This week, straight out of nowhere, an old friend helped me out in a big way.
This story begins a couple weeks ago, when my amp blew out just before playing a set with Tea for Two at the Oakhurst Arts and Music Festival. The sound man told us that there had been problems with the power all morning. My amp sounded fine until there was a power surge. It emitted a loud POP! and then went dead. The sound man solved the immediate problem by plugging me directly into the system, but after the show, I had to get my broken amp fixed.
Did I say this story begins a couple weeks ago? Sorry, my mistake. This story begins over 15 years ago, when I was a trombone player in an Air Force band. Kurt, a bass player friend, stayed at my apartment for a few weeks while he was going through a particularly nasty divorce. I didn't think anything of it. It's just something that a friend does for a friend, and I enjoyed his company. I'm happy to report that Kurt is happily remarried, and it seems like he's got a great family and is enjoying life.
Fast forward to last week. Kurt and I are Facebook friends. We haven't seen each other since I left the Air Force. We'll write a note to each other occasionally, but for the most part, we do the usual Facebook thing and comment on or "like" each other's status updates, pictures, etc. About a week ago, Kurt sent me a message. He had seen a couple status updates about my ailing amp. He wanted to buy me a new amp, and I wasn't allowed to say no, because it was payback for the time he spent sleeping in my apartment during his divorce. He knew that I would eventually get my broken amp back, but he still wanted to buy me a new amp so that I could have a back-up. I sent a link to the amp that would replace the Cube 60, to give him a clear idea of what I would get, and also to give him an opportunity to back out if it seemed to pricey. (For you gear heads out there, I chose the Cube 80, which is like the Cube 60 on steroids, yet is actually a little less expensive than the Cube 60 was when I bought it a few years ago. Go figure.)
Who was I to refuse this offer?
I thought Kurt was sending a check to cover the cost of the amp. Imagine my surprise when FedEx left an actual amp on my doorstep this afternoon! I'll be putting this new amp to good use in the next few weeks as I play a show with InTown Band, followed by two weeks of Rent, and I can rest easy knowing I have a good back-up amp.
I am incredibly grateful to Kurt for helping me out. It's a real testament to his character that he would offer this kind of support, unsolicited, for giving him a place to crash so many years ago.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.