2. (1977) Wedding rehearsal dinner, my friend Tom and I pick up two acoustic guitars and played Crosby, Stills and Nash's "Teach Your Children." My Mom is overwhelmed and runs out of the house crying.
3. (1979?) The Night Owl coffeehouse, Muhlenburg College campus. My band, Voyager, my brother Jim, friend Bobby and me were playing an acoustic set and another band was to follow us. Halfway through our show, the other band had taken off and we played the entire night. Apparently they were intimidated.
4. (1979-1990s) Lots of gigs, none are real highlights, our band is good but not always outstanding. One particular evening though, we were asked to play a benefit for the Athletic Club, it's a children midget football league so why not. So there we are playing outside and the wind is blowing our hair, we look like real rock stars. I notice my Mom and Dad standing a little distance away and they're watching us. Someone walks over to my Dad and asks what he's doing there, he points toward the stage and I can read his lips, "My boys are playing up there." Very cool.
5. (1990s) A few solo gigs. Open mics. Two in particular, at the Library, an evening of words and music. I played a song I had written about my Dad and a couple people told me they cried. Next evening of words and music I played a song about a child custody case and had to stop halfway through the song because I couldn't go on. I started over and got through the song. As I walked back to my table, I noticed that half the audience was crying. One man called me over to his table and said, "I don't know what your faith is like, but I go to a seminary in Virgina, there will be people praying for you." Another audience member, a published poetess came over to me and said I have a delicate touch on the guitar. It was a very touching evening.
6. (1997) Solo gigs at Village Pastimes Emporium, my friend Brittany gives me a rebuilt classical guitar for my birthday. She says, "This is to replace the one your ex-wife smashed." For a day or two I tried to get in touch with my former bandmates and invite them. My brother, Jim said he would come and he'd get in touch with Bobby. My brother shows up and tells me he didn't get in touch with Bobby. I was disappointed but hey, the show must go on. So I open the show and some of the other performers play a few tunes. Suddenly, Bobby walks through the door. I get up to play another set and Brittany gets up and plays bass, my brother sings and Bobby plays guitar and sings. I played guitar and sang, we did my most well known song and we tear the roof off the place. My band with the added presence of Brittany playing my song, "Where Do I Go To Surrender." I even saw the owner of the Emporium in the back of the room singing along.
7. (2004) A memory lapse so we fast forward to the Vermont Renaissance Faire. A totally new band. Our little trio is made up of Jill, Dave and me. We wrote this song at a rehearsal, my wife and Dave's wife helped out with lyrics. We call the song, "The Battered Mug." It's named after a Pub on my street. We must have played the song a million times at the Faire over the four days we were there. Our final day at Vermont and they ask us to play music for the Queen's final court. By this time every minstrel at the Faire learned the song. So here we are a trio with so many other minstrels joining us that we have eleven players on this song. I am standing in the middle just listening and really enjoying the sound of all the instruments when I realize, hey, I have to sing. We played the shit out of that song. Amazing.
8. (2004) Still the Renaissance Faire band. Okay, the year is almost over. Jill has quit the band and we find Maria through the magic of live journal. Maria comes to my house from Syracuse, New York. Dave come up from Delaware and we rehearse for about 2 or 3 hours. My friend Lis calls and tells me there is an open mic about five blocks from my house. I talk the band into giving it a shot. We were so hot, we blew them away. We were good, we were funny and they laughed in all the right places. Success, now let's see if we can keep this band together.