Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Microstory 782: Sax

One of my favorite bands growing up was Sunday Think About It, in no small part because of their variety of instruments that they used. I listened to their debut album, I Miss U!! I don’t know how many times. You can imagine how excited I was when I won tickets on the radio to see their Hudson City show, which would be their only Usonian stop during their international tour. The package included, not only two backstage passes, but also the opportunity to hang out with the band after the show. My best friend, Daleka and I were so incredibly excited, but there was just one problem: we lived thousands of miles away, and we had no money, and no vehicle. Our parents were supportive of us going, but since we had no way of getting there, they obviously didn’t think it would be a problem, so maybe that wasn’t so genuine. Well, we sure showed them. Keep in mind that this was a time before cell phones and security camera facial recognition. Back in these days, if you were caught on a train without a ticket, the conductor would send a message to the next station, where a law enforcement officer would be waiting for you. Of course, if you had enough cash on you, you could just pay for a ticket without dealing with the authorities, but if you had the money in the first place, you probably wouldn’t have had to sneak on at all. We played it right, though. He came by to check tickets, and we pretended like we were looking for them, freaking out about having lost them. There were real tears, and everything. We put on a good show. Fortunately, we are on the express line, which meant the stops were few and far between, so it would be awhile before he could let us off. He took pity on us, and agreed not to involve the law, I kind of always felt bad about us manipulating him.
As far as we had gotten, we hadn’t gotten far enough. We were able to hitchhike a few more legs, but that soon got tiring, and people weren’t willing to take us very far without being paid. We needed better options, so we thought up a new approach. Daleka had brought with her a saxophone, hoping that the band’s saxophonist at the time, Lochana McGiddy would sign it for, oblivious to the fact that nothing writes well on brass. Neither of us actually played the saxophone, but I was a decent flautist, so I knew I could figure it out. Every city we went to, we would find parks with the most number of visitors, and perform for them. We realized our shtick was better off with humorous undertones, with me “purposely” playing poorly, and Daleka dancing ridiculously. Well, we made it to the concert on time, and it was great. Unfortunately, we never did get to meet the band, though, as there were some failures to communicate that were beyond our control. As it turns out, the radio people didn’t have everything in order. Then about ten years later, someone on the internet invented a website where you could post short videos. Someone else, in one of the cities that paid our way to Hudson uploaded some footage from our performance. In response to this, others realized they had seen the same act in their own cities, and uploaded our other performances. Somehow, the band members of Sunday Think About It at the time caught wind of this, and saw our morning show interview about it. Feeling bad for having failed to meet us those many years ago, they invited us to Austin; paid our way, and everything. We started a jam session, and well, granddaughter of mine, you can guess the rest. I spent the next twenty-four years as their saxophonist.

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