I Was There

talking heads
Rancho Relaxo, Thursday night, 10pm (ish). I’m suppose to play but there’s only 8 people, 5 are the band that plays after me.

There is a turntable by the soundboard and they are playing something horrible by Black Sabbath. For me that would be anything by Black Sabbath. I remember as metal emerged in the 70s how I dismissed it. I still don’t have any love there.

I understand these young guys find it amazing and ironic. That’s how I might describe my love of Burt Bacharach or maybe they just shouldn’t be compared.

Promoter guy tells me we’ll wait 10 minutes before you start. I think every promoter in my life has always said that to me.  I ask the sound-man if I could change the vinyl? I look through and pick out three things. Jackie Wilson, Smokey Robinson and  77 by Talking Heads. I go to the bar.

bartender: (sings) here comes a clue

me: (sings) if you are really smart you’ll know what to do

bartender smiles realizing we both know the early Talking Heads.

me: he’s a great artist.

bartender: yes. the first 5 albums are an amazing run.

me: the 5th one would be the live record?

bartender: nope speaking in tongues. 1rst is 77, 2cnd more songs about buildings and food, 3rd remain in light, 4th fear of music-

me: no. fear of music is the third.

bartender: no remain in light is the third one

me: no. sorry. fear of music

bartender: uh uh remain in light.

me: it was 1979, fear of music.

bartender indifferently sways head to say no.

me: dude i was there.

bartender: (pauses and looks at the ceiling doing a math equation) oh right! fear of music was the third one.


  1. I’d credit The Talking Heads’ first record for getting me out of writing folk template song after folk template song. Brilliant stuff!


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