in Music

The joint was jumping and the band began to swing

“You shoulda heard those knocked-out jailbirds sing, let’s rock!” I shook the electric guitar and laid down power chords. “Everybawwdy, let’s rock! Everybawwdy in the whole cell blawk! They was dancin’ to the jail! house! rock!”

I finished the chorus and stopped abruptly. George Furth sat, grinning thinly before me. He’s seventy-three years old, an elfin mug laced with a drizzle of white hair. A white monogrammed scarf hangs loosely around his black turtleneck. I idly wonder why he’s wearing a scarf on a warm sunny day.

“Well, we got another Elvis here,” says George. I smile politely.

Doug Katsaros sits down at the piano and starts banging out the Eagles. I grab an edge of the piano and hang on. “On a dark desert highway!” I scream. “Cool wind in my hair! Warm smell of colitas…”

George pounds the table. “I can’t hear him! Doug, play quieter!”

“What?” shouts Doug.

QUIETER!” screams George.

“Sorry,” says Doug.

I try again. “Welcome to the Hotel Caaalifornia! Such a lovely place, such a lovely place…”

We peter out at the end of the chorus. Again, George’s nondescript smirk. “Your mother must be proud of you.”

I think. “She’s my mom. She doesn’t have a choice.” The audition’s over, somehow.

So I’m getting off Adam’s Cardinal when the call comes. George is writing, Doug is musicking, and they want me to play and sing it. The showcase is called “The End” and it goes up at the end of May. They want to tour the show.

These guys all had their turn on Broadway, and they want to get back to where they once belonged.

First rehearsal was last night. We’re still working out the arrangements, but Doug has me singing (four songs, one solo), playing bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and — dear sweet God — the banjo. Are banjos legal on Broadway?

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