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Category Archives: Life, Living and Loving

Life, Living and Loving: Another Year!

Today’s my 67th birthday and I spent a few moments thinking that I wouldn’t mind being 37 again and I smiled to myself to think way, way back to a time when it was inconceivable that I’d be this old because I couldn’t wait to be a teenager, then be 21, and… now I’m 67.

It is said that at some point, your birthday becomes just another day; it’s an important one, of course, but yeah, it’s being thankful to be around to contemplate being a year older and, shit, another year closer to the end of things and it makes celebrating every day a good thing to do. It’s… weird to know how old I am but my mind isn’t so much in denial about my age but I don’t think like I’m this old, which is a good thing.

I got out of bed and the moment my feet hit the floor, my joints sounded off like a box of Rice Krispies and I did what I’ve been doing for a while upon hearing these sounds: Rolled my eyes. Sheesh. The other day, I had a kink in my shoulder and, fuck – what happened to those days when something like this would happen and I could literally shake it off and like it never happened? Now I work on getting the kinks out and I have to be careful not to hurt something else in the process.

I remember my late and beloved mother saying when she was 40-something, “This getting old crap is for the birds!” I remember thinking that she wasn’t that old and, of course, I would understand that I really couldn’t relate to what she was saying given I was 20 years younger. Now I know exactly what she meant; I remember talking to her when I turned fifty and told her, “You were right; this getting old crap sucks!”

And she laughed… for quite a bit of time, too.

Thinking about being much younger and resisting the urge to roll my eyes every time I heard someone say, “When I was your age…” and I’m telling younger folks the same annoying thing. I happened to be looking for something on my phone and ran across a picture of me holding… my great-grandson. And then even weirder thing of “noticing” that the old guy in the picture isn’t the guy I see in the mirror every day and, hmm – it is weird that a camera can see something that your own eyes don’t.

I had my yearly (and “mandatory”) exam for my insurance carrier and I’m in pretty good shape for a guy my age and given the stuff going on with me and… when the fuck did I become that guy my age? One of the first birthday wishes I got was from… my first grandchild who will be 32 tomorrow. Thirty-two. He’s still miffed that he wasn’t born a day earlier but, yeah. He’s gonna be 32. I have twin second cousins who were born on this day; I have a first cousin who was born 363 days after I was and I have always loved giving him da bizness to wish him a happy birthday and remind him that for two whole days, we’re the same age.

A moment of sadness to think that my brother and older sister are gone. Another to think that I’m an orphan and that with the exception of my cousin’s mom, that generation of the family is no longer with us. I know that the clock is running down and I’m not even looking forward to the day it runs out. I sigh and… I need to get my passport renewed, I finally got around to getting the new wallet I’ve needed for a while now as well as doing something as mundane as getting a new belt and even that was long overdue. And… what’s for dinner?

Today is… just another day but one that I am more than grateful to be around to complain about shit. I’m having one of those senior moments because I’m trying to read the instructions that came with my new belt for attaching the buckle and… I can’t see that shit. Well, that’s because I didn’t have my glasses on and… I roll my eyes and set the belt and buckle aside for later. Taking a moment to not only clean out my old wallet but trying to figure out how I’m going to get the stuff I need to carry in the new wallet… and seeing my AARP card and… I still have my original Social Security card which, in the old wallet, was in the plastic sleeve and behind… my Social Security card.

I was giving my cousin da bizness (as usual) when texting him a couple of days ago and I asked him if he’s gotten that letter from Social Security congratulating him for reaching retirement age. He said that he hasn’t gotten it but when he does, he’s gonna frame it and I allowed that mine is… filed away somewhere.

Yeah, this getting old crap is for the birds… but it’s good to get old even when your joints like to sound like a Fourth of July fireworks display. All you can do is… laugh. It’s funny – and not so much – when you can now sprain your back just getting out of the bed. But life is good… and that’s why someone invented Icy-Hot. I have a neighbor who’s a few years younger than I am and he can’t seem to believe that I am, in fact, older than he is and probably because, I dunno, I either don’t look like I am or, more likely, I don’t think like I am.

I talk to the guy I’ve been mentoring in the ways of bisexuality, and I find myself saying to him, “Wait until you get to be my age…” or yanking his chain to remind him that my youngest child is older than he is and, yeah – who’s your daddy?

Another year older. Allegedly wiser and, all things considered, I’m really not bad for a guy my age.

 
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Posted by on 23 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: Gospel Music

There’s a song entitled, “He Looked Beyond My Faults And Saw My Needs” that our church choirs loved singing. It’s set to the music for, “Danny Boy,” a song we’d sometimes play in the orchestral part of being in the school band and usually as the musical accompaniment to the school choir belting it out and in all its harmonic glory.

I found out that when the church finds out that you can play, they want you to play and they expect you to automatically know of every gospel song ever written. My God… that used to make me insane because whenever our regular pianist/organist couldn’t be there, I could expect someone – usually my mother, mother-in-law, or our revered pastor to come ask me if I’d play for whatever choir was singing…

And like I knew what they planned on singing and, yep, I already knew the song and however it was arranged or, as usual in Baptist churches, rearranged. Most of the time, I… refused such emergency requests because I knew that I didn’t know the music even though I could sit at the piano/organ and play a song from the hymnal as written which, when I did step in, yeah, the membership wasn’t happy with the music because I didn’t put the gospel twist on it.

Well, that’s because I didn’t know how to play gospel music. They didn’t seem to understand that, yes, I’m a classically trained musician but that doesn’t mean that I can play music from every genre that exists unless you have the music for it and I have x-amount of time to learn the piece and if I’m to put a twist on it, figuring out how to twist it. What made it “worse” for me is that the pastor’s very young son was a prodigy and, admittedly, played organ way better than I did and he learned on his own which had the effect of people asking me why I couldn’t play church songs like this kid could and not understanding that (1) he was some kind of prodigy, (2) his father is pastor and he’s been exposed to this music in a way that I hadn’t been and (3) this is not the kind of music I’m used to playing.

There were two times when I didn’t mind playing in church. The first was when my baby sister got married and she – and my mother – had asked me to play the “Wedding March” for the service (as well as “churchy” stuff prior to the ceremony. Fine. One thing, though: I had never played it before. Heard it? Yes. Played it or seen the music for it? Nope. And as such things tend to happen, I was asked to do this (expected to) and I only had three days to find the sheet music specifically for organ and learn it. My mom had come over to my place and I was at the organ feverishly hacking my way through the piece and even she asked me how come I didn’t already know how to play it and I will say that at that point, she should’ve been glad that she was my mom because I was on my way to an epic meltdown because it had taken me two of those three days to find the fricking music, leaving me a whole day to learn it.

My sister’s big day comes and… everything went well as far as the music went. The next time was when my mom had been invited by another church to sing at an event they were having which I thought was cool because mom could sing (even though she didn’t think she was a good singer). Here comes the “bad” part: She asked me to play for her at this event and the song was the one I opened this scribble with. I knew this song like I knew the back of my hand but when we rehearsed for this, whew, she would stop singing and ask me why I was playing it that way or complain about some of the notes being too high for her and now I’m “rewriting” and rearranging the whole cotton-picking song to be able to play it the way she wanted me to and she drove me insane with this and being paranoid about singing in front of a bunch of people to begin with.

