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by Chuck RitenouR
I am 58 years old. My closest friend, Ralph is almost 62. I met Ralph in 1966 and we played in our first band together in 1968. Over the years, we have both travelled and performed all over. We have spent countless hours hunched over our instruments learning songs, writing songs and practicing. We have both lived one third of our lives in motel rooms waiting for those glorious hours we spent on stage.
There comes a time in everyone's life when they begin to notice their skills are deminishing. For a rock musician, its not only our playing ability, but our physical and mental condition. It takes a great sense of humor to continue performing as if age had no effect on us.
This is one such example. A few weeks ago, NODRAMA (our band) was performing at the Lucky Star, a live music venue located in Front Royal, Virginia, our home town. Our band is made up of four above average musicians and all four are vocalists. We don't use a set list for our performances. Instead, we each take turns picking the song we want to sing. We introduce the song to audience as well as alert each other what song is coming up next.
It was my turn to sing. I said, "We'd like to do the title track of our our new cd, Lovin' In Vain."
Ralph turns to me and says "but what song are we doing?"
By this time Paul, our other guitarist and Big Ed our drummer are cracking up. So I said over the microphone for everyone to hear, " well Ralph, we're gonna do the title track of our new cd."
Ralph has a deer in the headlights look on his face and says " ok. don't tell what song we're going to do." The audience is now laughing and Paul and Ed are in tears.
I picked up one the the cds which were on a small table by my amplifier and held it up for everyone to see. "This is our new cd of original music entitled Lovin' In Vain. If you'd like to purchase one check with us during our break." Then I turned to Ralph and asked , " hey Ralph, what's the first song on our new cd?'
Ralph smiled and said, " Lovin' In Vain."
I looked out at the audience who had become caught up in this little drama and said, "let's play that one!"
You can't make this kind of stuff up.