We were a pally bunch, tramping the streets of Peterborough, New Hampshire, yapping as we went. I think the magnificent Thulani Davis was there, the great Karl Ciesluk, David Barnes of “Barnztuff” fame, and some others. We were thirsty, and there was a place I’d heard a lot about and never seen.
When we went through the doorway, I saw a small stage on the other side of the room. No one was on it. Some skinny guy behind the bar spotted me with my guitar slung over my shoulder. I always had it with me in those days. After all, you are what you carry. Then the bar guy grabbed up a short stool, walked over to me, and put it in my hand. “Buy you a beer,” he said, giving me the once over. “Another when you’re done.” I touched the brim of my hat.
So, I figure, there I was, glue on my fingers, not knowing what I was going to play, a stranger in a stranger land where loons totter in spilt moonlight and martinets are heard but rarely seen, their fluttering like breaths and whispers into raven ears. I had some friends in the crowd. That was smart. But all I could think, all I could really think, looking out blind from the light in my eyes, was man, man-oh-man, they oughta see this Jewboy fireman when he gets the boiler hot.
Might be a little sloppy, but I can be that way. Looks like I almost forgot my own words, too. What the hell, sometimes I just make them up as I go along anyway. And I didn’t know April Bacon was sitting in the audience, recording it with her cellphone. Likely, it wouldn’t have changed anything.
Still, and though I wrote it a while ago, it’s a good song.