I’d often stop playing because she was so nervous that she couldn’t sing the song. I don’t know how many times I’d told her that even though I’ve played in front of a whole lot of people, I’ve always been nervous before the fact and sometimes during it but once I started playing, all I’m thinking about is the music and the people listening don’t exist until I’m done playing. If this had been anyone other than my mother, I would have refused to play. No pressure, right?

Her big moment comes. I go to the church’s organ and… it’s a Hammond B3. Uh oh. I can play an organ. I had one in my home. I had never played a Hammond B3 before and the B3 was the variant that had the full pedal manual… that I hadn’t had much to do with in years. And I have, oh, about two minutes to figure it out before mom gets called up to sing. I’m furiously resetting the organ from where the church’s organist had things set up; mom’s being announced and I am not ready because while I know what tabs control what voices, I couldn’t “test” them to make sure I had them right for the way we had rehearsed the song.

She’s at the mic and does what I had asked her to do; when you’re ready, look at me and nod and I’ll play a lead-in just like practiced and when I nod back at you, face the back of the church and find something to fix your eyes on instead of looking at the people… and sing your heart out. Between my mother’s voice and my rearrangement of the song, by the time we got done, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. My mom is smiling at me and came over to hug me; I whispered in her ear, “I told you that you could do this, didn’t I?” and it was the first time I got to hit my mom with, “I told you so!”

Otherwise? Nah, don’t ask me to play in church. Ever. I can play gospel music like “it’s supposed to be” played but as I learned when I was “forced” to be the director of our senior choir, when you’re dealing with a bunch of people who have had zero musical training – and your mom is one of them – rehearsals usually got ugly because I’m playing the song with gospel twists and they’re telling me that I’m playing it wrong and at one rehearsal, I went ballistic and medieval on them and it was an epic rant that almost got me bitch-slapped by my mom for being “disrespectful” to the choir members who were all way older than I was.

I played and directed them for that one Sunday and told all of them, “Never again.”

I think about that song at times, and it always brings back these memories and more so when my mom passed away; I can still hear how she sang it and I am… comforted. I think about the song and remember – and like it was yesterday – literally sitting at my organ with my manuscript pad and rewriting the song. Playing it later on with my MIDI-connected keyboards and, yeah – I wish I had had them when my mom had to sing that day. Hah – I would have programmed them to play the song without me doing anything other than pushing one button. I would (and still can) take a soulful church song in the gospel mode and turn it into one hell of a song with loads of instrumentation that no real organ can reproduce.

And, oddly, it’s the only church song that I can play without having to think about how to play it. Well, other than “Amazing Grace” – I would sometimes play it for my mom just to hear her sing. I’m getting all choked up at this point so… I’ll leave it this alone for today.

 
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Posted by on 5 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: “Moon River”

My girlfriend’s father was an imposing man. Shorter than I was but built tough from years working at a local company and messing with concrete. His hands looked like he had hams attached to them and every time he said something to me, like, “Boy, don’t you have a home to go to?” my flight-or-fight instincts would try to kick in.

He clearly didn’t like me seeing (or screwing) his daughter. He wasn’t shy about telling me about it, either. She had told me that her father had chased off all other guys who were trying to get with her and that was fine, but we truly loved each other, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop us from being together… but this man scared the shit out of me. Her mom was openly hostile toward me from the moment I met her but she didn’t bother me all that much because she wasn’t always telling me that she was going to punch me in the face.

One day, I showed up at her house so she could take my braids out and redo them. I spoke to her mom, who gave me yet another evil eye and overhead, I could hear her dad leaving his bedroom and heading for the stairs and when he reminded me that I didn’t live there – and I said that I’d just arrived – he balled his fists up and I thought, “This is it – I’m gonna have to fight him to keep my woman!”

But he sat down in his favorite chair which had the misfortune of being right next to the piano bench I was sitting on while my love was messing with my hair. He’s grumbling and cutting his eyes at me then says, “I hear you can play that goddamned thing…” pointing to the piano.

“Yes, sir, I can,” I said, wondering what this was about.

“I’ll tell you what,” he said with a sly grin on his face that made me want to pee on myself, “If you can play “Moon River” on that motherfucker, I’ll allow you to keep seeing my daughter.”

Here’s the musical problem I’ve always had to deal with: People thinking that because I’m a musician, I can play any instrument and any song that was ever written and regardless to whether or not I’ve ever heard the song, knew who performed it, stuff like that. True enough, at the time, I could play four instruments (and in the order I learned them): Organ, trumpet, piano, drums. Indeed, I had met my soon-to-be girlfriend at church and before a choir rehearsal having been invited by my best friend. I was at the organ and playing my rendition of “Over the Rainbow” and she came over and started talking to me and, well, it was love at first sight for us which led to this moment where I have a few seconds to think about two things:

Do I remember the song… and could I really play it? I’d heard it before and several times, but it was one of those songs that you hear and you… just hear it. I knew my father’s father loved the song and apparently my girlfriend’s father liked it, too.

“Well? What the fuck are you waiting for?” he asked, his voice becoming even more menacing. “Get to tinkling the ivory or get the hell out of my house and never come back!”

Shit. The only thing I had going for me was that I had played this piano a few times before despite it being in need of retuning. I’m racking my brain thinking about this fucking song and with her dad literally standing over me and breathing down my neck, I started playing. I glance up and over at her and she looks… worried. To this very day, I’m still not sure how I pulled that off but, again, that damned thing that has some people believing that if you hear a song, you can play it.

Which is true if you can remember ever hearing the damned song and I knew I hadn’t heard it in over a year. My hands are shaking and it was like I’d never laid my fingers on a keyboard before as I make my way through the song. It didn’t help when I heard him kinda whisper, “You’d better play it with feeling, too, you sumbitch!”

No pressure at all, right? In that moment, the song just… landed in my mind and I played like my life depended on it because it did; I loved her. I knew she was The One and we were already talking about having kids and getting married and knew we were… fated to be together. Being in that moment also reminded me to get some… revenge on my friend because he had admitted that he had set me up to get fixed up with her and I have never forgiven him for it, and I never will… but we laughed about it even though I have never meant something as much as I did this.

No, don’t ask.

I finish playing “Moon River.” The final notes and chords are fading away and I knew that this was now one of those defining moments of my life because if he didn’t like my performance, I had no idea how we were going to keep seeing each other and I was so frustrated that I wanted to cry while I awaited his verdict. Indeed, my girlfriend has tears running down her cheek and I turn to face her father, who is giving me his “death stare” and he’s clenching his hands.

“Not bad,” he finally says after staring at me for one hundred years. “Just as I remember it, too. You must’ve played this a lot of times, right?”

“No, sir – first time,” I said.

“Hmm. Okay, you can keep seeing her… but you’d better keep your motherfucking dick out of her or else!” he said with a growl… and a bit of a smile.

I asked to be excused and if I could use the bathroom… because I had never needed to go so bad as I did in this moment. As I’m running up the steps, I can hear him saying something to her and I hear her laughing at whatever he said to her and, no, I never found out what he had said.

