|This is the good part.....
We went back stage and walked into a room full of people,
John was not out yet so we just kind of looked at each other in anticipation
for a few moments.
John came in from a side door and scanned the room and gave
acknowledging nods and hello's to everyone...and looked at me with a
little grin, "Hi Reeda"... (god that felt good, here was
the sweet icing on the cake that wanted to fall)
I walked over and hugged
him... and the lump in my throat
sort of choked me and as I thanked him for finally singing that
song... "Wish I had been there to hear it" Oh, man, he looked let down, I
have bugged him every chance I ever had to talk to him about singing
some of his old "will sound like new" ones" ... This is one
time that I wished I had really had an extra plus Depends... and I
missed it. "Don't worry, if there is a bootleg made of this I will
hunt it down...I will hear it...tonight was hell night"
"I am sure you will, Reeda...(chuckle chuckle
chuckle), if anybody can find something on me it
would be you" (he says it like he knows something, has he
been checking on me as much as I check on him?)
"But John I have discovered another song...remember, that
"Dancing on the Wall" one?
yeah," he beams that incurable beam of his.
"Do you remember what
guitar you wrote it on?"
"Yeah, me and a bunch of German musicians
were together one night"...
"Uh, huh, do you remember what guitar
inspired you to do it?"
--and immediately, "Yeah, that was Goodman's guitar and I" and he beams again,
"I can't remember all the the words to it"
"Hahaha, you are gonna love
me now" I blurt it and run to my
purse and grab the envelope full of letters from everyone to him... and
I whip out the lyrics, "Here you go, I'm not sure if these are totally
right, because it is so 'Let's Talk Dirty Hawaiian' with your made
up words - maybe they are or aren't...but they are German sounding"
He picks up the paper and he just grins, like he's found an old friend
or is remembering the night he played Goodman's guitar or hell, I don't
know ... he just looks pleased and I want to burst.
"Is this for
Of course it is... and I promise to "hold it" if
you should ever come back to Iowa (please not Ames) again and decide to sing it.
"It's a deal, says he"
He hasn't been in the Shrine since I
put the misheard lyrics up and I printed them all out for him and told
him that if ever wanted to play some more on "Happy Enchilada"
he will get a kick out these... He loved it, sounded really curious
about how people are thinking that they are hearing his songs. More
beaming...he is just so cool, I just want to grab him and say
"Please live forever and let everybody have this" (wayyy too
corny so I didn't.)
We kind of went through the stuff for a minute and I told him what
was what... and I had this old poster that this man in Minnesota sent me and showed it to him.
"Do you have this one?"
don't think so, I have a lot of stuff, but I don't think I have this
"Then this one is yours...it's the good one too, it
is for you from this guy in Minnesota - Terry Fish, who will be at the concert tomorrow night."
I wrote the Terry's name down on the poster tube and told him that he might
get a chance to thank him in person. Terry is kind of shy and just
a cool guy,
but like a lot of them men who like Prine, has him up on a pedestal.
It was cool, I hope they get to meet.
John walked around the room, and everyone is looking
anxiously tingly, taking
he is obliging at every turn, genuinely thankful, interested in each and
every person, and he is just beaming. I just love to watch this...he can
make everyone in the room feel so full of heart by just being in it.
It sort of quiets down, and I'm thinking, Oh shoot, it would be cool if he signed my shirt... and I head to the other side of the room and catch his eye to see if he is looking for the next person to come up to him. (this *is* serious bragging and I don't want you all to look at this way, I really want to share how dang excited I am. I really want you to get some sort of charge out of this too...not think that I'm thinking I'm some-body- If you never got to meet him, then put yourself in my shoes for the good parts and we'll take this ride together)
He catches my eye and plops down in a chair and pats the seat next to him: "Come take a load off Reeda" (now I have died and gone to heaven and if I ever touch the ground again I don't know when that would be) He likes my shirt... I tell him that I should have him sign it and get it embroidered like Crusher... he stands up with my trusty Sharpie at the ready, I offer to do the flashdance method of signing my shirt so he doesn't have to touch the bumpy bits. He just laughs and says just a little too knowingly: "You embarrassed? Hahaha, I don't think so"
I don't know, maybe I'm familiar now, maybe he could tell by my tear stained cheeks that this night had it's major sucko parts... maybe it is because he just really is a nice guy who would get a cat out of a tree, and worries about Paradise, and is a kind man with a heart that aches like ours does. He just knew...he just knows...
I'm gushing.... but the night is still a blur... there is still lots left out. The bad parts keep interfering with the awesome parts and jumbles the grin factor.
I told him about the few reviews on his album that the some men in Germany had written about. That his new album "was making grown men cry"
He said "it's just the old songs"
and I looked in disbelief, and told him again "No, really you are making grown men cry!! They were saying that, they were saying that you have gone and made your songs better!"
He thought that that was so funny, "Why that's great, my new album makes men cry!"
He was getting a large charge out of that mental picture of a bunch of men sitting around in tears, over his songs.
Told him I was tickled to have to have a chance to be a really small part of this new one... and he said he had to thank me for that and then talked about the photo on the cover and the whole tracking down of the photographer and artist and all that. It's kind of another really long story...but, since this night was jinxed, I don't want to mess anything up and just get the album and read the liner notes...
Oh yeah and another thing. Those boots that are up for Auction for $550 now? I looked down at his boots and they are the same pair only black. I asked him if he knew they were up to $550 and he just laughed, shook his head, and thought that that was hilarious, and said " I wore those boots so much, at least a thousand concerts" (he said this with his head cocked and one eye squinted....and he reached down and pointed to a side of these boots and said " I wore a hole right through one of them right by the little toe."
He still can't understand why someone would pay $550 bucks for a really beat up pair of boots of his.
You just gotta love the fact that he doesn't "get it" still a good old boy from Nashville/Paradise/Maywood that puts his pants on one leg at a time...
I did relate some of "stupid human tricks" story to John and he said something to the effect that we could have dropped his name or something ... and I looked him in the eye laughing,
"Oh yeah sure, I tried that (held my crossed fingers up to show him) ..."Me and John Prine - we're like t his." - He just beamed some more... he was on his own high... he was just a pretty giddy giggly 53 almost 54 year old man that night.
Maybe I can do this story up and publish it...put all the proceeds toward bail Reeda out of jail someday... or send her to adrenaline management courses... I'll certainly be sure to have "chill pills" with me next time I go to a concert.
It was the best ending to one of the weirdest greatest Prine concerts I have ever been to. I don't know if I will ever really know what happened since I bounce from thrill, to tears, to anger, and off to confusion again... but since you all sort of know about my ramblings and run on sentences, by now should know that I don't mean to sound like a braggart and am overly excited, mostly naive, and truly love this guy for his basic being. I had to sort it out, still don't "get it", will probably never go back to another Ames concert (until Prine is there the next time)
thanks...sorry.....and thanks again Reeda