Even though I started listening to the blues when I was young, lots of the musicians had hard lives or lived hard and many of them were dead before I was able to go see them. If you ever wondered why some of these people sang the blues, spend some time reading about them on Wikipedia. Some of it is really heartbreaking. It makes me sad not just for them and their poor soul, but for the rest of us for losing out on such a talented artist.
I was lucky enough to get to see Eric Clapton once. This is going back several years now but I remember it like it was yesterday. It was one of the highlights of my life. My wife got us tickets for our anniversary. I couldn’t think of a better gift, or a better woman to be married to, honestly. He was even better than I could have imagined. He didn’t do a whole lot of soloing and he played a lot more of his old stuff than some of the newer songs. But that certainly wasn’t something to complain about. I swear that when he played “Tears of Heaven” there was not a dry eye in the house. It was about as perfect of a moment as there ever was in my life, not counting the day I met my wife or when our girls were born. Sometimes I find that my mind has drifted back to that show when I am doing something like driving or if I hear the song on the radio. I’ll probably do that until I can’t remember anything anymore. That’s how much it stuck with me. He’s semi-retired now so I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to hear him play again. And, anyway, we don’t get out to too many shows like that. It’s kind of far to travel to places where the more popular people play, and like I said before—a lot of them have moved on.
However, it’s not all bad. There’s a BBQ place near us that hosts live music on the weekends.Sometimes it will be a cover band and sometimes it’ll be something local and bluesy. It is a little hit or miss but usually, it is not too bad. On nights when our two girls have plans, which is happening more and more lately as they become full-on teenagers, that’s usually where the wife and I go. We sit down with a beer and some good food. We hold hands at the table like teenagers. If she’s feeling spry, she’ll ask me to dance, even if nobody else is. I think she’s crazy and so do many of the other customers, but sometimes others will join us. She thinks that is so funny, other people dancing just because she is. It’s one of the things I love about her—she doesn’t care if other people are looking at her like she’s crazy. I like that we get to spend that time together. I look forward to it and I’m hoping we keep going even when we’re old and gray and she can’t hardly get me out onto the floor to dance anymore.