Unfiltered Story #18606

Unfiltered | February 24, 2017

Some years back I played bass in a band that did oldies and blues. I also played tenor sax, but you just can’t do without a bass player. Fortunately my then 13 year old son was proving to be quite the accomplished bass player and he could play about half the band’s repertoire. He was thrilled to get to play with the big boys. Then he got to join us at one of our regular gigs at a local VFW hall.

There’s one way you can get in a bar when you’re under 21 and that’s to be on the job for any reason. (I had one friend who was a professional drummer at age 10 and got in strip clubs that way.) Since my son was paid for playing with us, he was in.

Thus my son got to experience a bar full of drunks. Not that this was terrible, mind you. Everyone there seemed to be pleased. He had a bemused smile while being kindly addressed by one drunk veteran who was slurring his words and saying things like, “it’s so good to see a clean cut young man playing the great old tunes” and telling him what a great future he had and so on.

So here’s to all you fun old vets who made my son’s band experience such a good one.

Closing note: The lead guitarist for our band was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The VFW had a sort of memorial service for him while he was still alive. It was touching to see the hall packed to the walls with thousands of people wishing him goodbye.