Last night, LB and I went to another Keshet benefit. This time it was the comedic stylings of Elon Gold, followed by Blues guitarist (and singer) Buddy Guy.
LB and I don't get out often, and even less often to hear music. When we do hear music, it's usually an intime violin recital or a solo piano performance, or, worst of all, a lengthy demonstration on the supposed variation in sounds that emanate from three different violins. The audience strokes their collective goatees and claims to hear enormous disparities among the Stradivarius, the Guarnerius del Gesu and the Amati, when I'm reasonably sure you'd need to possess chiropteran sonar or at the very least canine hearing to discern any difference at all.
I set out on these infrequent concerts with the best of intentions, and I always reserve my critiques for the car ride home. And yet, LB and I have never attended a classical performance without having an argument. It's a mystery.
Last June LB and I attended the memorial service for a Chicago violin dealer. The memorial consisted of one long concert, punctuated with speeches. I was well-prepared to behave myself: I was dressed appropriately, I kept my head down and my overflowing negative baggage regarding the violin to myself, but then, LB Northbrooked me.
A little background may be necessary here. The people of Northbrook are an impatient lot, especially when they get behind the wheel of a car. When you are stopped politely at a red light and the car in back of you honks loudly for no apparent reason except to make sure that you will really and truly put your foot on the gas when the light turns green, you have been Northbrooked. True, you have not yet made the mistake of spacing out at the green light, but you might. You could, and the driver is not willing to risk arriving at his destination one nanosecond later than he had planned.
When the performers were setting up their chairs before beginning to play, I leaned in and tried to whisper something to LB. What was I going to say? It could have involved the dogs' water dish, and whether or not we'd filled it before leaving home. It may have been a brilliant yet concise explanation of the tonal differences between the Stradivarius and the del Gesu. I don't remember and we'll never know, because LB shushed me.
LB immediately recognized his blunder and tried to take my hand, but I would have none of it. In a slow and withering gesture, I removed his offending hand and placed it on his own knee.
Last night was our first concert since the shushing debacle, but LB and I made it through harmoniously. Buddy Guy sang, he strapped on his guitar backwards and played it with his clothing, and at one point even played it with his mouth. He came down into the audience to play, he invited audience participation, he told stories, imitated other guitarists, and in short left me with no doubt that I had seen and heard someone truly impressive.
I had planned on shushing LB at some point during the performance, just for old time's sake, but Buddy Guy was so good I forgot about it.
a happy Keshet beneficiary