Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Friend's Rock'n'Roll Lifestyle Rubs Off

I wrote most of this Sunday and planned to clean it up and post it yesterday, but circumstances prevented me from doing so. Sorry!

I worked Crisis Intervention with Mr. Jonez, whose 24-hour shift followed mine. Sometimes we would get together for a beer after his 24-hour shift, which we renamed "a fabulous adult beverage," and talk. He was a music reviewer for the weeklies, and worked in a record store which kept most of his wages in exchange for all the records he took home. In fact, when I saw High Fidelity (a movie I didn't like much), Barry's commitment to and definition of good music reminded me a lot of Mr. Jonez.

I went over to his place one afternoon to take him to a motorcycle shop and he showed me a wall of CDs on plank-and-cinderblock shelves. Because he was a music reviewer, he had hundreds of CDs he'd been given as review or promo copies, on top of the many CDs and records he'd actually purchased. Meanwhile, I had hardly any music of my own, and like him, I had so many jobs I had little time to do anything but buy a CD or two each week. He loaned me some CDs from time to time, music I wouldn't have otherwise known; he introduced me to the Squirrel Nut Zippers and to Madelyn Peyroux.

In fact, I went with him to a Peyroux show that he was reviewing, and he quoted me in the article. Peyroux was accompanied by a trumpet and a guitar, a combination that sounded odd to my ears, and after the show I said that the show had been like eating poppyseed cake: Her voice was the frosting, and the instruments were the cake you had to get through to eat the frosting (I liked the CD, "Dreamland," much better than the accompaniment in the concert).

One afternoon Mr. Jonez called and asked me if I would go to a show for him. Nancy Griffith would be playing with the Crickets, Buddy Holly's old band, and Mr. Jonez wasn't feeling particularly well or particularly interested in these performers, but he knew I liked Nancy Griffith. I didn't want to go alone, so I pressured Jujubi into coming. We had a great time and enjoyed the concert, and it was much easier than the last time we'd worked at a concert. Also, we liked the music more. The next day I read the few lines I'd scribbled to Mr. Jonez over the phone and he put it in his music roundup that week.

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