Living the Dream

June 17, 2007

The older I get, the less gladly I suffer the ritual of the traveling musician. Bad food, strange beds, 13 hr bus rides, not enough sleep, let alone the gauntlet that is any airport in this post 9/11 world. It can take it's toll on mind and body.

So yesterday, we're hanging around having a bite to eat at the catering tent before the show at the Kansas City Jazz Fest. Swapping a few stories and being serenaded by Javon Jackson's fine group (featuring Dr. Lonnie Smith on B-3 AND special guest Les Mc Cann) rocking the house with Les' famous song "Compared to What" (that song is as timely now as when it was written), and it hits me. We're living the dream...We get to play with, and hear some of the finest musicians on the planet on a regular basis...With my backstage pass, I can walk right up on the stage and see and hear my heros and friends up close in a manner that any fan would love to be able to do.

And then it got better.

I'm up there on the bandstand with George Benson and Al Jarreau - I look offstage and see two of my all time keyboard heros - Lonnie Smith and Les Mc Cann - giving ME the thumbs up after a piano solo on "Everything Must Change" . Makes one forget all about the dues paid traveling to the gig.