Last Friday night Georgia and I were onstage, singing at the famous Bluebird Café. The audience was quiet and attentive.
Both of them.
This was the Bluebird’s first virtual show…a test run, as it were. Georgia and I have been doing virtual shows on a platform called Stageit every Wednesday night ever since the quarantine hit. We know how it works and we shared our knowledge with the Bluebird to try to help them get up and running.
It was strange to be there playing to an empty house but it was empowering too. It felt like we were reclaiming a bit of our industry, fifty minutes at a time.
That night also made us both think about our history at the club and remember how much it means to us. I have some amazing memories from my years of playing there. Allow me to share a few:
The Bluebird is where I was performing a showcase and my background singer Faith got a record deal instead of me. That’s okay. She was prettier.
I played in the round with amazing artists like Michael McDonald, Carole King, Kenny Loggins, John Sabastian, Richard Marx, Olivia Newton John…the list goes on and on.
We played birthday pajama parties there. We had a band that included hit songwriters Vince Melamed, Jim Photoglo and Bob DiPiero and we were called Mel DiBurpho and every spring we would celebrate our collective birthdays by having a pajama party at the Bluebird. The audience wore pajamas too and it was a blast.
We would do crazy things. We’d set an alarm and when it went off we would take our break…even if it were in the middle of a song.
We would order pizzas for the whole club and auction off autographed slices (the crust).
One year I bought two huge teddy bears and sliced open their stomachs so I could slip my feet into them and wear them all night as slippers.
Most of my friends are Bluebird friends. I met them there or played with them there or saw them there and went up after the show and introduced myself and begged them to be my friend.
Friday night we felt like we were helping to nurse the club back to health, in a small way. We were very careful and health conscious. I hope they do more of these shows. Just seeing the neon bluebird lit up behind the stage made me feel a little better about the world.
We didn’t order pizza but if we had… we could have gotten away with a small.