fiction

Words and Music II

guitar fingersI had run into Allie once before; we were both at El Cafe on a Thursday night wanting to sit in with Tom’s Band. I remember there was a bunch of ego tripping nut cases on stage that particular evening, and we all kind of kept our distance, musically speaking. I didn’t think she’d remember the night, so I walked over to the booth and introduced myself again.

I know who you are, Rivers. You’re the hotshot bass player- songwriter guy who got his butt fired from that last band, the.. the.. what the frijole’s with that name anyway .. what was it called..?

Holy Smokes.

Holy Smokes, my butt, what a bunch of flakes.

We had a couple of good years.

I’m kidding you, Rivers. People say you’re somebody who actually gets the joke.

I like to think I get the joke, Allie. People say you’re working on a new gig, some kind of play or something?

People say all kinds of crap, Rivers. It’s just like in the song, ‘There’s no place to hide in a town this size’, yada yada. Yeah, I’m working on a project, and I sure could use a good bass player, Rivers, somebody with decent gear, somebody that plays a P-Bass with frets and carries a second guitar without. It would be ideal if he also liked to write and sing harmony parts, too, and I’m just saying, that if the dude is tall and handsome, it won’t hurt his case. So, Rivers: you know anybody like that?

We should talk.

I don’t want to talk, Rivers, I want to play music, and I’m not interested in that garbage you were doing with The Smokeless, organic labelor whatever you called it.

The Smokes, the late great Holy Smokes, Allie. It was just a band. I’m ready to let it go.

Let me ask you something, Rivers.

Okay.

You’re over fifty, right?

I’m seventy this year.

Holy moly, you look good for seventy.

My wife feeds me organic food.

You crack me up, Rivers. Listen, I’m doing a show in August, I think it’s the third Sunday, at this park in Corrales, and I need a bass player. Forget I said that, I don’t need a bass player, Rivers, I need you. I need somebody willing to rehearse until we get it right, and then play our hearts out and do a live recording and make some freaking art, Dude. You know what I’m saying? I need somebody to help me pick material and write sets that have a beginning middle and end and play them so well that the people all stand up and yell “Encore!” 

 

 

Harpeth Rivers is a New Mexico transplant from all over who has in the last year written songs about isosceles triangles, played bass guitar in a band, and declared himself "Retro-eclectic." His novel-in-progress is entitled Last Year.

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