May 3, 2018

I usually don’t dream much about things that have happened in my past. Typically, they’re always kind of disjointed things, like something produced by some early 20th century impressionist artist zonked out of his mind, just flinging paint at a canvas off his fingers. That is, unless I’m dreaming of work and the same crap I deal with twelve hours a day, or the rare golf dream where I’m wedged in between trees and walls and unable to take a full swing with my club.

They say lots of golfers have this kind of dream, researchers don’t know why. But I digress…

Last night I had a dream where I relived one of the best moments of my life. It was back in late 1977 when our band Top Priority was playing a Christmas party at some Elks or VFW hall. It was near the end of our tether as a band, but for this occasion we had brought along my young cousin Gregg to man the lights, and our keyboard player “Keys” Palma had enlisted his brother and a friend of his to augment me on my violin-shaped Hofner knock-off, my brother Mark on drums, “Keys” on his Sun City electric keyboard, and our guitarist “The Cat” with horns in the form of saxophone and trumpet. I remember we played a very bluesy “White Christmas” that (at least to my ears) was one of the coolest things we’d ever done.

In my dream, we capped our performance off with our rendition of this unreleased, horn-backed arrangement of the Beach Boys’ “Back Home”, a song from their 15 Big Ones album the year before. In my dream we were in someone’s cellar working out the arrangement (even though there was no way we could have known about it at the time, technology being what it was), then in the next frame, our band on stage bathed in the colors of Gregg toggling switches on our home-made light show, me handling a gruff lead, the audience clapping along, the band groovin’ in such a way only someone who has ever experienced such a thing could understand – locked in and one with the audience, producing a high unlike any other, a high better than sex, a high better than the greatest high anyone could ever experience.

And then it was over. I woke up, walked out onto the back patio where the last chilly night of the spring gave the tiles under my feet a chilly, almost winter-like feeling. A single bird was chirping in a faraway tree, the stars a carpet of twinkling lights above me. The dream reminded me of a similar occasion two years later, before I gave it all up, with another band playing some dance at Essex Agricultural College, and me handling the lead on a horn-drenched version of this old Beatles tune. I remember at the time thinking we sounded like gods, someone told us later they thought we sucked and one of the worst bands they’d ever heard. But who cares? It’s the memory of it that remains.

I looked at the time, two hours from waking and what would eventually turn out to be five hours of crisis calls in a row, calls that would give me a migraine and cause my injured back to ache back up again.

But for a moment, it was nice to be away.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 23:27 | Comments (0)
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