WIDE SPREAD PANICand the head dance

Good Morning Plucky People,

I had an experience this weekend that I must share, since it might be relevant to some of you that also suffer from “I know just about everything I need to know” syndrome. I like what I like and I’m not interested in opening my mind to discover something new and fresh seems to have been my motto of late. I’m not sure how it happened, but I suspect it’s been a gradual escalation the older I get.

As many of you know, I’m a regular at Dewey’s (I think that’s a euphemism for a drunk). Over a month ago I committed to attend a concert. I was invited by one of the bartenders who swore up and down that if I liked the blues (musically that is) then I’d certainly love this group. Given the 20 years between our ages, I was skeptical at best. However, another patron my age seemed familiar with the group and validated what the young bartender was saying. So I paid my $40.

As I sat on the “grassy knoll” suffering through the last of the preliminary acts in hot and humid conditions, I second-guessed my decision to attend. I could have been playing golf, what was I thinking? About then, the act ended. A breeze kicked in, and threatening clouds engulfed the Sun. Everything cooled down and you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief throughout the venue. So I decided to stay. I’m so glad I kept patient, because I was rewarded with one of the best, if not the best concert I’ve ever attended.

Their musical style in an eclectic assortment of R&B, Reggae, Blues, Rock, and New Age combined to create a unique sound. It’s sort of like Bo Diddley meets Beethoven. They take peyote, collaborate on a musical style, and go on the road. They’re masters at integrating totally different “movements” within one song. I was very impressed by the percussion solos. Best I’ve ever heard, as they made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. The melodic guitar riffs juxtaposed (that was for you Poo) with each other could have stood up on their own as a single song. Instead they were blended to create shear joy for the listener.

It was also the first time I went to a concert and a dance broke out. Not the traditional sort of dance I’m used to, rather each individual was standing in place doing his or her own unique little ditty. There was the head roll in unison with the knee bend. One of my personal favorites was ass shaking following the lead of the shoulders. Given I was standing on a 45 degree slope; I picked my style of groovin’ carefully. The closest I can describe it is a stationary boog-a-loo, with a lot of air guitar. You had to be careful (one of the hazards of getting old) about the level of consumption. Accoutrements suitable for the occasion were of every kind and origin; it was freely shared. Gravity will easily take over on a 45-degree slope. It wouldn’t take much to send you tumbling 30 to 50 feet into a retaining wall. During the several hours there I witnessed two such acts of stupidity. One young man and one young woman very excited by the music lost their respective footing and started tumbling. Unfortunately, the young woman rolled into me on her way to the retaining wall. This caused my beer to go flying (at $7 per glass it’s tragic) into the group in front of me giving a young couple a golden shower via Adolph Coors. I must say this was the worst behavior I witnessed the entire day. Everyone else I encountered was very happy as the pungent aroma of burning herb wafted in and out of the assembled groupings that dotted the “grassy knoll”.

If you get a chance to see “Wide Spread Panic” you should go out of your way to see them. I know I will.

I’d like to invite the two or three of you reading this tripe to the Blue Creek Bar’s grand opening tonight. Southeast corner of Belleview and Quebec! Party at my place afterwords…jeez.


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