During the break between the sets, Jarrod would join us at our friends’ table and remark “I don’t know anybody in here except the people at this table! Oh, and there’s Tim way over there.” Tim is always there.
Rhonda and Bobby were nailed to the floor behind the bar almost all night long. On the occasion where Rhonda did manage to escape and get out to the tables, she was accosted by a caveman (Halloween, remember?) for a quick dance, which she obliged—empty glasses still in hand. After a quick turn or two, she was back behind the bar for the rest of the night. How she keeps going and keeps track of everything is astonishing. And she keeps smiling! Now that is amazing.
Then the caveman was dirty-dancing with a female cop. Snow White was spending the night looking for at least one dwarf. Bo Peep has still not found her sheep. Plus, a band of Zombies showed why they were not part of the dance cast in Thriller. We were dressed like music fans and I think we were convincing.
Reinhardt Melz was absent, having taken his “drummist” skills to Amsterdam and beyond in support of Gino Vanelli’s European tour. Sitting in for him was Mark Griffith, beat-man for the Jaco Pastorius Big Band. Obviously a straight jazz drummer, Griffith performed admirably well on many songs he had never played before (and maybe never again).
Terry Case sat in on drums for one number and didn’t realize that he was being offered a solo. Instead, he looked up, surprised, and held his sticks. Once he realized what was going on, he jumped right in and rescued himself and the song… and the band.
Meanwhile, the Zombies and others who had been on the dance-floor, remained on the dance-floor. It was like an invasion of soul-takers.
There were some memorable renditions in both sets to be sure. However, in the middle of the first set, Jaybird Koder sent out a number to a couple of friends in attendance and offered up a stirring and heart-felt instrumental version of “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King from her album Tapestry. One stanza in particular reads:
People can be so cold/They’ll hurt you and desert you/
Well, they’ll take your soul if you let them/ Oh, but don’t you let them.
Even the Zombies and others—who had come to party—were now remaining for the music. Dressed as dead and undead, they were given life.
This is the assurance offered by The SoulMates: outside it is cold and there are soul-takers… but not in the Candlelight when Jaybird Koder is in command, not even on Halloween.
As Jaybird always says, “We’re going to join you for some cocktails and then be back after the break.”
And Jaybird always has the last word.
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