Mike got us dinner (Jeff got a chicken donair, I got a lamb donair – Halifax style, never had the sweet sauce before.) Then just before we went to the uke jam he got me a gelato and we ate them watching the street scene at Robson and Hamilton of a warm evening; it included a complete buggering of traffic by what proved to be a false fire alarm, so I got to watch how fire trucks back up when they’re blocking traffic. Three fire trucks were called, plus a supervisor. <—-a Vancouver moment
Mike was NOT the only person of colour at the ukulele jam last night. <—a Vancouver moment
And he did something he’s never done before.
An open mike. I know, right? He’s been the soundtrack for fifty campfires and other people’s vacations and music nights for decades now, at least for me, but he’d never gotten up and played in a public venue.
He played a uke version of Toto’s ‘Africa’. (Jeff’s heard it.)
I played too, “And then he done her wrong.” So this involves me BLOWING three verses. THROUGH A KAZOO while playing uke as ominously as I can. At the end of each verse I whip the kazoo out of my mouth and sing, “And then he done her wrong.” The last verse I do double time, so that the musicologists in the audience can realize that the last verse is to be played on the way back from la cimetière, N’Awleens style. You can check with Mike if you think I’m fibbing, but I got half of a standing ovation at the end of it. I watched people springing out of their seats with my mouth hanging open and bowed back to them.
I wore Tom’s hat, that was mine, and I gave it to him, and Peggy gave it back after he died; that probably did it. Not my protean fucking talent nawssir.
I had a guy tell me that I was an ‘inspired’ kazoo player. This just means that Jeff, who sadly did not know about my kazoo leanings until after he moved in with me, has been gazing dubiously at his bathroom wall (the music room / spare room is on the other side) for more than a decade as I attempt to blow my brains out on the kazoo in ever wilder attempts to control what the damned thing does (I’m especially fond of imitating electric guitar lines.) As far as I can tell I stayed on key. Please spare a thought to Jeff, who has suffered.
All lyrics and chords for the jams were on the screen and THEY HAD A BAND percussion and bass!! to accompany them. A broad range of music from the last century, including Beatles (the song suite from Sgt Pepper) to Dua Lipa (‘Levitating’) was covered. Most professional. I got overwhelmed about 45 minutes in and I could either sing or play, not both, and they were using chords that no Christian would intend, so that’s what I did, put the uke down, and I didn’t try anything on any song I wasn’t familiar with. Even songs with three easy chords were tricksy because of the strumming patterns. It was a brain challenge for me for SURE.
So that all happened. I am so proud of Mike getting up there and blowing everybody away! His anxiety is such that he can conjure up being booed off stage (there was no stage, it was a function room in an absolutely right downtown high school, across from the Fringe NY headquarters LOL the VPL) and I noticed that he shook almost all the way through but he was superlative. (Told him afterwards that he stood with bent knees as if he was expecting to get assaulted, which OF COURSE NO ONE DID) https://vanukes.ca/ is the site name, but be warned they are broke and it might stop happening. <— this too goddamnit is a Vancouver moment
wordle in 2 this morning
Bit of writing yesterday.