Not long after we were married, we were visiting her parents. Her mom hated me even more because we’d already had a child together before we got married and it just got worse after we got married. Her dad and I got along fabulously after I finally stood up to him when he said he was going to kick my ass because I had knocked her up and I’ll say that I don’t know what the fuck I was thinking about when I got back in his face and pretty much cussed him out while professing my deep love for her and even told him that I was going to kick his old ass – and, yeah, I was fairly sure that I could, at the least, let him know he was in a fight – but I did that and he said, “Oh. Okay.” And we were cool ever since.

On this occasion, we’re talking football and how his Minnesota Viking “weren’t worth shit” when he stops talking, smiles, and says, “You know I was fucking with you that day, don’t you?”

For a moment, I had no idea what day he was talking about since there wasn’t a day in those early days of our relationship where he wasn’t fucking with me. “What day are you talking about, Dad?”

“Moon River,” he said. “I really didn’t care if you could play it or not, but I wanted – I needed – to see if you really loved her or you just loved fucking her.” Yeah, this dude was about as blunt as they came. “But you proved to me that you were willing to do something I knew you weren’t sure you could do because you did love her that much… and the pussy had to be that good, too.”

I was caught up between being a bit ticked off and being embarrassed about the “good pussy” thing (which was true but, still) and he sat in his favorite chair and told me about every time he tested my resolve and why he didn’t give me any shit the day I formally came to him and asked if I could marry his daughter; I had expected to fight for that and he tripped me out when he had just looked at me and said, “Sure. Go ahead. About goddamned time, too.”

“Play it for me one more time?” he asked.

I went to the piano which, by now, was very badly out of tune. The song came back to me, and I played it for him and with a lot of feeling. I kinda looked over my shoulder to see him sitting behind me with his eyes closed and kinda swaying to the music and was he smiling? As I played, her mom came into the room and I saw her roll her eyes at me and heard her mutter, “Damned heathen…” and, yeah, that’s yet another musical story I might share tomorrow.

I finish playing it and turn to him with my “how did I do” look. He nods, smiles even more and said, “Wasn’t that worth being able to keep getting in that pussy?”

Yeah. That man. I had gained so much respect for him even though he had gamed the shit out of me and made me prove that I really did love his daughter (and not just that good pussy). The day he died was a really dark day for me and to this very day, I can’t think about “Moon River” without thinking and remembering how me made me prove to him how much I loved his daughter.

 
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Posted by on 3 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: “Give the Drummer Some!”

I remember my first drum set. A neighbor was selling his kit and had asked me if I knew anyone who’d be interested and… I was so interested that I might have had an erection. The problem was that I only had $50 and I guess he saw the very sad look on my face and asked me what was wrong and I told him that I’d buy the set if I had the money and all I had was $50 and, well, damn.

He’d asked me what I would do to be able to buy it from him and… I misunderstood what he was asking and, um, it wasn’t one of my finest moments but I wanted that set so bad that two seconds after he asked me this, I, um, I had his dick out and sucking on it like my life depended on it. He didn’t stop me and I don’t know if he had a shocked look on his face because I wasn’t looking at him but five minutes later, his cum was blasting into my mouth and that’s when I learned that I had misunderstood him.

“That was nice, little bro, but, um, that’s not what I was thinking about when I asked what you’d do,” he said with a smile. “I was thinking about asking for your $50 as a down payment and then you pay me when you can but, uh, since, well, okay – gimme the $50 and the set is yours!”

Oops. Man, talk about being totally embarrassed! He showed me how to break it all down so I could take it home with me; the good part was that he lived three doors down from me so I didn’t have far to go and you should have seen the look on my mom’s face when I started bringing it all in. She said, “Oh, no…” I told her that I had bought it – and he had arrived with a bag full of drumsticks and stuff and confirmed that I did, in fact, pay for it in cash and, of course, neither of us mentioned the other part of the, shit, payment.

I practiced every day except for the days my mom was off and at home. The neighbors on either side of us weren’t happy with all the noise I was making but I guess they understood (or mom got them to understand). One day, one of my friends from the old neighborhood came by while I was practicing and he was so excited to see that I had a drum set that he turned right around, probably ran home, and came back with his bongos and… we were grooving together.

One day, he’d helped me lug my kit over to his house and we were in his backyard kicking it together and I had to admit that we sounded good together. We’d drawn a fairly good-sized crowd and from the crowd, three guys approached us and asked if they could jam with us. We said they could and they hauled ass up the street and returned in a car minutes later with their guitars and amps. We got them plugged in and the jam session began in earnest.

The thing that stands out for me about that moment was that the five of us not only didn’t know each other, we had never played together before but there we were improvising and playing songs by Kool & The Gang and other groups of the time – and like we’d been playing together for years. Someone in the crowd had produced a box and people were dropping money into it and… I know I was hyped and I guess the other guys were, too, and we kept right on playing for maybe another hour…

And only stopped when a guy was driving by, stopped, backed up, jumped out of his car and ran over to us asking if we’d be interested in making some money tonight. That got our attention, as you might suspect. Apparently, the band he had contracted with to play a gig cancelled on him for some reason and he’d been running around the city trying to find a replacement band. He was highly excited; the other guys were, too, but, yeah, I wanted to know some details and especially how much money he was talking about. It took maybe a half an hour of bargaining, but we agreed to play the gig for $200 for each of us and he had to provide us transportation since, um, none of us were old enough to drive.

My biggest concern was where we were playing: The local Longshoreman’s Hall which was really more like a club and they served liquor there, and… I was 15. The guy said not to worry about it since we wouldn’t be drinking booze and could we hurry up and get our act together because the gig started in an hour! I had to run home and tell my mother about this and I, um, left out the part that I’d be playing in a bar because she would have forbade me to take part in this. Oh, and I showed her my $200 – the five of us had insisted on being paid now instead of later. I got the okay from mom and hauled ass back to my friend’s house and off we went and it was pretty hectic because now we’re trying to pull a playlist out of our respective asses and, well, we were just going to play it by ear.

We get there and get hustled through a backdoor and onto the stage where we hustled to get set up. The hall had microphones, which was good but, uh, well, I know I could sing and my friend could but I didn’t know about the other guys and, well, let’s worry about that if we have to. As I set my kit up, I could hear the crowd noises on the other side of the curtain and it sounded like a lot of people. Butterflies flew off of their aircraft carrier to land in my stomach and I didn’t know if I wanted to throw up or go to the bathroom on myself. I snuck peeks at my new bandmates and they weren’t looking too sporty either; the guy who hired us was running around us telling us to hurry up and, oh, yeah, what’s the name of your band?

Name? We didn’t have one! Kinda technically, we weren’t even a band; we were just five guys who happened upon each other! The club had been playing music to keep the crowd occupied and I heard, “Well my mind keeps going through them changes…” and the others heard this, too, and we all blurted out that the name of our band was Them Changes. The guy dashes through the curtain and I’m behind my drums and I’m feeling petrified even though this wouldn’t be the first time I’d ever played before a lot of people since, duh, I was in the school band and orchestra, and we routinely played… but this was different. My friend, who was set up to my right said, “I don’t know about this, man…” and before I could tell him that I didn’t know either, a loud voice was introducing us and the curtain was parting and, fuck me – that’s a lot of people!

