This is the time of year I would be getting ready to head up to my old hometown, Meriden, Ct and do a show.
Every couple of years I have been going up and playing with the musicians I grew up with. Guitars would be pulled out from under beds and callouses would be reformed on fingertips. Always a wonderful reason for all of us to stay in touch and eat steamed cheeseburgers together.
One year Georgia and I did a show together up there that was a blast. Usually the shows would be an excuse to get old bands back together to relearn Beatle songs. The audiences were always about 90% blood relations. We always rent the ballroom at the local hotel and set up a stage and a dance floor and off we would go.
We do them in the Fall, timed so that I would get to see some of the autumn splendor. Driving up to the top of West Peak and climbing Castle Craig would give me the view of my old city that I needed to remind me what’s important. (Spoiler alert: Not having vertigo as you are climbing Castle Craig is what’s important.)
West Peak is where Mike and John and I would go to sit, sheltered from the wind, and look out over the city and dream our silly little dreams that mostly revolved around none of us staying in Meriden.
Don’t get me wrong. Meriden was a terrific place to grow up. I could walk to school. I could even walk home if I wanted to have lunch at home during grade school. GRADE SCHOOL!! That’s crazy.
In High School I walked to and from school with a baritone horn case in alternating hands. To this day both my arms are five inches longer than they should be for a man my size.
I would walk from school (junior and senior high) all the way downtown to the YMCA where Mike and I would work the desk on the kid’s side. Mostly the two of us would play ping pong for hours at a time. I would walk home in the dark. No worries. I took judo for seven years. No one was gonna mess with me. I was a badass.
This year would have been the year we did a show. Because of the pandemic it was not to be. This makes me very sad. I hope everyone back in Meriden knows how much the shows mean to me and how much I wish I could come up and play.
So to Kevin, Mike S, Robbie, Markie, Gary H, Gary K, Tommy, Dean, Mike V, Bruce…and all the rest of you old thugs (and your respective lovely thug spouses)…I can’t even tell you to go to Lido’s and have a slice on me…or go to Les’ and get a cone. (At least Les’ is still there!!!!!).
Keep your masks on. Stay safe. Next Fall we’ll think of a silly name for the band and an even sillier one for the event and we will all get up on stage together and rock.
Then we’ll all head for the Middletown Diner.