Last Sunday I drove forty-five minutes to see Twin 1 perform in a choir. I was happy to do it, and I’d happily do it again; rest assured few are those for whom I would ever thusly inconvenience myself.
That evening I was settling into my chair with the paper when I got a text from my friend Owen: Still on for tonight?
My stars, I’d forgotten that we had tickets to a show! I was exhausted, for Twin 2 had kept me awake half the previous night with various nonsense. And the club is in Allston, which, from where I live, it’s pretty much easier to get to New Hampshire. Plus: Sunday night.
What follow, Gentle Reader, are musings on the show.
– Me and Owen met at a pub, the sort of place you’d go if you had to meet someone who had tickets to a show next door. He mentioned he hadn’t seen Johnny before, and I replied O! Yes You Did, because it was with me. Among the vivid memories of that night was the joy of respite from the rigors of two infants. Afterwards I looked it up and saw the show was two months before they were born. I’d say we both have reason for concern.
– Johnny was terrific. Like last time, he did a bunch of Smiths tunes. He turned up the lights at the end of “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”* and we all sang along. It was like Smiths church.
– The other day “How Soon Is Now” came on the car radio and I confessed to Twin 2 that it was, in fact, my jam. I’d been telling them – on the principle of Age Appropriate Truths – my jam was “Cake by the Ocean.”
– For all I’ve listened to the Smiths, I hadn’t noticed any funk until it was pointed out in this episode of The British Masters. After watching Johnny play – twice now – “How Soon Is Now,” I am here to tell you it’s funky.
– O! To be young and handsome and tour the world! The drummer was excellent and appeared to enjoy his job. The bassist sang and played bass at the same time, which I think is basically sorcery. And as for how you become Johnny Marr’s guitarist, well, that’s some next-level beats me.
– Johnny looked like a million bucks. I read somewhere he goes on ten mile runs every city he goes to. (I run around the block once a week; my appearance value is commensurate.) Also, he smiled a lot. I understand if you’re surprised I’d even notice, but I do endorse that sort of thing. And yes, he smiled at me.
– Last time he covered “I Fought the Law” à la Clash. (That one is, in Owen’s brother’s estimation, one of the best covers ever.) This time he performed a bit of Steve Miller’s “Fly Like an Eagle.” Apparently he too is a joker.
– Whenever you’re feeling accomplished, recall that Johnny quit the Smiths when he was 24. Look on his Works, ye Gentle Readers, and despair!
*This, in the men’s room upstairs at Charlie’s Kitchen, is my favorite graffito: There is a keg of Bud Light and it never goes out