I think the five of us were… stunned. Okay. Stage fright. The crowd is waiting for us to start playing and we were frozen in place; I couldn’t think of anything and then the only thing I could think of was the begining of Sly and the Family Stone’s “Sex Machine” and I called this out to the guys; our “lead guitar” played the opening notes and now I got to find out how good I could do that seamless and perfect roll that I knew followed those notes and…

We jammed. We got into “Sex Machine” and I know I got hyped when I heard someone in the crowd say, “Oh, shit! That’s my jam!” People were dancing in their seats and quite a few people were on the dance floor; the five of us are looking at each other like, “What the fuck?” We went from one song to another song and the guy who hired us snuck behind us to tell us to play a slow song and it took us a few seconds to decide which slow song we all had heard… and maybe knew how to play and I would remember thinking that the people who were having so much fun listening to us play had no idea that, for the most part, we had no fucking idea what we were doing.

We took a much-needed break and I literally ran someone over getting to the men’s room. A patron was in there and did a double-take to see a kid pissing like a racehorse… in a bar. “Dude, how fucking old are you?” he asked.

I”m 15,” I said as the urine continued to flow – and then I’m trying to pee as fast as I can because our break was only to be 15 minutes and I had to get back so I could help us figure out what the fuck we were going to play after the break. I got back, we put our heads together and hashed out a playlist that would carry us through the rest of the time we were supposed to be there… like we were supposed to close the joint. We played our hearts out. I still can’t believe how well we played together for a bunch of guys who’d just met a few hours ago.

We were playing “Superbad” by James Brown, and we were into it. People were rushing to the dance floor and, man, it was like I was high or something to see them grooving to my and our music when I heard someone yell, “Give the drummer some! Give the drummer some!” I got to know what it was like to be a deer in the headlights because not only was all those people now staring at me, the guys on the stage with me were staring, too, and like, “Well, what are you waiting for?”

And. They. Stopped. Playing. Let’s not talk about that they stopped perfectly and I almost stopped, too, but this was my “solo moment” and… I had no fucking idea what to do. None. I just made it up as I went along and the crowd was losing their fucking minds. My solo only lasted for about a minute and a half but to me, it felt like a couple of hours before the other guys jumped back in and like they had never left me to play for the crowd all by myself.

After the show was officially over, people were coming to the stage and congratulating us and marveling at how young all of us really were. The guy who managed the hall came to us and asked us how much we got paid for this and we told him… and he turned around and cussed the guy out who hired us and said that we deserved much more than a “piddling $200 apiece.”

He paid each of us another $300, packed us up in his van, and took us all home. My mother was shitting kittens because I didn’t get home until almost 3:30 in the morning. I had to explain myself which included where I’d been all this time and… more kittens got shat out along with a couple of cows for good measure. I had showed her the $500 I had earned, and she said that she felt… a little better to know that I didn’t do it for nothing but, still. In a bar? Really? She then asked, “Well, how did y’all do?”

I told her about all the people dancing and grooving to what we were able to do. When I got to the “give the drummer some” part, I could see that she was… proud of me… now take your ass to bed before I decide to beat your ass for not telling me all of this before!

What a day that was for me and the four other guys. We “officially” became a band and one of the many bands that sprouted up in the city. We weren’t the best of them but we were good at what we did and we’d wind up playing… in bars and clubs in and out of the city and we got a chance to play at The Apollo in New York City as one of the “warm up” bands keeping the audience occupied before the main act took over. We had dreams of making records and hitting the big time and, indeed, we cut a record in a local studio and with our original song we’d created called… “Them Changes.” We played together for two and a half years before we just… kinda broke up due to other interests.

My mom had visions of me being a star – but not in what I’d call a selfish way; she wanted me to be the best musician I could be except I didn’t want to be a professional musician in that sense because the five of us had learned how… cutthroat the music business could be and we knew of other guys who took off for LA seeking fame and fortune… and never found it – and those guys were way better than we were. And after a weekend where we had played in three cities in two days, I knew this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my music. This was… a love of mine. More than just a hobby but I just didn’t have any aspirations to be a “rock start.” I just wanted to create and play the music that came from my heart and soul.

While trying to avoid playing in church – but that’s another story for another day. I’d had my “fifteen minutes of fame.” I reveled in it and with our groupies and, yeah, sex. Lots of it. After that first night we played together, I don’t recall there ever being a time after that when, after we performed, we weren’t getting laid. Or I’d be in school and girls who wouldn’t give me the time of day wanted to fuck me and, yeah, guys who wanted to blow me and/or be fucked by me. That “drugs, sex and rock and roll” thing was very damned real… but despite all of this fun, it wasn’t the life I wanted to live.

And here I am, decades later… still playing the drums!

 
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Posted by on 2 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2022: “Sheep May Safely Graze (Cantata #208)”

I woke up thinking about this song and the first time I heard it and as performed by Walter (now Wendy) Carlos on an amazing instrument called a Moog synthesizer and on the album, “Switched-On Bach.” That album changed how I looked at music and, yeah, I wanted to learn this. I was already learning how to play both organ and piano but this Moog thing fascinated the shit out of me because it was an organ, piano, and a shitload of other instruments… and none of them.

On the album cover, there’s a picture of the Moog Walter performed on and the thing that blew my mind was that every piece of music performed was done one note at a time! Today’s keyboards are all polyphonic, meaning they can play more than one note at a time but the album was recorded in 1968 and I’d heard it not long after it came out and, again, it blew my mind. We were learning Bach’s music in music class and playing some things orchestrally – as well as going to hear the Philadelphia Orchestra play and I was already in love with Bach’s music but this, wow. This.

I’m in the shower and hearing the piece in my head and remembering my… feeble attempts to play it on conventional keyboards (organ and piano) and, whew; playing it as composed for organ pretty much made me insane and I’m lathering up and laughing at that younger version of myself and thinking, “Yeah, ya didn’t know about MIDI back then, did ya?” I was also laughing to remember how me playing that album over and over drove my mom batty because she hated the “tinny” sound of the Moog synth and compared to the more modern synths, yeah, it didn’t sound all that great…

But my mind was blown just the same. Bach’s music isn’t what I’d call… uncomplicated. Indeed, music of that period tended to be rather complex in composition but seriously expressive at the same time. One other piece on the album, “Air on a G String” stole my heart. I’d heard it played orchestrally but on the Moog? Masterful. Soulful. One frigging note at a time and even more mind blowing when I saw the score for this piece; mind forever blown to see the score for “Sheep May Safely Graze” and, again, I went through some shit learning to play it on organ… but I learned it.

But I wanted to learn synthesis. I wanted to play Bach this way. I would, one day, sit down at my keyboard rig and with some software and a mess of MIDI cables, I played “Air on a G String,” not exactly how Wendy did it in 1968 but close enough for government work. I never tried “Sheep” but I was sure I could have pulled it off. I’m still showering, and this piece is “on repeat” in my head and if you’ve never listened to “Switched-on Bach” – but have heard orchestras play it – it’s… the same but not really. It’s fucking amazing that Walter (before he was Wendy) was able to express Bach in the way he did… one frigging note at a time.

I would read about how the album was produced and the ground-breaking techniques that had to be created; I thought that I would have not wanted to be the recording engineer who had to put all of this together – and get it right.

