Last night, I played a wedding cocktail hour with Tea for Two. With some weirdness leading up to the gig, this could have been a bad night.
On the way to the venue, I stopped for gas, only to discover that I didn't have my wallet. So I drove home…and couldn't find it. I looked everywhere, twice. I don't often lose my temper, but I displayed a vocabulary that would have shocked my young guitar students. I finally found my wallet, which I had absentmindedly placed it in my gig bag, which meant that my wallet had been with me the whole time. Twenty minutes late, I drove back to service station with one final stream of curses, gassed up, and made my merry way to Gala Special Events in Marietta.
One of my special talents is getting lost. Thanks to the Google Maps app, I don't get lost very often. More accurately, the app gets me to the gig site, but I actually don't know how I got there. I managed to miss the turn to Gala Special Events, though. I passed right by it, came back, and passed right by it again. The third time, I finally spotted the sign, which I would swear wasn't there the first two times I drove by.
As I walked into the reception hall, the hostess said, "Oh, I thought they weren't having a band tonight!" The DJ had already set up and was occupying the whole stage. I don't know where she got that information, but I assured her that there was, indeed, a band tonight. We were scheduled to play for cocktails, and the DJ was there for the dinner and dancing. I also made it clear that we needed to be on the stage where the DJ had set up. Once we got that sorted out, the DJ, who was either flexible or recognized that I was not in a calm state of mind, moved his table back far enough that we could set up the trio. Then, with very little warm-up and a minimal sound check, we played the cocktail set.
With all of that strangeness, you'd think this would have been a bad gig, but once we got started, I felt just fine, and the band sounded terrific. I just needed to take a moment to remind myself that this evening wasn't about me. It was about the bride, the groom, and the friends and family who were there to celebrate a special day. They didn't need to know that I had temporarily lost my wallet, gotten lost, arrived later than planned, and had to convince the staff that we were supposed to be there. All they needed was good music, and we were there to deliver.
- 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 and have been music director at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation since 2011.