“I still want to hear some Bach,” said the guy at the bar.
The Bistro, in Hayward, California, is a friendly bar, with a group of regulars who are up for just about anything. I played from 7-11pm (an hour more than I was actually booked for; I thought I started at 7, and proceeded to do so, only to find that I was actually booked for 8-11). I played a little bit of everything: a lot of stuff from my five CD’s, plus a wide variety of covers that I have acquired over the years. I had played some Rolling Stones and Beatles, a bit of celtic music, and had just finished my rousing version of “The Witch Doctor” (by Alvin and the Chipmunks), when I got this request for Bach. So, Alvin and the Chipmunks was followed by the Prelude from the First Cello Suite.
That is my kind of gig.
A couple of friends who live nearby came out to cheer me on, and a good time was had by all. One of the things I can say about the regulars at The Bistro is that they are not shy about dropping money into the tip jar (a tip bucket, actually, and it got nicely full by the end of the evening). Several CD’s were sold as well, making for a very successful evening all around.
Two more favorite moments of mine: there was a young man, named Timmy, who was celebrating his birthday (quite possibly his 21st birthday; he certainly looked young enough). He was chatting with a couple of his friends when I launched into my rendition of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. He left the company of his friends to sit at the table directly in front of the stage, watching me like a hawk throughout the performance. At the end of the tune, he dropped some money into the tip bucket and gave me a bow with a bit of applause.
Then, at the end of the gig, a couple of gals were telling me how much they loved the last tune that I played (“Spinning On A Blue Planet”), and wanted to buy the Collage CD on the strength of that one tune.
We didn’t get to bed until well after midnight, but I was up for some time after that, reading in bed, and still energized from a thoroughly fun evening. It’s nights like this that remind me how much I love what I do for a living, and how fortunate I am to continue doing it.
“I’m not sure I trust that audience at The Bistro,” said Pony, at the end of the evening.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because they laughed at all of your jokes,” she answered.
My kind of place: The Bistro.