I had, a long time ago, ripped the CD to my computer and while I’ve been typing all of this, I’ve been listening to the album and… it still stirs my heart and soul. I would get “Switched-on Bach II” and, later, get the “revised” version of “Switched-on Bach” that Wendy Carlos did using modern day synths and it was nice… but I still love the original recording. “Impossibly” done one note at a time. All those patch cords. Understanding that synths like Robert Moog’s had “kinda” been around for a while but no one had used one like this. It was brilliant. Genius. Took classical music and turned it on its head.

Ah, man. Sitting at my keyboard rig with my son who is also classically trained on piano, and we’re both taking turns playing it as written but accepting the challenge of using MIDI and Sonar – the software I used to “put it all together.” Doing some editing to, um, clean up the mistakes I made. Playing it back for the first time and my son and I looking at each other and grinning and as if to say, “Fuck yeah.” Making the challenge of it even harder because I could have just used my Korg workstation to do all of this but to use it and my Technics keyboard? To understand the music as well as the science behind MIDI that would allow me to take two different keyboards and make them work as one?

What a day that was. It tested everything I learned about music and instruments. How to shape sounds and between both keyboards and the Sonar software, it was comparatively easy to do and considering how Walter/Wendy did it back in 1968.

One note at a time. I had it easy since both keyboards were polyphonic and by default. Looking at the sheet music and recording it one piece at a time and with the different voices and as many of the nuances that I could manage, like pizzicato violins. Getting the soulful tones of the oboe just right. What a day. It took me almost a week to put it all together since I was doing it after a “hard day’s work” doing my job and in between my normal day-to-day-at-home stuff. Yeah, I had to explain to my wife and poly wife why I was bothering to do this when, duh, I could just play the CD and, yeah, maybe they couldn’t understand what it meant to me, as a musician, to be able to do this myself.

They thought I was crazy and maybe I was… but I did it. And now I’m trying to remember if I still have that recording. I might and might not. I’ll look for it but don’t hold me to it because it could have gotten lost somewhere along the line. I still have my Korg workstation and enough of the MIDI stuff for it. I’d have to get some software to really make it all work as well as getting my hands on the full score, but yeah, I think I can do the song that is now stuck in my head about sheep safely grazing.

To bring this first offering for Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project to a close, I can easily remember complaining my ass off about practicing when I could have been doing other stuff (like getting laid in particular); I can remember spending hours not only learning whatever music I was trying to learn but developing the proper techniques to get the best out of whatever instrument I was practicing on, like spending x-amount of time with trumpet, then more time with piano. Being reminded by my mother that the only way I can be better at this was to keep practicing and even when I didn’t feel like it or felt that it wasn’t even necessary.

And it paid off for me the day I took on Bach and Wendy Carlos. I remember how I felt to hear the playback once I got it into some kind of decent shape and… fuck yeah.

 
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Posted by on 1 September 2022 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Today’s Bisexual Thoughts: 28 July 22

Today’s Thoughts are a kind of two-for: Bisexuality and polyamory and how one can beget the other. I was re-reading an old post about two questions that, in my poly relationship, I got tired of hearing and trying to answer.

The first was, “Why would you do this?” and the other was, “How can I do this?” and that old post, I can see, was more about how those two questions would frustrate me more than really answering them… and I’m not trying to answer them today, either. One of the questions I learned to ask those who were looking to do this – and depending on the makeup of their proposed extended family – was, “What are y’all gonna do when the girls/guys start making love to each other?” because I had learned that bisexuality can be quite… contagious in that situation and more so when the group has sex together and the more they do, the more likely it’s going to happen.

I spent a lot of time thinking about this since I had good reason to and I’m not going to get into all of that again but I will say that at the very beginning of my poly relationship, the “logic” strongly suggested that if the three of us kept making love together, something was eventually going to happen and more so when my then-wife was bisexual. And, boy, did it ever happen! I had expected a lot of shit to hit a very big fan… and it didn’t, and I was… “pleased” with myself to have foreseen this happening but it gave me more questions than it answered, like, what is the possibility of an extended family – and regarding of the makeup of it – having bisexuality pay them a visit?

On the one hand, it doesn’t seem to be all that probable when you consider that not everyone is bisexual or even has this on their mind in any way… but in creating the bond between them – and sex is the best vehicle for this – well, let’s just say that I’ve told people about this and they didn’t quite believe me and, as a result, everything fell into disarray. I learned that you can sit and plan something like this and talk about how it’s going to work and, yeah, agree to exclude some stuff but the “mistake” I’ve seen made is such a proposed extended family believing that no same-sex stuff is ever going to happen.

It’s not a guarantee that it will but from what I’ve learned personally and from so many others who were brave enough to accept and take on this very daunting, life-altering challenge, yeah, it’s a likelihood that should be talked about so that everyone is aware so that should it happen, no one is going to really be all that surprised.

I’ve had guys say that, nah, they ain’t like that and no shit like that would ever go down and this is quite typical and, well, I’d be thinking that they didn’t know as much about having sex as they thought they did and, yup, some of them got quite the surprise just the same and the biggest surprise would often come into play because the same-sex thing wasn’t something anyone planned on happening – it just did and now it was all about adjusting to it but I would think that if you were aware of the possibility and included it – but not so much as an exclusion – if it happens, then the surprise isn’t going to be all that devastating.

Not all poly families or groups have bisexuality pay them a visit… but the potential, I think, is always there. That and I’ve seen group sex situations have… visitations and, again, not expected but that level of intimacy and being wholly in the moment can open the door and even if for that one moment, like the guy my [then] wife and I had sex with along with his girlfriend and we had set the boundaries for what was to happen but once things got heated up, most of them went out the window but with agreement but imagine my surprise when I’m sitting there watching the two women doing a number on him while sucking his dick and he suddenly grabs my dick and shoves it into his mouth and started sucking me!

Now, um, I didn’t mind that at all but I was stunned because I knew he had no interest in such a thing, yet he’s sucking me like an old pro. The other surprise was when the women turned on each other and, well, I knew my wife was bi but didn’t know about the other woman but, wow. Later and during a much-needed break, they both said that they hadn’t intended on that to happen, and I gave them major props for admitting that it just seemed to be the right thing to do and, nope, it wasn’t bad at all. Let’s say that round two got very interesting…

But I was intrigued at how this could happen without any prior intention and learned more about the power of sex and how it can influence things once inhibitions get kicked to the curb. I was of a mind that this was just something I was seeing and in the early days of our open marriage, it was something I saw happen a lot of times, both intentionally and not so much so, hmm, there must be something to this; I could have been “wrong” about that first time but what’s the possibility of my being wrong in the other times I witnessed this?

Not all that likely and I would go on to learn some stuff about this and how, in a poly setting, sex can bind and in unexpected ways so why not expect it or, really, have a lot of awareness of the possibility since should it happen, it’s going to upset the whole dynamic of the extended family. I would learn that in this setting, forget all that shit you think you know about having sex and how you prefer to because anything can happen and if you’re not prepared for it, yeah, that’s a problem, ain’t it?

