Originally a 'Google Buzz' reply
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OK, so this is worth the re-type.
Right when I first started working here at the Middle East, Kieran and I split the door duties for Jonathan's shows (another 3 night stint) @mideastclub Upstairs.
Jonathan is very private and hates computers and cell phones! God bless him for that, it must be how he maintains his cool!
Before the show, Jonathan hands me a hand written guest list and says "Here's my list...and if someone thinks they are on the list, (but aren't) please don't make them feel uncomfortable...just let them in!"
Show starts, I rip 194 tickets and (all of his shows sell out in advance, he prefers the intimacy and the history of the room at the Middle East Upstairs). By the way, I was also told that The Saters would take care of Jonathan after the shows were over "Next Week". No large checks or cash was being transacted this evening. This is the kind of honest family business that I work for. Very romantic and cool and old school show biz.
The Marquee reads, according to contract:
"LIVE! ON STAGE Jonathan Richman featuring TOMMY LARKINS on the drums!"
The show happens, as it has a thousand times before on stages across the world.
200 people are transported to a vineyard in the south of France for an hour and a half as Jonathan soothes everyone's souls.
After the show, I count and recount the till. I count and recount the door money. I fill out my paperwork (as I will come to do a thousand more times!). I imagine my office a smokey room, like a noir detective novel. There was probably no smoke, but Jonathan had turned on only one light in the room for mood. Here it is happening, as I write this I still cannot believe this to be true! This is a distant dream. A foggy memory, yet I can taste the air. I feel not excitement, in fact, I feel a calm warm spiritual experience as Jonathan Richman was LIVE! in the office playing his guitar and singing. He is playing for himself I am sure, but I was his only audience. I can honestly say this was one of my fondest memories of my life, my job, of music, and of the experiencing something greater than myself.
Yesterday, as I was typing this out (attempt #2!) I got distracted. I had a DJ gig at another bar. Here I was at another desk, 6 years later, putting my required mp3 set list on my iPod. This time in the office, it's before Jonathan's set, and I found myself with my eyes closed, my hands across my stomach, fingertips touching (thumb to thumb, index to index, ect.), breathing, eyes closed. It's just the two of us and it's happening again. The feeling was familiar, welcome, Zen, spiritual, and relaxing.
Then, as I had a thousand times before, I closed my laptop, disconnected my iPod, and slithered out the door. I felt like I was intruding on his warm up time, I had basked in his moment for exactly how long I needed to. I did not say goodbye but my smile is lasting through to this moment. — Clay S. Fernald, February 20, 2010 1:21 AM