Tuesday, January 1, 2008

May I Play You a Song While I Clear That Plate Out of Your Way?

Was treated to New Year’s Eve in Birmingham and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. Thanks Sis and Bro-in-Law (and M&D)! Being a TSO neophyte, I didn't know what to expect from the show (I enjoy their holiday music, but I don’t listen to them on a regular basis). I was happily surprised with the variety of musical genres they performed. Lots of classical compositions, with some modern variations and…tons of hair…more tresses than you could shake a blowdryer at (on the women AND the men). The band gave an exceptionally energetic performance for two and a half hours, treated us with a New Year's Eve countdown, confetti and a balloon drop, and then proceeded to perform for at least another hour. The last couple of numbers were performed with surprise guest guitarist, Tommy Shaw from Styx.

And did I mention the freakin’ hair on the band? It was as if all the women had stepped out of an 80’s Whitesnake video and the men had stepped out of…an 80’s Whitesnake video. Damn, but there were some serious flowing locks on those guys. I’d like to know the total dollar amount that the band spends on hair product per year. While singer Tommy Farese introduced the band, he joked that one of the male backup singers looked like Fabio (Oh Mr. Farese, you kidder!! You, who sport a coiffure so extraordinary, that in profile, you resemble Little Richard. I was so terrified that your hair was going to catch fire during the show’s pyrotechnics, at times I had to look away). And when Tommy Shaw came out on stage, his fifty-five year old head of hair was just as grand and mane-like as it did in the 80’s AND in the 90’s when we saw him perform in the same concert hall; still looked like a Wella Balsam commercial-shiny, and with such bounce! I momentarily wished that I had worn my hair curly and teased, but I think that would’ve resulted in us having to pay for the seat behind us due to the extra room my hair would’ve taken up. Still, just to have been mistaken for a Trans-Siberian Orchestra band member would’ve made it all worth it.

On our way home this AM, we stopped into a Cracker Barrel for breakfast. While lamenting the long wait for food that we could’ve gotten back home, and the fact that I had just lost a bet to my brother-in-law that Cracker Barrel wouldn’t have the vintage candy Squirrel Nut Zippers, I noticed that the busboy looked sort of familiar. Now, I use the term busboy loosely here as he was, without a doubt, over the age of fifty. As I stared at him, the voice of Rob Thomas singing Smooth began to fill my head and then those blessed guitar riffs of a master…it hit me! The busboy looked exactly like Carlos Santana! After having the surprise of a guest guitarist at the TSO concert last night, I thought it only fitting that the busboy of Cracker Barrel turn out to be Carlos Santana. And I proceeded to have a short daydream about Carlos Santana moonlighting as a busboy in an Alabama Cracker Barrel and how cool it would be when I told my friends about how he played his 1970 hit Oye Como Va for us on the guitar while we ate our hard-scrambled eggs and turkey sausage patties. I came back to earth when I realized with a start that I now had some Squirrel Nut Zippers in my possession. Since I’m not a big fan of eating candy, I’ll just admire them in their package.

Listening to: Squirrel Nut Zippers’ Hot (no kidding)
Reading: Been Down So Long, It Looks Like Up To Me by Richard Fariña. & A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines.
Watching: Food Network’s biography on Rachael Ray.

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