It would lead me to tell anyone who would be interested in this that they’d have to unlearn everything they know about love, sex, and relationships so they can learn a totally and whole new way to go about these things. And I’ve seen quite a few potentially good extended families crash and burn and all because of something they didn’t believe would or could happen.

Those two questions. Still not going to answer them the way I should and have answered them. That first one just mystifies people because it contradicts what we believe about relationships and monogamy, but I stand by what I say in this regard: Cheating wouldn’t be the problem that it is if needs are being attended to and/or met and when they aren’t, guess what could happen and more so when monogamy leaves no room or has any recourse that isn’t the dissolution of the relationship.

And it’s not cheating if you have permission. It’s called ethical non-monogamy or, my favorite, negotiated infidelity because you best believe that a lot of negotiation takes place to get to his point. To those who got mystified by this, it’s yet again one of those “Yeah, but…” moments where the mystified can intelligently understand the reasons for this but, emotionally? Just doesn’t compute and can’t “hold water” against what we believe about things.

As to “How can I do this?” well, I’ll partially answer this one: The best way you can and good luck. Seriously. I learned how to do it via OJT and trial and a lot of errors. There is no “one way” to extend the relationship like this and you just gotta figure it out for yourselves and, as I always say, come up with a vision of what the extended relationship is going to look like and work that everyone involved can be invested in and not just be a part of or being of a mind to think “me” more than “us.”

And then leave room for a visitor who just might come a-knocking. This isn’t, um, fuck, how can I put it? This isn’t about fulfilling fantasies as much as it is most definitely a way to live that has benefits other than some pretty amazing sex. It does take a village and the more people you have working toward common goals, the better the chance to have those goals met and exceeded and to the benefit of all.

And the more you can learn about yourself and those you love who are with you in this. I maintain that doing this is way harder than being married and monogamous but, yeah, it’s worth the efforts involved and there are a lot of them that must be endured and handled to ensure that the extended family works well all across the board and, yup, even if/when bisexuality drops in to stay a while. Fighting against the possibility is, in my opinion only, a mistake because it is… disruptive to the whole of the gestalt.

Unless this is going to be formed because bisexuality in the relationship already exists, it just does not pay or do any good to deny or insist that such… shit cannot be allowed to happen because this stinks too much of how monogamy is in that it doesn’t allow for people in the relationship to change and any changes tend to be summarily rejected out of hand because, well, that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Which also taught me to tell others that if you try doing this and hanging on to the rules of monogamy, you’re going to fail and that includes creating rules to protect the core relationship that will prove to be to0 restrictive and inhibitive and, again, will disrupt the whole dynamic and make it fail.

Okay. I’ve gotten this out of my head…

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Living With PKD

Back in 2011, I was in the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. One of the things they wanted to do was stress test me but, uh, um, thanks to my stroke, putting me on the treadmill would be a disaster – I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the speed necessary to stress my heart. So they were going to do it chemically and as I waited for them to get that ready, a vascular surgeon came to see me and told me that I had an abdominal aortic aneurysm that was going to need repairing and, oh, by the way:

You have polycystic kidney disease. We didn’t get to really talking about that – not his balliwick – but, nope, wasn’t have a heart attack but I needed surgery to repair the aneurysm to ward off it blowing up and taking me out. The repair was successful but one of the doctor’s that came to check me out was a nephrologist and she talked to me about this polycystic kidney disease thing; she had me pee in a cup (for testing) and she came back and said that, for now, it’s not bad but lay off the Coca-Cola.

Well, damn, but, okay. She said that I should follow up with her but I didn’t remember her name (and if she even mentioned it) or what practice she was a part of so other than looking up some stuff about PKD, I put it out of my mind and even thought that she’d follow up with a call to come in and see her.

It wasn’t until like almost two years ago now that I went to have my routine lab work done and the urinanalyis came back as me having microscopic traces of blood in my urine. What the fuck? Now the shit really got interesting: I was sent to both a urologist and a nephrologist and, well, me and the urologist got into it because (1) he shoved a scope into my dick and into my bladder – and I was wide fucking awake and (2) he was insisting that I had bladder cancer and a more invasive procedure was called for… and let me just say that I learned something about passing blood clots that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy after the procedure was done and, oh, yeah – no bladder cancer. Now, off to see the nephrologist… after a pit stop for an ultrasound of my belly.

I knew something wasn’t right because they did the ultrasound, looked at the results… and did it again. Then they looked and called in a doctor and, okay, I want to know what they’re looking at and what all the fuss is about so I get off the table, go over to where they were looking at my scan and, holy shit: Are those my kidneys? Normal-sized kidneys are fist-sized… and mine were way bigger and misshapen due to the cysts. I was stunned to see this and they were, too, but I told them I had to see a nephrologist so that kinda chilled them out. But, damn: That would explain why I looked like I had a beer belly… and I don’t drink beer. Shit.

I made the appointment and when I got there and filled out a sheaf of paperwork, I was surprised because they already had me in their system and confirmed that one of their doctors had, indeed, seen me in 2012 after my AAA repair. But talking to the doctor, he was like, “I don’t know why you’re here since there’s nothing we can do about this… unless you need a kidney transplant.” I told him that I had read up on PKD and agreed that his information matched the information I’d found about this but, I was told to see him… so here I am. He had asked me if I had had any dialysis (and the urologist insisted that I needed to be on dialysis but, well, yeah – that guy) and I said no and I thought that he was going to order it and that bothered me because, back in the day, I worked in a dialysis center and, oh, my god… I’d see patients cramping and throwing up and one patient actually went into cardiac arrest (they were okay afterward) so, shit, I don’t wanna do that but if I have to, so be it.

Officially, I have Stage 3 (moderate) kidney disease.

No cure. They’re not even sure why people get this disease but they suspect it’s hereditary but there was no history of this in my family that I knew of. At the time of my first visit, there were no medications or even surgical procedures that could be done but, later, I was told of a new medication that my doctor didn’t think I’d be a good candidate for taking it. He asked me about any abdominal pains and I said that I didn’t have any… but my lower back hurts at times and he kinda laughed and said that he guessed that it would given how big my kidneys are.

So, now what? The only thing I was directed to do was to… drink more water. A lot more water. He told me that the cysts could burst and if that happened and the pain was, in his words, incredible, just go to the hospital so they could give me the good stuff for the pain but, otherwise? Drink water. Get lab work done and he’d see me next year… or sooner if things went south in some way. Did I mention that I can’t drink a whole lot of water without throwing it up? I didn’t? Oh. That. But I gotta do what I gotta do.

I have remained stable: It’s not going to get better but it’s not getting worse. My nephrologist, PCP, and even my vascular surgeon are keeping a very close eye on things via my lab work. There are days when my lower back is “killing” me and some days where the backache is a dull roar in the background. There are moments when I’ll feel a kinda sharp pain on one side or the other and I suspect that it’s a cyst bursting but the nephrologist told me that if that happens, there’s no danger of whatever’s in the cyst giving me any problems. I can be doing… anything and that pain will hit me and either get me making a face or, sometimes, stopping me in my tracks if I have them while standing up or otherwise moving around. At best, it’s annoying as hell.

