Night at the Office
Posted by keithosaunders on January 18, 2010
Last night’s gig was an affair at Lincoln Center playing for a group of Cornell University alums at their annual gala. My criteria for a successful gig begins and ends with parking. After securing a spot on 70th street I realized that I was about to have the sickest fuckin’ gig ever. Why did I drive into Manhattan when a subway ride would have saved time, as well as facilitated a drunken end to the evening at Smalls? I had to bring my keyboard. You would have thought that a spare piano could have been located at Alice Tully Hall but I guess they were all in the shop.
It was a good band — good musicians, nice guys, and very easy-going. We were doing our thing as only professionals of our caliber can: A little Gershwin, a little Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin…you get the picture. People were enjoying the music, dancing, drinking, and conversing, until the band leader called Take the A Train. During the middle of the song this old Cornell guy sidled up and began lecturing me on why “A Train” was a terrible dance number. According to him the song had no beat and it was putting a damper on the party. Being an Ivy Leaguer you can imagine what a strong connection to rhythm this man must possess. Indeed, I was lucky to receive his pearls of wisdom, even if they did interfere with my concentration, since we were, in fact, in the MIDDLE OF THE GODDAMN SONG.
Can you imagine if I had the gall to show up at the Cornell beat-meister’s investment banking office and began doling out advice on CDOs and IPOs? What if I barged into his office and interrupted his conference call to suggest a walk-through in fixed income offerings? Something tells me he would not be amused.
But I’m a pro. I smiled, nodded, and asked him what he would like to hear. He requested “Manhattan,” which we obliged with a businessman’s-bouncy two-beat. He was as happy as a pig in shit. It made his night, the old bastard. In his mind he had effected positive change, much like Obama promised us. But that’s for another post.