again… still…


* he plays left-handed – but has never re-strung the guitar.  that means, he plays upside down and backwards! and smokes it…

** also known as a “terrorist fist jab” if you’re a Fox News Anchor-Blonde.

*** buying a new place, moving my house, sending The Girl off to the Middle East in September while helping both kids move, preparing the existing house as a rental, working the pesky 8-5 gig, maintaining a lame workout schedule to lose the last 25 lbs, feeble attempts to support the theater, and finishing up my post-grad professional development certification… before October?  FUCK YEAH – I NEED TO FIND A BAND, motherfuckers!


22 thoughts on “Adrenaline

  1. alex – it’ll do wonders for your heart rate, that’s for sure!

    kyknoord – Enis could be a big sensation – growing in popularity, and performing for the throbbing masses at Emo clubs…

    dolce – always. can you carry my beer? how about a 60 lb amplifier?

    Mrs. B – sweet! Playing the fool was my first love… took up guitar when i was 12 for variety!

    nm – not yet, but shall hit the youtube archives after work tonight!

  2. Like youn I haven’t picked up an axe and played seriously for several years – that didn’t stop me several months ago from jumping up with the bar band and doing the vocals on Don’t Stop Believin’, American Girl by Tom Petty, and Vacation by the Go-Go’s. The last one was a bit of a challenge but I’ve never been shy of challenges.

    Once you get the itch; not even prescriprion meds can make it go away….

  3. I love Stevie Nicks and Landslide. Wish I was there. Sometimes I wish I was the musician my mother aspired that I be, but I’d rather dick around with my camera and Photoshop. To each their own.

  4. Rockin’! daisyfae back on stage. ’bout time…

    and it’s guys like your friend who can play the axe upside down and backwards that just leave me shaking my head in awed disbelief…

    …now, there are some things i do well upside down and backwards… but guitar playing ain’t it…

  5. umdalum – see you in rehab, baby. and even if we can’t get the monkeys off our backs, we be jammin’!

    archie – only time i saw myself perform on video (no, not that… bunch of pervs… ) it was singing at a fundraiser – i was hosting a “telethon” to raise funding for the theater. i was horrified at the video – i was wearing a tux, had been subsisting on caffeine and red bull for two days, and looked like i was tweakin’ from lack of crack cocaine. no. video. ever.

    silverstar – depending on my mood, i can do it dark or upbeat! the “happy” version often surprises people. last night – because all was right in the “daisyfae bubble” – it was the upbeat one! Oh, and as you can see from the shit on my photo page, i’m shit with a camera. We all bring something different to the game – that’s what makes it fun!

    annie – ah, but you write! and write very well! i’m a hack at the performance stuff. mother of all egotistical indulgences, but it’s a rush! probably safer than jumping out of perfectly good airplanes!

    gnu – depending on how the planets align, there’ll be a follow up set in about a month. a few solo, a few with JG, a few of him on his own. we’re plotting the flow of the set already…like to mix it up. Speaking of which – we want PICTURES. Proooooove it, baby!

  6. silverstar – fate? it’s a pretty good song, and if “pandora” is tuned to your likes/dislikes, i suppose that messes with the odds a bit… cool!

  7. I was once walking down an Aussie street, with a slab of tinnies* on each hip, when a lovely lad in a singlet*, driving a ute*, bellowed out the window, “Fucking fuck, girlie, two slabs at a time? Marry me!”

    So, ja. A 60lb amp? No worries.

    *Ask our lovely Nurse for a translation, if you need it!

  8. nm – creepy, dark and sweet! the videos i found sucked smashed pumpkins, though… liked it.

    dolce – “slab of tinnies” = case of beer (canned)? “singlet” = “wifebeater”? “ute” = sport utility vehicle? And oh, yeah… you have graduated from “groupie” to “roadie”… Schweeeeeet!

  9. A rehab partner – sweet! I’ll meet you behind the tennis court and we’ll do a few lines together; oops I mean lyrics, we’ll do some lyrics together….

  10. umdalum – “lyrics” yeah. ummm… lyrics… *sniff*

    squirrelqueen – not sure it’s so much musical ability as it is ‘nads. i reached a point a few years back where i just don’t care… once i start going, i got something to sing… play… do… damn the torpedos and all that!

    dolce – ‘roo tail’? ‘echidna’? say… they got those in South Africa, too?

  11. Pingback: I Read in a Koolhaas « Silverstar’s Magical Adventures (and assorted rants)

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