The only thing I can is to drink water. I recently purchased a one-gallon water bottle (with a straw) that has markings on it to guide me through drinking it all and it’s challenging just looking at the full bottle and, to make it worse, water is boring. I thought about adding some flavor to it, like those Mio things I’ve seen advertised but every one I looked at has artificial sweetners in it and I have yet to come across one they say tastes like sugar but doesn’t leave a nasty aftertaste in my mouth. My tongue doesn’t like that shit and neither does my stomach; that stuff gives me the runs something fierce so I’m stuck drinking a lot of very boring water 99% of the time. Sometimes I’ll get cranberry juice but realized that I can’t buy enough of it to satisfy the requirement to drink a gallon of water a day.

With my new bottle, I have managed to drink half of it in a day; I hope to get to the point where I can suck it all down in a single day… but I’m not really looking forward to it but it’s either this or wind up having to have dialysis and contemplating kidney replacement. Who knew that drinking water could be so tiring? I didn’t… but I know now.

It’s weird because I can actually feel my kidneys bulging out all over the place and especially when I’m lying down but that’s the only time my lower back isn’t hurting. I thought that having my AAA repaired – and having the repair repaired – was some bad shit but this PKD thing seems to be worst even though my nephrologist did tell me that a lot of people have this and never wind up needing dialysis or a transplant, which is encouraging and keeps me crossing my fingers and toes. He tells me that there are things in the works that, hopefully, can really do something about this, like, reducing the size of the cysts but those things are way down the road. He did tell me that he could go in there and do something about the cysts… but they’d just grow back and he said he was sure that I wouldn’t want him poking me in the sides in a vain attempt to drain the cysts.

I shuddered to think that if he did that, I’d be awake for it. Oh, fuck no. I still have a bit of PTSD after that shit with my bladder and I can sympathize with anyone who has ever passed a kidney stone even though I’ve never had that problem. Just saying. I can also sympathize with anyone who has been catharized and they were awake for it, too – I’ve never been awake when that was done to me and I thought that being awake when they removed it was bad; no, it isn’t. Not even close. Gives me unpleasant chills just thinking about that shit. Brrr.

Otherwise, life just keeps going on. I’ve kinda moved away from wearing pants that requires me to wear a belt because that’s uncomfortable so when I have to wear pants, I have my Dickies “Farmer John” pants that don’t give my bulging kidneys a reason to fuck with me a whole lot and, besides, unless I have to go out, I’m not wearing clothes being in the house. I was very worried about this and where my AAA repairs were concerned since my kidneys are attached to the abdominal aorta… and my implanted devices are inside there and just below where the kidneys are attached… but my vascular surgeon isn’t concerned – he gets to see them when I go see him every year so if he’s not worried, I’m not gonna worry. My nephrologist isn’t worried. My PCP isn’t worried but he keeps “giving me shit” about drinking more water and he’s right but I often remind him that he’s not the one drinking all of that water and when moving around, feeling and hearing it sloshing around in my stomach.

He just laughs. It’s a somewhat nauseating feeling but now an “occupational hazard” I just have to deal with. At this point, if the worst I have to deal with is having my lower back aching, I’m good with that. I just wanted to write about this and as a kind of PSA because I had had this “for a while” and had it not been for the fact that I got worked up under the cardiac protocols and getting CAT-scanned, I wouldn’t have known that I even had PKD. No symptoms of any kind. If anyone in your family has had any kidney problems, yeah, you might want to arrange to get an ultrasound to make sure you don’t have this and, hopefully, when you see your doctor, he’s ordering a urinalysis as part of your routine lab testing; any blood in your urine should be taken seriously and investigated further.

I’ve told folks that I have PKD and once I explain to them what it is, they are like, “Oh, shit!” but I tell them that despite the Stage 3 (moderate) tag, I’m okay. I have what looks like a beer belly. My lower back hurts. I fucking hate drinking all this boring-assed water.

See ya tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on 17 December 2021 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: The King’s Affection

Between the holidays and the damned virus fucking shit up, finding stuff to watch on TV is a pain in the ass so, one night, we were looking for something to watch on Netflix after watching “Squid Game” and, well, for some reason, Netflix is loaded up with a lot of foreign language shows and a lot of them are Korean.

We saw, “The King’s Affection” and despite the fact that the actors are speaking Korean and we have subtitles,we decided to give it a look… a d wow, it is one hell of a show!

If you’re not used to watching such shows, it can be hard to figure out what’s going on and why since you’re looking at some cultural differences and some historical stuff that can be even more confusing… but this show? It does have you wondering what the hell is going on and why it is; it has some despicable characters that I know I’ve been yelling at the TV that they need to die and the sooner the better…

And then there’s the love affair between the Crown Price and his teacher… except the Crown Prince is really a princess. Her mother gave birth to twins but in the Korean royal court, that was very bad juju so the girl was to be killed… but she wasn’t. She was spared and hidden in plain sight as a maid to the royal court.

Until someone figured out that she was still alive and had to be killed for real but since she and her twin were identical, um, they wound up killing her brother… and let the deception and intrigue begin!

This show is good. The acting is top-notch and there’s a lot of comical stuff mixed into the intrigue and treachery taking place as the princess takes in the role of her brother and what goes on to keep her secret.

Even with subtitles, this show is so good. I’d normally not recommend such a show since it’s a soap opera but, damn, if you have Netflix, I highly recommend that you binge watch every episode and maybe you’ll be like me and wish that a second season is in the works.

I’d be pissed if they don’t have a second season. Man, this show is unexpectedly good.

 
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Posted by on 11 December 2021 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2021: “I Gave to You”

This is a 1970’s song by The Delphonics that is so nice and was “the song” for me and my then-girlfriend; we both heard it for the first time at a house party we had attended and as we danced to it, wow – it conveyed our feelings to and for each other way better than either of us could say.

It’s one of those songs that you could actually use to let your beloved know how much you really loved them… and without saying a word yourself. It was our song but musically and lyrically, it just touched me; it’s soulful in that classic R&B way that, today, R&B has a hard time duplicating. The band I was in also covered this song in one of our “slow dance” sets and as the group’s drummer, whew, the song meant so much to me that I had to make sure that I was playing the music instead of just listening to it; sometimes, during rehearsals, my bandmates would have to remind me to pay attention… and giving me a bunch of shit about my lack of attention or, as our bassist once said, “You can go get that pussy after we finish!”

It’s not one of those “timeless” songs and I’m not sure if there are many folks today who even heard of The Delphonics or any of their other songs although they have one song that is more well-known than this one is: “La-la Means I Love You.” For this song, it wasn’t just about dancing to it; it was also about singing it as you danced, too; R&B in the 1970s had a lot of slow songs that were like this where you could dance – we called it grinding and for a pretty obvious reason – and even if you couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle, if the song meant something to you, you sang it anyway.

The song talks about being in love, from the joy of it to the pain of it; it’s… a sexy piece of music and even when I listen to it today – because it lives on my R&B playlist – it brings back so many memories of being young and in love and not much else mattered in the world other than that. I have, admittedly, found myself crying listening to it because the song just touches me that way.

