We are fortunate to have a brother-in-law whose family has a house in Mexico. The last time we visited was 4 years ago. Toward the end of that vacation, Steve was experiencing drumming withdrawal so that evening we went in search of a band with the idea that he would be asked to sit in. It took awhile to find a band with an actual drum kit (we found steel drums, solo guitarists, d.j.s, percussionists, etc…) but around midnight, we finally did.
It was a 3 piece very-young-player combo. When they took a break, Steve went up to them and tried (he doesn’t speak Spanish) to have a conversation. They spoke a little English. There was a lot of charade-type of movements involved, but they communicated. When they started up their next set, they called up Steve. And they were blown away…not only was Steve able to handily play tunes he had never heard, but man, was he GREAT. These boys were teen-agers just beginning their musical path; they had never played with someone so far into that journey.
The next day, Steve went to their home (two of the band members, Juan and Antonio, were brothers) to share a meal and to give Juan a drum lesson. So began a remarkable student/teacher (they call him a master) relationship. Every time my sister and her husband journey to the house in Mexico, Steve sends drum heads, stick, etc…. Juan and Steve also continued to stay in touch with periodic emails over the last 4 years.
Fast forward present day.
A part of this vacation of course was to see Juan and for Steve to have a chance to play with him. As it happened, Juan was now in a rock band, and this band had a gig Thursday night. At midnight: it was an after hours club. Ugh.
When asked, I dutifully replied, “Yes, honey, of course I’ll go. I may want to nap after dinner, though, instead of playing cards.” (Ten years ago, who could even think that I could say such a thing??). Did anyone else want to go? To a man: that is just too late!
The band was great. They mostly played pop Mexican hits, but also threw in some classic rock (i.e. Hotel California). Steve sat in: Juan glowed to watch him, the crowd loved him (including me), and Steve had an absolute blast.
Well, they ended up playing at the after-hours club Friday and Saturday night. My brother-in-law went with Steve on Friday night (after-hours two nights in a row is too much for this girl), and had the time of his life. By all accounts, Steve was on fire. Just looking at Lael’s smile convinced the rest of us, including my father, that we needed to get to the gig Sat.