by Dave Williams
I was just trying to organize my iTunes files. It’s a maddening process that forces me to access the gnat sized portion of my brain that insufficiently understands digital stuff so that I can preserve the memories of my heart.
I rarely listen to music and until just now I didn’t understand why.
I grew up in the sixties loving the Beatles, the Stones, Janis and Jimi. I was a radio rock jock at 17. I used to crank up the music LOUD when I was behind the mic in the KROY studio on Arden Way.
That time of my life passed quickly. I remember it fondly but I don’t live in the past. For some reason I’m not overly sentimental.
Once in a blue moon though I stumble across a song that brings a memory from my heart to the surface; it pulls my younger self out of the past and paints a moment with goodness and glory that can only be imagined.
This is a performance of a particular song by a group of musicians I knew during a very special time in my life. Like memories themselves it’s a grainy piece of film with a somewhat ethereal soundtrack that can’t do justice to reality as I have held it.
In my heart, I’m still there with the boys in the band as you see them. We have not aged. I’m on my feet under a freeway with hundreds of other fans shouting with joy, frozen in time on a Saturday night in a Sacramento spring.
Sharmayne is with me. This is our song. The trombone player is her man and I’m her best friend.
34 years later Sharmayne is gone and I can’t find Fritz. Rainer, Dieter, Charlie and the other boys have taken their lives elsewhere.
This is probably why I don’t listen to music much anymore.
It hurts too good.
NOTE: This is the Allotria Jazz Band from Munich in 1984. This particular performance was filmed in Germany, not Sacramento. That’s obvious by the narration. Still, Sharmayne and I thrilled to their music and this particular song many times over the years they appeared at the Sacramento (Dixieland) Jazz Jubilee.
You had to be there.