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Wednesday, January 21, 2004

"…up on the stage"

There's an old story about a man who has been working in the circus for 30 years in the same job; picking up the crap behind the elephants. When asked why, after all these years, he hadn't gone looking for more enjoyable work. The grizzled laborer answers, "What, and give up show biz?!"

Those of you who knew me in my previous life may be aware of my 17-year music career in New York City. Actually, ‘career’ is maybe too strong a word, since music wasn’t my primary source of income. During all those years, I played trombone in a club date* band an average of 3 times a week, so the bandstand became for me what a poker club or a bowling league might be for other folks. The fact that I got paid to hang out and jam with my buddies was a bonus, and it helped take some of the sting out of my frequent absence on the home front. When it was time for me to 'give up show biz...I was heartbroken.

The reason I mention this now, is that, just like in the old Bob Seger song ‘Turn the Page’, I’m about to go “…playin’ the star again.” You see, a bunch of musician friends from my old band decided to come to Israel for a couple of week’s vacation. When they arrived, a local friend of mine (who is also an ex-pat musician) turned them on to an opportunity to have some fun while, at the same time, giving a wonderful gift to a complete stranger. It seems that this local friend knows of a family making a Bar Mitzvah for their son this evening. They hired a keyboard player to provide music for the event, but as a surprise we are crashing the party with a full band!

I didn’t realize how much I missed the music-making, as well as the whole bandstand ‘hang’, until this morning. As I tossed my horn and mic stand into the car before leaving for the office, I got a tremendous time-travel rush from the comfortable familiarity of this little pre-gig ritual. A part of my brain that had been hibernating for the past 6 months suddenly woke up ravenous, and has been 'jonesing' all morning for its musical fix. I can’t wait!

I have no desire to get into the music business here (yet, anyway), but I realize now that I need to arrange some sort of regular creative outlet for myself. Maybe a weekly duet / chamber rehearsal…or perhaps a monthly jam session with some local jazz players… I don’t know. However, I do know I need something! This must be what it feels like to be a junkie or an alcoholic - never fully getting that craving out of your system, and just barely keeping the beast at bay.

“Hi, I’m David…and I’m a musician.”

[all together now] “HI, DAVID!”

* A Club Date band is an ensemble that performs at an event, (corporate party, wedding, bar mitzvah, dinner dance, etc.), and can play a wide range of music, including Classical, R&B, Jazz, Top 40, Hassidic, Classic Rock, etc. Every gig is different, and presents a unique combination of musical requests / requirements.

Posted by David Bogner on January 21, 2004 | Permalink

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I am suprised it took this long to realize that playing was that big a part of your life.

Posted by: dave | Jan 21, 2004 7:44:30 PM

I have a big nose...yet I rarely, if ever, notice it. Go figure.

Posted by: David Bogner | Jan 22, 2004 12:24:43 AM

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