WITH SPRING ARRIVING early in the Q-town this year, it's made me think of new beginnings.
I have to mow the lawn this afternoon for the second time already this month, and it's not even the end of March. Normally I equate mowing with getting my toenails clipped, but in the beginning of the year it's not so bad because it's a new season with the faint hope something green will cover gaping holes in the backyard.
Sometimes you need to take a step back to realize just how much new stuff you have going on in your life. In the past year, I've opened a music store with my new wife, started a new side project band, taken on a bunch of new guitar students and made new friends.
Going back a bit further, I bought a new (used) car, new (used) house, a lot of new guitar stuff, and a new John Travolta Saturday Night Live outfit for Dancing With The Local Stars, a frighteningly new event at the time that I survived with a new appreciation for the art of dance.
Last night I experienced something new, something that's never happened before. The Cheeseburgers went up to Hamilton to play at the Reneau Benefit party inside Sullivan Auctioneers. This is a great story because the mom donated a kidney to her son, giving him a new lease on life, and we were honored to play.
The auction ran long and we started playing an hour late.Two songs into the gig, the organizers came up and said we had to stop because they were doing a gun raffle and having a "Donut Eating Contest" with local law enforcement officers.
In Hancock County, gun raffles are huge deals. If they tell you to stop, you stop. And the donut thing was tremendous - six local guys sat at a table with big plates of sticky glazed donuts and Red Solo Cups full of milk, and gulped away.
I've been at benefits where the band is just background, and that doesn't work well with The Burgers - we are all about the show, and we didn't drive all the way up there to sit back.
So ... we emceed the donut eating contest. Eric McCaughey broke into a bluesy riff and he, Burt Shackleton and Jeff Van Kanegan described the cops stuffing faces with donuts in hilarious detail. Then Eric led us in a rousing rendition of "I Shot the Sheriff" and there wasn't a dry eye in the place, probably because they were spilling beer on their faces laughing so hard.
That's what I love about The Burgers. We adapt to any situation. "Every gig has a story," Jeff loves to say. We could have gone off stage and moped about it, but instead we had fun and I know the people did, too.
New people, new experiences. It's the spice of life and keeps us going, in many new and different ways.