I’m gonna give y’all the URL to the lyrics which also appears to have a link to the song itself: https://genius.com/The-delfonics-i-gave-to-you-lyrics

The musician in me loves the simplicity of the song although, personally, there are some spots where I think the drummer is… sloppy with his rolls – I wouldn’t do them that way and when my band played the song, I just didn’t but I understood that’s how it was written for the drummer at the time. The guitar parts are… melodious and fluid; the lead singer’s tenor just gets to you, not so much in the way Eddie Kendrick’s voice did or even Philip Bailey’s (lead singer for Earth, Wind and Fire if ya didn’t know that); the harmonies are… raw in their simplicity and that’s not a bad thing; they’re not overdone and, overall, it’s one of those songs that you can just sit and listen to… and think about being in love.

And it reminds me of being in love in a time where the rest of the world was going to shit and the messages to “Make love, not war!” were very prevalent. Back then, songs had messages; they told a story or expressed feelings of love and pain like music today, while okay, just doesn’t do like it used to. This song, every time I listen to it, takes me right back to the exact moment I heard it; I know where I was, who I was with, what we were doing and even that “wondering” feeling I had when the party’s hostess said, “I got this new song y’all just gotta hear! It’s a slow song so grab your man or lady and get your asses up and dance!”

And we did… and it became our song. The joy of it; the sadness in it. A reminder that love feels good and not so much and, strangely, it’s not a bad thing that love can hurt so bad in that sense. It’s one of those songs where you would have had to been there to be a part of how it not only affected me but everyone else who was there and heard this song that night. You just didn’t hear the song: You felt it. One of those songs that, the next day, had me hauling ass to The Record Museum to get the 45 and one that I had to replace a few times because I’d play it so much that I literally destroyed the grooves in it. The other side, which had the song, “When You Get Right Down To It” was an okay song but didn’t get played all that much and was more in pristine condition.

Thank goodness for MP3s…

There are a lot of songs done by The Delphonics that are more memorable and chart-toppers… but while being good, they didn’t mean as much to me as this one song did… and still does.

 
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Posted by on 5 September 2021 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project 2021: “Do Me Baby”

I remember when this song by Meli’sa Morgan came out and at a time when R&B was getting more sultry and a tad bit raw. Songs like “Secret Lover” and “As We Lay” were quite popular and along the same “risque” lines but this particular song, wow.

I’d gotten the album after hearing so many people talking about this song; got it home, put it on the turntable and gave it a listen and, okay, musically, it was interesting but I hadn’t really listened to the lyrics all that much until, during a Friday get together with my sister and her husband – and with me playing DJ as we played cards – I put the song on as a change of pace and paid attention to the lyrics… and found myself being aroused by them. What the hell?

It was like she was talking to me, telling me what she wanted me to do and like I never had before and give to her until she couldn’t take any more. The song is playing and I’m trying to pay attention to the cards in my hands… and I’ve got a problem in my pants that wasn’t easy to ignore. Looking around the table, I saw that I wasn’t the only one captivated by the song’s lyrics; my wife (at the time) and my sister were smiling, ah, let’s say, salaciously and my brother-in-law, well, I can’t say where his head was or if he even noticed how my sister was looking at him but he was kinda like me in trying to pay attention to the cards in his hand and maybe with the same, um, problem I was having.

The song was getting down near the end and, shit, I gotta get up to put something else on and thought for a moment how to do that without “flashing” the room with my erection but I thought that we’re all adults here, right? I was going to put on a more up-tempo song when everyone at the table shouted, “NO! Run that back!” and, to be honest, I’d been thinking about replaying it anyway. The card game got forgotten for a moment because our ladies wanted to slow dance with us; the look on my brother-in-law’s face was precious and I thought it was because he didn’t really want to stand up and flash the room and as I wound up doing… but that’s probably why they decided that having a nice, slow, dance was in order.

So… we’re dancing with our wives and you just gotta know that my wife had to whisper in my ear, “Looks like you’re happy to see me…” and if I could blush, I probably would have which would have been silly because, you know, it’s not like she’s never seen or felt me hard before. I mumbled something in reply as it seemed to me that the longer the song played, the more aroused I got and grinding with her wasn’t helping matters any. I could hear my sister giggling over something her husband said to her and continuing to whisper to each other and, jeez, is it just me or is it really hot in here?

I could feel my wife’s breath on my neck, all hot and steamy and now I’m thinking about how to kick my sister and brother-in-law out so I could take care of the growing ache in my balls and, yeah, do her like I’ve never done before. And to make matters even worse, she whispers in my ear, “I know what you wanna do… because I really want you to…” and I think I groaned – well, I know I did inside my head and I must’ve actually done it because she gave me one of those low, sultry kind of laughs that sent chills racing through me. The song hits the high point; the synth drums are banging out the beat and Meli’sa’s singing, “Do me…” over and over and the song reaches its highest point and I shuddered and not unlike I might have had an accident in my pants.

Thankfully, that wasn’t the case but I was sure that I’d had an orgasm as the song wound down and, again, my wife didn’t help matters any by looking into my eyes and saying, “Hmm…” Because I could – and before I knew I had to let go of her to catch the record, I reached between her legs and, how ’bout that? The crotch of her jeans was damp and I just looked at her with a salacious smile of my own. The song ended and to kinda break the spell, I asked, “One more time?”

Everyone agreed that it was time for a different song and we still had a Spades game to finish… and I’d never been more thankful for the diversion. I wasn’t fully erect but I could feel my dick all fat and hot against my thigh and then, if shit couldn’t get any worse, my sister looked at me, shook her head and said, “Get your head outta the gutter or get a room!” We all laughed and of course I had to point out to her that I was at home so getting a room would be easier for me than it was for her. And it wasn’t like she had any room to talk from the way she kinda gingerly sat down.

Man… I couldn’t wait for them to go home! Even though I was playing a lot of different music, this song kept echoing in my head and I still couldn’t shake the very weird sense that Meli’sa was speaking directly to me. I had even mentioned it when we were talking about how good the song was and my brother-in-law admitted that he felt the same way I did and also admitted to thinking that he was just imagining it. Um, no, it wasn’t just his imagination (see what I did here?) and our wives were strangely silent.

And I was thinking about putting the song on tape and the whole tape with just that song on it; there are some songs that are just tailor-made to make love to and to me, this was one of them. As I was thinking this – and as the current hand ended – my wife got up and went to the stereo setup, grabbed a new cassette and handed it to me and said, “You know what to do when they leave, right?”

I’m not gonna say that I did her like I’ve never done before or that I gave it to her until she couldn’t take no more… but she got done and while the song continuously played the whole time.

The next day, my sister and her crew stopped by; apparently, somewhere during the evening, she’d lost her keys and rummaged around the house until she found them in the living room. While she searched, my brother-in-law sidled up to me and asked, “Did you do what I think you did?”

“What do you think I did?” I asked.

“Put that song on tape and…,” he replied.

“Uh, yeah, I did,” I said.

“So did I,” he said and we stood there grinning like idiots and got busted; my sister, who had found her keys said, “Oh, you two need to quit!”

One of the ongoing projects I have is to collect songs from back in the day. I had had Meli’sa’s album, then the CD and had ripped the CD, along with a great many others, to my computer to create playlists and all that and even when I’m in the mood to listen to mood music, “Do Me Baby” is right at the top of the playlist and still affects me the same way it that that day so long ago.

 
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Posted by on 4 September 2021 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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