Life is funny, ya know? Mine sure is. Let me show you what I mean...
I'm in NYC with Blue Sky Riders. We've just finished our set at City Winery, opening for Kenny. I go backstage, change my clothes, pack up for tomorrow's T.V. show performances and head back into the audience to watch the rest of Kenny's show.
Damn. I forgot how good he is. I'm so used to being in this band where we discuss the next step; the next song; the next performance... Since we are our own record label, we're always thinking about what needs to get accomplished when and where. If we're not writing or recording, we're in business mode a lot when we're together ... Gary, Kenny and I each have different ways of doing things, so it's not always easy, but after everyone says their piece, we collectively and respectfully reach a decision.
What a lot of people don't know about Kenny is that when it comes to fashion, he also has an amazing eye. Case in point: he was passing a second-hand store in Santa Barbara when he stopped and saw a dress in the window that he thought would be perfect for me. This was in our first month of being a band and we were trying to figure out what our visual image should be. He walked in, bought it and sent it to me in the mail. "Georgia, I think this could be a really good look for you."
"This dress?" I said, when I opened it. It was cool but didn't quite seem like me. He said "Wait." A week later, I got an 7" wide leather belt in the mail, a leather jacket and long 'mesh' gloves.
Okay. Now it was me. Or at least what I would want to look like if I was a ROCK STAR or something. That dress instantly became the cornerstone for our band "look."
Kenny has great ideas but I have ideas of my own and sometimes I get a little stubborn about it. I don't always follow his advice. For example: Today I texted him a picture of some stage boots I was thinking of buying and asked him what he thought. He texts me back, saying "Not crazy about them. They're kind of big and well, stiff."
Not crazy about them? They're terrific! So I promptly pull out my credit card and spend a small fortune on them. I wore them tonight and while we were waiting in the wings to go on, I said "C'mon, Kenny... these boots are great, right?" To which he gives me a sweet, apologetic smile and says "Sorry... but you can wear what you want! It's just my opinion."
We go on stage and while I love to dance around during the show, to my horror, I discover that I can barely move. The boots are too tall, too klunky and I am completely immobilized by them. They cut into the back of my knees and I find myself standing in one place on stage because it's less painful than moving around dancing. Dang it. He was right again!!!
My stubborn streak was expensive. And non-refundable.
So... back to my story.
I'm sitting there watching Kenny perform and he's blowing me away with every song. His voice, his performance... I forget I'm watching my bandmate and friend. Then, I remember: (hand slapping forehead) I'm in a band with a frigging rock star! How did this happen?
I watch how he handles his audience. How he gets them so riled up that by the crescendo of the song, they jump up and start dancing with their arms up in the air, not caring what anyone thinks. I watch how he sings with complete abandon, directing the band with the slightest wave of his hand. And then the thought occurs to me: "I should listen to this man more often. He kind'a knows some stuff."
To further illustrate the beautiful strangeness that has become my life, last month I heard a song on the radio that made me stop my car and pull over. It was the Prime Country satellite radio station and the lyrics were so compelling that it suddenly became my mission to Google or Wikipedia the song. I had to find out who wrote it so I could track him or her down and BEG them to write with me. Then my life would be complete.
I pull over and stop the car. I type in the name of the song on my IPhone. I pray that the writer lives in Nashville so I can pull any strings I can to get an introduction and maybe have the honor of sitting in the same room with that person.
I google it and here's what comes up:
"Written by Gary Burr."
Of course it was.
Two weeks later, same story, different song.
"Written by Gary Burr."
So I sit there stunned that not only am I in a band with this guy, but I also just married him three months ago.
It is a strange life, indeed!
Follow Georgia Middleman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@gmiddleman