Friday, December 19, 2008

Name Dropping

I never see celebrities, of any kind, anywhere, but...

Last Saturday night my girlfriend and I were having dinner at Carmen's Burger Bar in Santa Rosa when she mentioned that a guy who had just come in and was joining the party at the table over my right shoulder looked like a professional musician. Not any particular professional musician that she recognized, but he just had that look. At first glance I saw only the back of a smallish man dressed in fancy denim with long curly hair. With my second glance I caught his profile and told her, "oh, that's Jack Blades." We didn't pester him, but my girlfriend told me that he seemed to be regaling his table with rock star stories throughout their meal. How cool would that be, to spend an evening with a rock star listening to tales of the studio and road?

Last night I went to the Palette Art Cafe in Healdsburg, a small place that seats about 40, to listen to the Khalil Shaheed Quartet. Toward the end of his first set, Shaheed introduced the thin young man sitting in front as Julian Lage, who joined Shaheed for the second set. I'd seen Lage perform a couple of times before, both solo and with Gary Burton, and was kind of indifferent to him. I could see that he was an excellent guitarist, but was unmoved by how and what he played. Last night, playing with that band, though, I thought he really shined.

Now I can go back to another 49 years without seeing any celebrities.
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