I was on my way to a gig. I was driving down Broadway on the north side of Chicago, right by the famous Green Mill Cocktail Lounge, about to get on Lake Shore Drive. I was on my way to work. My van was loaded up with speakers and amplifiesrs and drums and bins and cables and mic stands and big heavy black polycarbonate boxes with shiny latches and spring loaded handles, stuffed to the hinges with gear. Quite honestly tons of gear. Gear with names that are made up of capitol letters and numbers: O1V96, GL2200, KSM44, SLXWL58Beta, AKG414TLII, XLR, TRS, RCA, STFU. Gear heads know all these terms, and thousands more no doubt. Gear heads toss them around in conversations like conjunctions and the result is like tossing chum into a shark pool. Gear head tech-talk attack! "I prefer the LA2A to the Fairchild 670." "That's it, we can't be friends. That's like saying a Distressor set to the 40:1 ratio sounds good on mid/side room mic setup. Bahhh! I say BAHHH!"
Yes, I have had these conversations before. I've since stopped having them due to the complete lack of interest in these topics from the fairer sex. Now I wear a tux and talk to wedding planners and over attentive brides maids that want to hear Usher.
In fact, I was on my way to work to deal with these type of people, just like i do every weekend when I saw it. I saw the Riviera Marque with the words Bright Eyes lit up in big letters. Bright Eyes was staring at me. I stopped the van. Without a moment's hesitation, I pulled over in front of the big Marque and stared back at the letters. It had been a long long time since I have said those words. I was alone so I said them out loud to myself from the drivers seat. "Bright Eyes." I used to call her that. I didn't even know the band had existed back then, the band that now had people flocking to see them at the Riviera Theater. The very theater that sat in front of me and that I stared at through the windshield. The Riviera Theater didn't have the first hint of a clue that some sound engineer with a head full of capitol letters and numbers, who is wearing a tux that gets worn every weekend but only washed once every couple of years, a tux-wearing engineer who has a history of those two particular words in that particular order might drive by and, if he wasn't careful, might cause a fourteen car pile up that might, as a result, make him miss a very expensive wedding at the Ritz Carlton later that evening which would in turn, ruin a princess's dream wedding. Good thing for that princess, I pulled over, out of harms way.
And just like that, the years of silence vanished and I missed her like it was yesterday.