Wednesday, November 12, 2008

All I Wanna Do Is Rock

“I’m a foot without a sock without you.”


I wake up with the lyric running through my head. It makes me laugh. That’s something. I’m having a crappy month and not laughing much.


I sit down at my computer. It’s around 6:30 in the morning and I need to kill some time until it’s light enough out to hike. The first thing I see is the headline in my newsfeed: Nic Harcourt to leave KCRW.


Nic has been part of my musical life for years now. He’s an amazing taste maker responsible for breaking countless of my favorite bands. He’s part of my day and I will miss him. Now I think how much I would like to tell him that I’ll miss him and thank him for the difference he’s made for me. Without a personal connection to him enabling me to do so, I shut my laptop and go to school.


I get to my class and as my students are setting up it pops back in my head; “I’m a foot without a sock without you,” I sing. My girls laugh at me. They didn’t know the song. I often have to educate them in more ways than one. The band Travis, I explain, is an amazingly talented group of Scots. They make lovely, lush tunes and have been one of my favorites ever since I saw them blow Oasis off the stage in 2001 when I’d never heard of them. That’s why the song is in my head; they’re playing tonight and I can’t go because ironically I’m managing a music event at the British Consulate.


Aside from all the shows I've seen, I have a personal history with the band. I’d been on staff at KCRW’s last A Sounds Eclectic Evening and had had the good fortune to be assigned to take care of Travis. I'd gleefully snuck them cakes from the VIP kitchen and typed up their set list for them. I ended up hanging out with them after the show and was impressed by how down to earth they were – how tickled and grateful they seem by the fact they get to be rock stars. I’d struck up a friendship with the band’s manager and we kept in touch. A few months later, they were due at Coachella and the manager couldn’t lay hands on a tour bus. I helped them out through my assistant mafia and then got to hang out with the band again out there in the desert. To my delight they’d all remembered me: the cakes girl.


The music event at the Consulate is in full swing when my boyfriend introduces me to a friend of Travis’ agent. He’s headed over to the Travis show and has a plus one. I look around, am I really basically done with my party duties? I bolt out the door before anyone can change their minds. I feel like Cinderella rushing to the ball.


We walk into the small, packed Troubador and despite the fact that the set is already well underway, we end up with a prime spot in the VIP section. The boys rip into an old song. “I’m a foot without a sock without you,” Fran growls. I can’t help but laugh. Did my subconscious already know about this when I woke up?


The set is wonderful and energetic as always. I look to my right and realize I’m standing in arms’ length from Nic Harcourt. Fran gives him a shout-out for all the great work he’s done for good music, the crowd cheers and chants “Nic! Nic! Nic!” Later, I touch Nic’s shoulder and tell him I’ll miss him and thank him. He smiles. I think he’s genuinely touched by all the sentiment for him.


The show ends and my new friend asks if I want to go say hi to the band. Hmmm, let me think about that… A short while later, we’re in the green room and I’m thrilled. If they don’t actually remember me, the band does a great job of faking it. I reach to shake hands and Dougie says “we’re past that by now!” and grabs me for a hug. He tells me all about his new eight-month old and I tell him about my friend’s two-week old. Fran hugs me and we chat about the possibility of the boys playing Coachella again this year. I wish them luck as we leave and tell them I’ll see them in the desert this spring.


It’s after 1 in the morning as I crawl back into bed. I struggle to calm my thoughts enough to sleep, thankful for the good fortune of my day. Sometimes a song about a sock is all it takes to restore my faith in life and the Universe.


"If this was any other day,

I'd turn and walk the other way,

but today

I'll stay

OK"

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